At Queal, we keep consistent track of the time we spend on our tasks. In this post, I will explain why we do this and what we do with the information we gather.
When I start working, the second place I go is Toggl (after Basecamp, our project management tool). Toggl is a time-tracking app. In it, you can define what you are working on and for which project it is. When you are done with one task, you can enter the next one. If you forgot to do it, you can add a task manually. All in all, it will take less than 2 minutes per day to use Toggl.
The value of Toggl, for Queal, is the insights we get out of the tracking. The first one is pro-active. If you enter each task you will work on, you become more aware of what you are planning to spend your time on. If you, for instance, enter ‘check social networks for updates (on Queal)’ for the third time in a day, you will know that you are probably not working on the most important thing.
And when you enter the next task in Toggl, you see how much time you spend on the first. And as we all know, sometimes time moves faster or slower than we initially thought. By seeing where you spend your time hour-per-hour, you gain insights in where you’re time is actually going.
At the end of the week, we take some time (about 20 minutes) to check back on the time we’ve tracked. Here we specifically look to see if we’ve worked on the most important tasks. We ask ourselves the following questions:
– What was my biggest time drain?
– What have I done that I can automate/eliminate?
– What was my most valuable contribution?
– Knowing this, what will I focus on next week?
After going through this personally, each one of us gives a short summary to the rest of the team. If necessary there is feedback. And after that, it’s time for the weekend or the ‘vrijmibo’.