Guest blog by Dennis Bridges, MBA
There are many questions you can ask yourself about work productivity. Here are four big ones that have a lot to do with tracking – something Jenny Craig and other big weight watching companies have perfected.
Four big operational questions:
- What do you spend your time on at work?
- How much time did you spend last week on activities that make you and the company money?
- How much time would you want to spend on them?
- Where will you find that time?
I ask myself these questions all the time, and our team talks through them regularly. The trouble is it’s hard to be precise and most people aren’t diligent enough with their calendars for those to be much help. Also, no one wants to keep a logbook and most of us don’t have the discipline to do it anyway.
Why should you or your team track our time in the first place?
I know, it seems like a lot of extra work for nothing…it’s not. First of all, there’s time tracking software out there like Toggl that can be on every device you have for free and you can start and stop the timer from any of your devices while tracking what project, task, and client that time is assigned to. The desktop version will also keep track of what programs your using and for how long (eg. Word, excel, Google chrome etc.). There are lots of great time-tracking apps out there, this just happens to be the one I use.
Secondly, even if you are not regularly analyzing the data you gather on where your time is spent, it’s worth tracking. One day you might want to look back at the trend and see if you’re making money on a certain task or billing appropriately for projects. Most importantly, it will force you to think regularly about how you’re spending your time and what you’re spending it on and if you should make modifications.
Here’s a great example. Jenny Craig hasn’t help millions of people lose weight because her dieting system includes all the right foods. She’s made it easier for people to be responsible and make healthy choices by selling an efficient and user-friendly tracking system. Jenny sells accountability and focus, and obviously that’s worth a lot. We could learn a lot from her and her program when it comes to being more productive and using time more efficiently. Mainly, that the key is to start tracking your time with a user-friendly system in order to create focus and accountability.
All of this reminds us that we then need to be careful what we do with this information about our daily activities, but that’s discussion for another blog! 😉
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