Tuesday Toss-Up

Why You Should Punch a Time Clock…

… Even if You Don’t Have To

Some folks are naturally organized. Their junk drawers resemble a photo from Martha Stewart’s website, they’re never late and they always remember Great-Aunt Louise’s birthday.

I am not one of those folks.

My regular drawers look like junk drawers. If I shoot for being early, I stand a good chance of being somewhere on time…usually. And I can barely remember my birthday. So, for folks like me, some kind of time-management protocol is a must. And, if you can’t afford or don’t want to hire a personal assistant, something like Toggl might do the trick for you.

Toggl

I started using Toggl for web design projects because I wanted to see how my project estimates matched with the actual time spent so I could give better estimates. Very quickly, I figured out that I could track my whole day (yep, as disorganized as I am naturally, I love, love, love lists and spreadsheets). How much time was I spending writing (or, often, not writing)? How much time did I devote to social media? How long did it take me to write a blog post? At a glance, I could see how my days broke down over the course of a week, month or even a year. I could see where I spending too much time or not enough. And I started to get a little more organized.

Now, I find myself wanting to make my daily charts look pretty and balanced. If any one element grows too far out of proportion, I can rein it in (that includes work).

And I can see, before I try to tell myself I don’t have the time, whether I really have the time or not. Like, for exercise.

You can find the time-tracker online and they have desktop and app versions. The app is one of my best friends.

All in all, very nifty.

Also, I have to give a shout-out to Jeffrey McChesney, a fellow writer, whose post Time reminded me to share the goodness that is Toggl.

***

What are your time-organizing tricks? 

 

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11 thoughts on “Why You Should Punch a Time Clock…

  1. I use FlyLady for a lot of my organization. When I use her system, both writing and the home life go much, much, much smoother. Her stress on routines, decluttering, and Baby Steps (inspired by the movie What About Bob?) really work for me, much better than any other system I’ve used. Even when I backslide, her tools and philosophy keep me from getting discouraged and giving up.

    Toggl looks like an interesting tool, though. Shiny.

  2. Thanks for the shout out and the information you gave me the other day. I’ve started using Toggl and so far it is showing where some of the time is being wasted.

    Nice tool to have in the arsenal.

  3. A few years ago I started creating weekly tables to track how much time I spent on writing each day, and what I worked on, and honestly it has been such a boon.

      1. And once a year I like to tally up the charts and see how much time I spent over the past year. I find it a nice ritual to remind myself of what I’m doing, and set little goals for myself. “Can I do 100 more hours of writing this year? Probably not. What about 50? Maybe.” Just knowing, undeniably, that there is measureable growth can be its own comfort.

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