TeamWork

Team Time Tracking Helps in Improving Work Productivity

Companies that work within strict deadlines know how indispensable team time tracking software is. This software ensures that every minute is accounted for and thus improve productivity in the working environment. More and more companies are using these apps to monitor time and improve productivity. So how do these apps improve productivity? Find out here below how team time tracking helps improve work productivity.

  • Creating project hierarchy

The apps are quite beneficial in the working environment since they work to create project hierarchy. The hierarchy consists of projects and sub projects. The apps allow you to drag every project that you have on the screen and give details about the project and the expected time of completion. The app will help you track the progress of these projects.

With such organization, productivity will definitely be improved.

  • Reminding about recording specific activities

Modern team time tracking helps you to enter tasks while they are being completed. This is done to allow for sorting later. The apps can be instructed to stop tracking the tasks once they are completed.

  • Creating project time estimates

The beauty of team time tracking is that it allows workers to get productive by making use of the charts, visuals graphs and reports. This helps in controlling time spent on a specific project. If workers can stick to these strict time guidelines, then productivity will be at its best.

  • Used as computer work tracker app

The team time tracker can also be used to track the working activity of an entire computer work done by a team member. This ensures that team members are efficient in their computer work since there is a monitoring system that checks on their progress.

  • Stay on budget

One of the best ways to improve productivity is by ensuring that you stay on budget. Team time tracking helps in this since you will stick to the strict deadlines and thus avoid unnecessary wastage that is brought by excess time consumption.

The above five ways show how team time tracking is efficient software that helps in improving work productivity.

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Time-Tracking

Improve Productivity by Identifying Your Weakness through Time Tracking

If you feel that your productive level has dropped lately, it may well be the time to look inward and find urgent solution. If you have been wondering how to do this, you would be surprised to discover that the solution lies with you. So, how can you improve your productivity? The answers lie with time tracking and time management.

Time tracking as way to improve productivity

Nowadays, using time tracking is one of the best methods to improve productivity and achieve more with less time. In a business environment, both employer and employees use time tracking software to monitor their use of time. This software is an innovative way to tackle time wasting and accomplish more on daily basis. It has helped to eliminate wastefulness and redundancy during working hour. If you want to improve on your productivity, the first most important thing to do is to track your time and check to see if you are actually getting your tasks done.

Effective time management can improve productivity

Some people cannot control their time. They spend too much time on frivolities. If you are having a challenge being productive, you may need to analyze why that is so. There are some people who are trying to do more than one task at a time. The truth is that you are actually kidding yourself that. You may feel that you are getting lots more done. But you are not really doing much. When you are not fully concentrated on something, errors will set in. At the end of it all, you end up spending more time undoing those errors. Effective time management dictates that you stop trying to do it all at once.

Improving your productivity will also require you to be “ruthless with what you spend your time on and how you spend it. You need to set boundaries; identify the time wasters throughout your workday; schedule blocks of time to work on tasks; make and keep appointments…,” says Michelle Hanson.

As you can see from our discussions above, time tracking and effective time management are what you need if you want to improve your productivity.

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Time+beacon

Benefits of Using Beacons for Time Tracking

Beacons infiltrated into our lives swiftly than no other technology in the recent past. These tiny devices have been changing lives for the better when they are used in museums, malls, parks and hotels and other installations.

But who knew the iBeacon technology will enter the workplace? This is the latest surprise to many. The entry of iBeacon technology into the workplace has come with numerous benefits.

Beacons for employee time tracking

The old aged ‘timesheet’ is now a thing of the past with the introduction of iBeacon technology in the workplace. Beacon can be used to effectively track employees’ time. Beacons also help to ease the hassle of checking in and out of employees. In other words, this technology will improve productivity in the workplace by effectively tracking time of employees in an organization.

What are the benefits of using beacons for time tracking?

  • No more queues

One of the benefits that companies will get for using this technology for time tracking is getting rid of the long queues in check in stations. With beacons, there will be no need to queue in these stations since time will be tracked remotely. This is specifically beneficial to large organizations with large number of employees. The long queues witnessed at check in stations are a waste of time and beacons offer the best way to get rid of them.

  • Solve travel time abuse problem

Companies usually lose a lot of money through travel time abuse and missed punches. Some employees are fond of claiming overtime whereas they never worked overtime. With the introduction of beacon technology, a company can save thousands of dollars in incorrectly paid hours.

