3 Reason You Should Be Time Tracking Even If You Hate it
Hey, Hey, well, this week I'm going to chat to you about something that if you had asked me when I was in corporate, if it was something that I would ever recommend, I would have said that you were insane and. That thing is time tracking. And I know nobody hears that and think, , I can't wait to get started. I want to show you what two of my corporate jobs taught me about time-tracking and why it's such a powerful tool, apologies to all those bosses who I gave such a hard time to for making me do it. And one that I have added to my business that I think will make a huge difference to yours as well. So the first reason I want you to start time tracking is to really work out which hat you're wearing, how much of the time and your business. So are you in your CEO hat or you're having to take that over and put your marketing hat on and take that off and put your sales hat on and take that off and put your admin hat on and take that off and put your CFO hats on you. Get the picture. I think we love to call ourselves CEOs. But is that actually where we're spending the majority of our time and if it's not, what do we need to delegate or automate or systematize so that we can spend more time in that kind of CEO space? Not all areas of our business were created equal. There are things we have to do in our business that are required but that aren't actually money generating activities. We, as humans are not really good time pieces. So if you're not tracking your time, you are probably. Really overestimating the amount of time you're spending money, generating activities and underestimating the amount of time you're pulled out of them. when I was in banking, we had to do this a lot of the time. Every time you restructured you had to record every single task that you were doing and how much time it took you, because if you were going to transfer that role to another department, they needed to know like, was that a thing. Full headcount. And it's the same in your business. If you plan to bring on a team member, hire a contractor, you should know how much time you're talking about and what the tasks are. We need to stop thinking about hiring people in terms of what is the like job title and start being able to say, Hey, I have this list of tasks that takes approximately this amount of time. That is somebody three hours a week that I need to come in and do these tasks for me. So that's the first reason I want you to get really clear on what hat you're wearing, how much of the time, so that when it comes time to bring someone in and you have a very clear picture, but also that you can be super honest with yourself about how much of a CEO you're actually being. The second reason I want you to time track goes way back to the very beginning of my corporate career, where I was an auditor. And auditor's like, uh, yes, she assigned out to different clients at different times for different roles throughout their career. And your client is charged for your time. What's happening for every job that you're doing for a client, the client has been told, this is your fee. They've agreed to pay that So 15 minute increments you're filling in a time sheet. And what those time sheets are doing is allowing the person who's given the client a quote, to look at that quote versus what they budgeted. It would cost them to do this job. They're looking at how much time have people had to spend on that job versus what I thought, but would have to spend and therefore, is that client profitable? Or not profitable. And what am I going to do next time or for the next client? So I want you to be time tracking so that you are actually charging yourself to your business. As entrepreneurs, we have this really bad habit of seeing our own time as free because no one else is billing us for it. Now, if you're in a proposal based business, you are probably already doing this. You've probably said, okay. I think it's going to take me about 10 hours to do that. Plus these resources and a profit margin. That's my proposal amounts. However, if you then don't track that time. If you don't track the time it took you to prepare the time to actually do the task, the time to pull everything together and tie it up in a neat bow and present it to the client. If you don't track all of the calls, all of the boxes, all of the messages, all of the email time, you may actually be missing a bunch of costs that you should have been adding into that proposal space. If you are in a. One-to-one style business, not a done for you business. Maybe you have set rates, but what often happens is we forget that, Hey, it's not like I charged a thousand bucks and it was only one hour. Yeah. Maybe you toss a thousand bucks and it was one hour of actual face time with the client, but it was two hours of reviewing their staff. Plus another hour of followup plus, you know, 10 email catch-ups and this can be the. Easiest way for you to raise your prices for you to actually look at what is involved client by client, because some clients will be super easy. That will be incredibly low maintenance. I need very little of your time and other clients will be the far extreme. And you want to make sure that in your head, when you're thinking about how much effort is going into this transformation, You are also thinking about all of that time. On average, you're not thinking, Hey, most clients only need three hours. When actually. You've got clients on average, who take six hours of your time in a month because that's reducing your capacity. If you have less supply, you need to increase your prices. If you're in a group situation and you're looking for scale and you're looking for increased capacity, you want to know how much time you're spending by service. So if you are spending a ton of time on customer service, what could you be doing instead? Is that a price increase or do you have a systems problem? so you were never going to know this unless you're tracking at a really granular level. So You want to know your tasks so that you can see what to automate and systematize. You want to know at a client or a service level, if you're doing group so that you can work out where things might not have been priced correctly and you can course correct going forwards. And finally, I really want you to track on a daily basis because we forget. we think we will remember, like we overestimate our memory capacity. So badly as humans. I mean, I can walk into a room and not remember what I was in there for, but I'm certain that the idea that I had at 3:00 AM or the thing I did three days ago will be etched in my memory forever for some unknown reason. So I want you to really think on a daily basis when you've done your time-tracking and you've looked at your tasks and you've looked at your clients, that is the time that I want you to be tracking. How much of that day felt good to me? How much of that day felt like I was in flow and I would be mocking down the things that didn't feel like flow because those become your priority. To look at what can I put a system in for? Who can I delegate this to? So it's that trifecta of time tracking. Those three things in combination that has finally won me over to time tracking as much as I hated doing it as an auditor for someone else, as much as I hated doing it in my big corporate job for restructuring. A small business owners. We should know where every minute that we're spending in our businesses going to, and similarly, we should know where things are happening with our contractors or with our staff. We should know what they're spending their time on. So that we can make informed decisions, around pricing, but also around what needs to happen next to make this business more efficient. What needs to get removed from your plate, the quickest to get you into flow so that you can focus in your zone of genius. No, I know. This is not much fun for anyone that nobody is overjoyed at doing it. And everybody gets very caught up in the how of this. if you are a paper person, write it in a notebook. If you are a spreadsheet person like me, have a spreadsheets. If you are a tools person, I like to use toggle. The way to start tracking your time is to not think about this as a forever thing. So I'm just asking you to commit for five days to tracking everything that you do, and then having a look back and see where maybe you have been wrong. See where maybe you've been assuming you've spent your time versus where you really spent your time and see the little changes that actually keeping track of this could do for you. And then pop over to Instagram. Tell me if you're loving it. Tell me if you're hating it. Come in, ask me questions about it. Like I said, I've been doing this since my very first job. So I have tried most methods for doing it, and done a lot of analysis of my time and other people's time over the years. So if you're stuck or you need some help or you need some tips, come on over to Instagram, um, at Diane underscore Mayer. And let me know how you're getting on.
Time tracking is as universally valuable as it is universally despised. Let me show you why.
The data time tracking gives you impacts your pricing, your team, and your business results so it can be incredibly valuable.
In This Episode
- The 2 reasons to do time tracking that my jobs taught me
- The reason that finally won me over as a business owner
- How to get started without feeling overwhelmed
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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this podcast episode and article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article or episode. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Diane Mayor disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.