5 Ways Intentional Time Tracking Can Improve Your Life

Time management is, for many of us, one of those elusive things that we always dream about being better at. People who are effective at time management are often those we see in leadership roles and those that are always somehow able to take on more when it appears that they already have a heavy load. Time management helps people work smarter, not harder; and everyone can work towards being just a little bit better at it.
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Even our employers are deeply invested in how our time is managed. Time management in the workplace can provide all sorts of benefits for employees and the companies they work for. It’s no wonder everyone wants to know what everyone is doing and for how long.

So what are some of the ways that intentionally tracking your time can greatly improve your life?

1. Boost Productivity

Arguably one of the most obvious benefits of intentionally tracking and managing your time is an increase in productivity. Building a greater understanding of how long a project or workflow typically takes you allows you to be more transparent and realistic about deadlines. Ultimately, as you master time management skills, it leads to a better ability to complete tasks within your set timeframe and boost your overall productive output.

Employers managing their employee's workflows also see the benefits in improved time management, which is often why they become involved in it. Tracking employee time allows companies to better manage where they are spending their money and may lead to reallocation towards products and services that provide a bigger bang for their buck. Likewise, tracking time can also help with transparency and objective setting.

2. Manage Natural Energy Flows

From a personal perspective, intentionally tracking your time can also help you become more cognizant of your natural energy flows. For instance, many people experience a burst of energy a couple of hours after they wake up and a low point in energy levels shortly after lunch. Observing and acknowledging this can allow you to build your schedule around when you're naturally most likely to be productive.

In a workplace setting, this could mean your daily workflow is designed to maximize productivity. If you're most productive in the mornings, focus on diving into a big project that requires focus before lunch. As your energy levels dip in the afternoon, switch gears and work on smaller tasks such as responding to emails or tying up loose ends on project work.

3. Reduce Stress Levels

As you get into the habit of intentionally tracking your time, you might quickly realize that your stress levels decrease. Building a plan for the day that allows you to budget more time towards bigger projects can help reduce feelings of being overwhelmed when something unexpected comes up that takes more time than expected. Likewise, budgeting time can help you ensure that you're putting time towards the smaller things that just need to get off your plate.

From a management perspective, helping employees learn to budget their time and reduce stress can pay dividends. Employees that are less stressed are more likely to think collaboratively, work more productively, and solve problems more effectively. Some ways to help with that include things like setting clear goals and realistic deadlines that employees can budget their time around.

4. Attain Goals Faster

Deliberately tracking time can also be a great move when you have specific goals that you want to attain. Tracking can enable you to assess the amount of time that you're actually putting towards that goal and adjust accordingly to meet it within your desired timeframe. Doing so will give you a greater ability to focus on what really matters and limit distractions.

Many employers might encourage employees to track their time for this specific reason. Monitoring time can provide real business benefits in that it enables businesses to determine how much time is spent on important projects versus how much time goes into other 'must-dos' such as required administration or red tape. Ultimately, it can help companies reach their goals faster by helping them realize where the bottlenecks in the process are so they can be addressed.

5. Improve Relationships

Finally, and perhaps most importantly from a personal perspective, time tracking can eventually add up to greatly increase the amount of free time that you have available to use. This means you have more quality time to spend with family and friends, or to focus on a big personal project. Without the other stress and distractions and a renewed focus on people that matter, your relationships can become far deeper than previously imagined.

In the workplace, this can add up as well. Good time management is an evident workplace characteristic. Disorganized employees with poor time management skills can be difficult to work with and sometimes create a toxic work environment. However, those with strong time management skills are typically seen as dependable, easy-going, and capable of building strong collaborative relationships.
Learning how to improve your time management skills can bring significant benefits to both your work and personal life. These are just a couple of the ways that tracking time can make a real difference; what are some others?
  • Jori Hamilton
    Jori Hamilton is a writer from the Northwestern U.S. She covers topics including health and wellness, productivity, marketing, business, technology, politics, and women's rights.
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