  • Eliminate human error in payroll processing

With beacons, the human error in payroll processing of written timesheets will be a gone case. A company will not lose money as a result of human error in writing timesheets.

The above mentioned are major benefits of using beacons for time tracking. Otherwise, there are other benefits that beacons bring into play. Such benefits include:

  • Beacons help in locating staff on office premises. Employees can figure out the exact location of their colleagues and reach to them effectively without wasting much time.
  • Beacons also help employees to manage their time tasks better by reminding them of the day’s tasks.
  • The technology also helps employees to navigate easily and effectively in large organizations. This saves time and thus increases productivity.

There are still many more benefits of using beacons for time tracking. This shows the great importance of this technology in the workplace.

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sucess-time

Fly on the horizon of success with Time Tracking

Time tracking is a powerful tool to manage any kind of project or business on an individual base or collectively as an organization. With time tracking and planning a huge project can be managed like a simple on, the need of the day is only to appoint an experience project manager who should be expert in evaluating solutions to the problems and have an expert grip on forecasting to get prepared for all the hurdles that may come in the way of success. To understand the whole process we will have to go step by step thoroughly and manage time properly as time tracking is mandatory for any running project.

 

TURNING EVERY PROJECT INTO A SUCCESS:

Before starting any project one must make sure that their team’s time, expense and budgets all have a direct link with the project they impact in actual time. To be clear about the desired goals of the project in terms of profit, one should be very much sure about the time required to complete that project. As time tracking always lead to productivity.

There should be a strong grip on time and expenses. Any person running a project must be determined about the fact that time limits should be met to complete any project. Sometimes a minute delay results in huge loses.

MANPOWER AND TIME TRACKING:

For the completion of any project it should be kept under consideration that what strength of manpower is required to complete a project in specified time. If a project has been tracked for a small time duration than the number of employees to be assigned must be accordingly. As the strength of manpower and time assigned are inversely proportional to each other. On the other hand assigning more than enough personnel to complete any task not only exceeds budget but also ends with confusion. For the successful completion of project keep in mind that effective time management improves productivity.

FORECASTING AND TIME TRACKING:

It means to decide in advance once time tracking is done for a project that whether it will lead to success or loss. Making forecasts for the future benefits that should be achieved with the tracked hours. Make sure one fact that better time management improves productivity.

 

MANAGING BUDGETS IN REAL TIME:

With time tracking budgets can be assigned for projects and there should be a close eye on budget progress and any hours during a project must be highlighted that burns the budgets. Insight into real-time can precede tighter financial control. Hourly invoices also develop a motivation for achievement. Value the employees by giving them numeration on hourly basis.

Last but not least, synchronizing the invoices, time tracked, budgets and other finances related to projects through reliable and specialized tools may also take a company to the skies of prosperity.

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Being Efficient vs Being Effective

“I am busy” is almost always heard in a conversation or even self talk, but that doesn’t mean that one is being productive. Next time when you say that you are busy, think whether you are being effective and efficient or simply being redundant in your tasks which keeps you thinking you are constantly busy.

Effectiveness is doing the things that gets you closer to your goals. Don’t confuse it with efficiency. Efficiency and effectiveness are two different things. Efficiency is performing a given task (whether important or not) in the most economical and timely manner possible.  For example: Consider a salesman going from door-to-door to all his customers without wasting time. He is efficient but not effective, but if the same salesman tried to sell his product by using a different approach such as sending emails first to all his customers and then filter the ones who are interested in his product. This allows him to be effective and efficient with his time and energy.

It’s rightly said in The 4-Hour Workweek book, there are two truisms to keep in mind:

  • Doing something unimportant well doesn’t make it important.
  • Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important.

being efficient vs being effective

Efficiency is still important, but it is useless unless applied to the right things that produce effectiveness as well.

So the next time you enter your activities in TmTask, don’t forget to tag them using # in addition to entering time, project and users. This will help you to track your activities and later on measure how effective you were. You can also create custom reports by selecting multiple tags and measure overall effectiveness.

Track your time efficiently, be effective!

Source: The 4-Hour Workweek

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create shorter lists to meet targets

Create shorter lists to meet targets

Everyone creates to-do lists. But wait, do you create a one big list or like to create smaller ones? If you create a one big list then start making smaller to-do lists from today. Long lists collect dust. When’s the last time you finished a long list of things? You might have knocked off the first few, but chances are you eventually checked off items that weren’t really done properly.

