My parents would never understand the need for real-time work hour tracking. I suppose this is one of those generational things. They believe in just getting the work done and who cares how many hours that has taken you. There is some merit in their view, but it may not work for contemporary freelancers or independent contractors. We need to track our work hours in real time for several very important reasons.
Reliable time tracking data is irreplaceable when it comes to measuring your productivity, project cost estimation, client billing, and for some of us (including me) dealing with procrastination.
Many freelancers I happen to know simply log their work hours into a spreadsheet. Some still fail to track their work hours in any way.
First of all, timer-based time tracking tools are very easy to use, and save you from forgetting to log your hours or logging them incorrectly. I do have experience using manual time tracking and I would forget logging the hours and meaningful descriptions far too often.
Real time tracking does not rely on recall. If you leave all work logs for the end of the day, chances are too big that you will get some data wrong. So, if you want more reliable data that would help you track your productivity better, generate more accurate invoices and improve your cost calculations, you may think about choosing real time tracking of work hours.
Now time for a personal confession. One of the biggest benefits of tracking work hours in real time for me is the feeling of responsibility that saves me from procrastination. As a freelancer I do struggle with far too many distractions such as people I would like to talk to, another cup of coffee, social media just to name a few. What does this have to do with time tracking? Well, I do feel that when I hit that “start” button, I am “at work”, the minutes are ticking and I am obliged to work rather than get distracted.
Well, this is me. Maybe most of you reading this post are far more disciplined. But if you are similar to me, try a timer-based time tracking App. Yes, it will bring you all the rational benefits related to efficiency and accuracy of data, but just maybe it will also make you more disciplined.
Switching from manual time logs to real time tracking is same as changing any habit. It may be difficult to start with. But, give it a try. If you choose the Mobile Worker time tracking App for these purposes, you can try the App for free and see if you can turn it into a habit.