Time Tracking

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Here’s a free piece of advice to anybody trying to do freelance work: track your time!  There are hundreds of reasons to do it, but here’s a few of my top reasons:

  1. Planning and Forecasting - I’m much better at estimating how long a prospective project will take me to do since I’ve already tracked similar projects.  That helps with setting pricing and creating realistic expectations with the customer.
  2. Focus - Distractions are everywhere, especially when you work digitally like I do.  Having a time budget and tracking my time keeps me focus on the task at hand. 
  3. Figure out where the day went - I’m tracking the time I spend on more and more activities now.  I track the time I spend on creating contact lists, doing research, and networking.  I’m tracking how much time I’m spending on this blog post right now!  This way I can look back at the past week or month and see where am I investing my time.  Is it a good balance?  Do I need to cut out certain activities to focus on others? 

There are plenty of apps and programs to help with time tracking.  I highly recommend Paymo - http://www.paymo.biz/.  In addition to time tracking, it offers project management and invoicing.  Best of all, the free version does everything I need.  Tell me about how you track your time.

17 minutes and 45 seconds on this blog post.  Onto the next task!