The first and probably the biggest challenge when using online time tracking for the first time is to actually remember to track your time. In your daily work routine there are so many different things to remember and one can easily forget to press the Start button and track their time.
You should therefore ask yourself why, how and when you want to track your time. The so-called 3 R’s will help you to make time tracking become a habit and soon enough, time tracking will have become a habit for you and in the end it should be a matter of course – without you spending a lot of time thinking about it and having to remind yourself all the time.
Time Tracking – Why, how and when?
1. Why do you want to track your time?
The first step when you want to create a new routine is becoming aware of the underlying intention. You should therefore ask yourself: Why do I want time tracking to become a routine? Why do I want to make it a habit? Sometimes there are things we have to do without understanding why we should even do them. This might especially be the case if time tracking wasn’t your idea but instead you were encouraged to do so by your employer. However, it is really important to focus on the intention while trying to make it become a habit.
Ask yourself what you and your company will gain if you consistently track your time. For instance, company structures and work processes can be mapped and made transparent. Time tracking prevents any conflicts concerning working hours between the employer and the employee.
2. How do you want to track your time?
You should definitely figure out what you are going to do every time you start to track your time. Should each task be assigned to a project? Should time tracking continue if you take a 5-minute break or not? Will you stop the timer when a co-worker asks you a question? Only if you clearly define what your goal is, then you know what you have to do in order to achieve it.
3. When do you want to track your time?
The easiest way to make time tracking a routine is to start tracking your time after an existing routine treatment. This then functions as the natural trigger for a new habit. For example, as soon as you log in in the morning you always manage your to-do’s: You know what your first task of the day will be and you should start tracking your time for this task right away. Once you have finished this task simply repeat this routine: check your to-do list, then track your time for the new task.
Make sure that your environment supports you in remembering your routine treatment. Exaggerate calmly in the beginning and use more reminders to track your time than necessary – rather than too little of such reminders.
What you can do to help you remember tracking your time is to set TimeTac as your browser home page. Once you open your browser, TimeTac will automatically open and will be ready for you to track your time. You could place the TimeTac icon on your user interface as well. Another option would be the use of the alarm function on your mobile phone, your online calendar, or Post-its to draw your attention to tracking your time. You could also send yourself a personal message every single day in the morning, for example via Slack, to remind you.
The 3 R’s of creating a habit
- The Reminder: the cue or trigger which starts the habit. (e.g. the traffic light turns green)
- The Routine: the action you take/the habit itself. (e.g. you drive through the intersection)
- The Reward: the benefit you gain from doing the habit. (e.g. you get closer to your destination)
There are so many different tools that will help you with remembering to track your time. Tracking your time will seem tedious in the beginning but when it finally becomes part of your daily routine it will become a matter of course for you. Make sure you allow yourself to take some time to adjust to your new routine and don’t overtax yourself.
Do you still record your working hours with time sheets, which can be really time-consuming? You won’t believe how many advantages online time tracking offers you, as well as reduced administration effort. Convince yourself of the advantages of online time tracking and find out how TimeTac can benefit your business on a daily basis: TimeTac Free Trial