Long lists are unachievable. The longer the list of unfinished items, the worse you feel about it. And at a certain point, you just stop looking at it because it demotivates you as you feel bad. It stresses you out and the whole thing turns into a big mess. This happens with most of the people when they focus on one big list then multiple short lists.

There is a better way. Break that long list down into a bunch of smaller lists. Instead of having a one big list of fifty items, break it down into five lists of ten items each. This will help you to be on track, attain happiness and accomplishments quickly. Although you will still have the same amount of work left to do, you will see satisfaction, motivation and progress in your work. Positivity is really important to succeed than looking at the huge picture and being terrified and demoralized.

Use the same strategy with your project or personal tasks as well. Take baby steps to reach your milestone instead of making a one big jump. Divide your problems into smaller and smaller pieces until you are able to deal with them completely and quickly. This will have a great impact on your productivity and motivation.

Use project tag + to create your own bunch of to-do lists and mark your each task or item by using activity tags #. For example: create a project +healthy-monday and list down items #ran5k, #3-sets-of-biceps, #ate-salad, etc. with accomplished date and time. Divide your big list into smaller projects and see the difference.

Source: Rework, Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

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Work Zone

Create your work zones

If you are constantly staying late and working weekends, it’s not because there is too much work to be done, it’s because you are not getting enough done at work. And one of the primary reasons is interruptions.

Think about it: When do you get the most of your work done? If you are like most people, it’s at night or early in the morning. It’s mostly when you are alone. Isn’t it?

People are mostly answering calls, attending meetings, chatting with colleagues or responding to emails during office hours or peak working time. All these activities can be categorized into interruptions as they don’t add much value to your work. In fact these activities are corrosive to productivity.

Interruptions break your workday into a series of work moments. Forty five minutes and then you have a call. Fifteen minutes and then you have lunch. An hour later, you have a meeting or conference call. Before you know it, its five o’clock and you only had couple of interrupted hours to get your work done. It’s like start, stop, start, stop and then finish.

Instead, you should get in the work zone where you have minimal interruptions and by yourself. It’s your own zone to be productive. When you don’t have mind-shift between various tasks, you get things done. If you are a frequent flier like me, you will notice that you get lots done on a plane since you are offline most of the time and there are zero outside distractions. Getting into the work zone takes time and requires discipline.

You can set up a rule at work to avoid talking with others and be alone for few hours. It can be any time, two hours in a day or half a day. Just make sure this period is unbroken in order to avoid interruptions. And go all the way with it. A successful alone time period means letting go of communication addiction. Give up instant messages, social sites check-ins, phone calls, emails, etc. during this time. You will be surprised how much more you get done. Use passive communication tool where you respond when it’s scheduled as per your work zone instead of being forced to drop everything right away.

And don’t forget to track your work zones in TmTask. This will help you to see how many times you are being able to get your work done and adding value to your time. Add tag #productive to your activity to measure and manage your productive work zones.

Source: Rework, Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

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meetings can be toxic

Simple tricks for productive meetings

Have you ever thought of how much time you spend in meetings? It’s unfortunate that meetings are scheduled like TV shows. You set aside thirty minutes or an hour because that’s how scheduling works (you will never see anyone schedule a seven-min meeting with you). Too bad. Even though you get done in 15 mins, many people still stretch to 1 hour which leads to waste of time for all.

When you think about it, the true cost of meetings is astonishing. Let’s say you are going to schedule a meeting for 1 hour and you invite 10 people to attend, i.e. actually 10 X 1 = 10 hours meeting all together. That means, you are trading 10 hours of productivity for  1 hour of meeting time. On top of that, there is always a changeover or switching add-ons like stopping what you are doing, walking to the meeting room, going somewhere else to meet, non-value added talking with people in the corridors, and then resuming what you were doing beforehand. If you add all these hours then it’s probably more like 15 hours meeting for 10 people.

Now, what do you think now? Is it okay to trade 10 or 15 hours of overall productivity for 1 hour meeting? Sometime, maybe. But that’s a pretty hefty price to pay.

Let me share some simple tricks to be productive in meetings. Next time when you schedule a meeting, think it purely from cost basis point of view.

  • Create a simple and clear agenda. What is the purpose of the meeting? Why are we meeting? How much time should we spend? Treat your meetings as working sessions instead of just discussions.
  • Invite as few people as possible. Avoid inviting more than two people from the same team. They can always take action or pending items back to their team and get back to you next time.
  • Include switching time in your meeting. Instead of scheduling for 30 mins or 60 mins, schedule your meeting for 25 mins or 55 mins. If you get done earlier then give the remaining time back to the people instead of chatting or trying to solve the next puzzle.
  • Set a timer. When it rings, meeting is over. Period.
  • Always keep last 5 mins of your meeting for debrief, assigning action items to participants and setting up agenda for the next meeting, if needed. Don’t invite people with no action items assigned in your next meeting.

