Tracking time, time management, long term goals, goals, potential,
WORKPLACE SUCCESS / 14 December 2016
Reasons You Should Be Tracking Your Time (and How to Do It)
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Sarah Landrum
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Managing your time on a day-to-day basis is a complicated art to master. Whether you're planning a daily schedule around work, school, children or other obligations, it can be difficult to squeeze it all into a 24-hour period. However, for those who want to achieve their fullest potential, effective time tracking is a must. 

Pursue Your Long-Term Goals and Visions

Long-term goals can be hard to attain. While the process of setting long-term goals is often done rather easily, it's a different matter entirely when it comes to actually achieving them. By tracking your current habits and managing your time more effectively, you'll suddenly find that it's easier to focus on your long-term goals. 

To do this, keep a list of all your long-term goals and put it in a spot where you will see it every single day. For greater effect, you might even consider using a vision board. This is, in its purest form, a visual display of your long-term goals and dreams.

Meet Day-to-Day Commitments and Appointments

Are you consistently late for appointments? Do you regularly forget about your commitments and obligations? If so, it's highly likely that you suffer from a lack of effective time management skills. Even if you're normally considered punctual, you're likely to forget about an obligation from time to time. 

To avoid this, there are a number of methods you can use to remember appointments and meet all of your commitments. Electronic devices can be incredibly helpful, as most laptops and smartphones let you set reminders for specific dates, times and deadlines. Depending on your specific device, various visual or audible alarms may be available to draw your attention to it.

If you are even more tech-savvy than most, you might consider using one of today's cloud-based time management systems. Not only will this give you a better grasp over your time, but it also gives you experience with one of the latest technological breakthroughs. Moreover, with fully automated alerts and messages that are delivered straight to your smartphone, cloud-based time management software is an innovative solution to an age-old problem.

Alternatively, you could assume a more traditional approach. Especially if you are an older professional, you may feel more comfortable using a pen and notebook to keep track of your daily schedule. The obvious drawback here is the lack of an autonomous reminder or alarm of any kind, so you'll still be left to rely, at least in part, on the memory banks of your own brain. 

Put an End to Procrastination

As stated by famed businessman Victor Kiam, procrastination can be a real opportunity killer. Not only does it result in wasted and lost time, but procrastination during your career can actually cause you to miss out on raises, promotions and other chances for professional development. Thankfully, stringent time tracking can help you put an end to procrastination and jumpstart your career in ways you never even imagined. 

Schedule out all of your activities – including the fun ones. By working through the tasks, you’ll be able to make time for what you actually want to do. And by setting distinct times for when to work and when to take breaks, you’ll hold yourself accountable to working on a schedule without feeling like it’s all work and no play. 

Eliminate Bottlenecks and Improve on Your Shortcomings

If you're interested in improving your productivity by eliminating personal bottlenecks and shortcomings, consistently tracking your time on a day-to-day basis is a surefire way to set yourself up for success. 

By identifying meaningless or unnecessary tasks, you can effectively reclaim some of your idle or wasted time. Depending on your personal habits, this could amount to an hour or more per day. 

This can be accomplished in a number of ways. For starters, try to make a record of your entire day. By detailing each activity you've completed, as well as the duration of each task and any downtime in between, you'll be able to gain a clearer picture of your schedule. Moreover, you'll be able to instantly identify activities or hobbies that can be eliminated as well as those that can be improved. 

Show off Your Accomplishments

Now that you've recorded your day-to-day schedule, eliminated personal bottlenecks and identified areas for improvement, it's time to show off your accomplishments. Once again, you can call on your newly refined skills in time tracking and management to highlight your achievements for all to see.

If you are pursuing a raise or promotion at work, for example, you'll be able to provide your manager with a specific timeline of your progress. 

Moreover, you'll be able to show them exactly how you've been spending your time. 

Managing Your Time and Achieving Your Dreams

There are numerous benefits to time tracking and time management. Whether you're looking to improve your personal life, bolster your career or just find more time in the day, there are a number of proven methods that can meet your needs and help you achieve your dreams. 

Sarah Landrum is a career expert and the founder of Punched Clocks. For more tips to accelerate your career, subscribe to her newsletter and follow her on social media. You can find her tweeting tips and articles @SarahLandrum