In my last article I argued that we desperately need accurate time data in order to correct our faulty and biased assumptions about how we spend our time at work. So many critical business decisions boil down to allocating our time properly. Whether that’s estimating how much time will be needed to complete an assignment, or which overhead tasks might be better delegated to others. When we leave such decisions to our mere recollection, we tell ourselves tales.
And so we need time records that will tell us the truth. We need to go back and check our assumptions against real data, and that data only comes from keeping track of your time. But while tracking time is a prerequisite for objectivity, it takes some interpretation skills to be able to read the language of time. Once you have the data, and can pull reports, what do you look for? How do you organize this time? How do you review it?
Rather than writing out a bunch of tips longhand, this week’s article uses a training video that walks you through the process of pulling helpful reports, and analysing your time data effectively.
I’ve also added a new page to the resources section of the website that adds an additional training video for setting up a timekeeping system from scratch. In both videos I’m using Harvest, the system I use and recommend. But even if you use a different system, the basic concepts in these videos will help you ensure that you’re structuring your time effectively, and that drawing insights that will help you master this important business discipline for running a creative practice.