Share these simple tricks with others and you will see the difference.  And yea, don’t forget to track your meeting. Make the team admin/leader responsible for tracking you meeting in TmTask by using #meeting, ‘@’ tag for adding participants and ‘+’ for adding a project. You can add multiple participants and projects to your activity. Also, run reports to analyze your overall meeting hours weekly or monthly by selecting tag #meeting to see total number of hours spend by all people. You should see the difference in your meeting trend.

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CLIMB HIGH-2

Eliminate waste from your work

Hope you guys have started tracking your time now or may have been doing it already. If not then why not give a shot and try TmTask. Its free!

Tracking your time is effective but have you ever thought of how to use your tracked time to improve your productivity? Before we get into the topic of waste reduction, let me define the value added and non-value added work:

  • Value-added work is the work that is actually valuable and results in satisfying outcomes. The work that increases productivity and effectiveness in your work. 
  • Non-value added work, also called waste, refers to work that doesn’t add value to or is unnecessary add on for the overall work. 

As we now know the differences between the value added and non-value added work, let me share with you a simple way to identify unseen wastes in our daily life and how we can eliminate or reduce them by following some easy steps.

Take a good sample of day-to-day activities you track everyday like #checking emails, #development, #meeting, #commute, etc. You can see that there are some activities where you spend longer than expected and didn’t know because you never tracked them before. You can find this out by simply calculating mean (average) time of these activities and variance between each activity.  I will walk you though the advanced level of differentiating value adds vs non-value adds to reduce waste but lets try the basic one first.

Try these 4 simple lean tricks and see your growth instantly:

eliminate waste

 

1) Group your tasks to work in batches

#Checking email: Instead of checking your emails more frequently every 5-10 min, try to check them in batches, more like having a fixed time to do it. Check it every 2 hr to quickly glance your emails and spend no more than 10 min each time you check your emails. Not every email is a critical one.

2) Prioritize in advance

#Meeting: Before joining all the meetings, prioritize your work in advance to attend the ones that have a specific agenda, goals and action items. Again, not every meeting needs your active involvement.

3) Plan your work

#Watch-TV: This is the best pass time of everyone. Who doesn’t like watching TV but don’t make it your daily routine to watch any shows even if you aren’t interested. We often watch TV mindlessly.  Plan your shows in advance and watch them accordingly.

4) Test one change for goodness 

#Commute: Commuting back and forth from work can be tiresome if you have to face traffic very often. If traffic is an issue and your manager allows, try to test one change by working at odd hours to avoid traffic or request to work from home. Beating rush hour traffic will ensure that you are working efficiently while keeping your spirits high!

Try them out to eliminate waste from your work.

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Not an excuse!

No more excuses!

Many people claim that they would like to start a new company, learn swimming, write a blog or play with kids etc but there is just not enough time available in the day. The most common excuse we often hear is  “There’s not enough time.” Have you been one of them? Time to stop making excuses.

 

Everyone gets 24 hours a day equally, whether its the President of United States or the air traffic controller at Heathrow airport. We can make most of their time by utilizing it and spend it right. Why not work on your million dollar idea instead of watching TV or mindlessly going through random social sites? Just imagine, even an hour saved per day by reducing your non-value added activities will sum up to  365 hrs ~ 15 days ~ 3 weeks of full-time job. That’s just by shifting only one hour everyday of your time. What if you shift additional non-value added hours to work on your idea?

 

Try it! If it doesn’t work out in the end, thats okay. You didn’t  risk or lose anything, other than a bit of time, so it’s not a big deal. Atleast you tried instead of coming up with excuses. Besides, the perfect time never arrives. Your are always too young or old, busy or broke or something else or the other. If you constantly worry about timing things perfectly, they will never happen. Time is precious, lets utilize it as we would money.

 

So moving forward, start tracking your time to save an hour everyday to work towards your next brilliant idea or passion. Who knows you can be the next Mark Zuckerberg. :)

 

Source: Fried, Jason, and David Heinemeier. Hansson. “No Time Is No Excuse.” <i>Rework</i>. New York: Crown Business, 2010. N. pag. Print.

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