Congratulations! You’ve started to successfully track your time.
You’ve got the reporting to prove your productivity and effective time management. You know where and how you’re spending your precious minutes and hours, and at what points in the day you are most productive. You’re headed in the right direction towards effective time management.
You’ve tracked your time. Now, you’re ready to leverage that valuable information to prove your worth as a professional resource, help you become a higher earner, and increase your productivity.
Creating Time-Tracking Reports to Increase Your Earning Potential
The first step to leveraging your time-tracking data is to deliver the information in a clear, professional manner.
For example, you can email your client and make the claim that you’re spending 3.5 hours per week on a blog post that should take 5+ hours. But until you prove it, your claim is tenuous.
Sending your client a valuable, organized report that displays how many minutes and hours you spend on specific tasks is far more substantial (and professional) proof of your value.
Leveraging Your Data — For Freelancers
Your time-tracking data might feel very personal, and you may never have thought of sharing it with a client. However, your data can ultimately give your clients important information about your value and help you explain a raised rate or a high rate-per-project.
If you bill hourly….
If you bill hourly, your livelihood depends on time-tracking. Leveraging that data is a critical step to becoming a higher income earner, as you choose to raise your rates as your efficiency and value increase.
Showing your clients how much time you spend on their projects can be a valuable way of proving your speed and efficiency…and raising your hourly rate.
Let’s say you have a client that pays you $35/hour. Every week, you schedule their social media posts in a short 45-minute block because of your expertise. This task doesn’t take you long, and you’re making less than $30 to complete it…but your client is raking in hundreds of dollars because of your skill.
Show your clients how quickly you are able to complete this task. If you feel comfortable, draw a comparison of how long the same task used to take you, or how long it takes on average.
Alternatively, you may simply want to use a comprehensive time-tracking report to show your client how much work you achieve on a weekly basis. When you compare the worth of that work to the amount that you are being paid hourly, you may be able to (politely) identify a gap in monetary value, thus allowing you to justify a raise in your hourly rate.
If you bill per project…
You can still leverage time-tracking data to your advantage if you charge per project.
But you’ll want to leverage that data in a different way than if you billed hourly. The goal is not to show speed. It’s to prove value. If a client underestimates the value of a specific project, you can use time-tracking data to show a client the number of hours it will take you to complete it.
For example, you can use a time-tracking report to show a client how many hours you spend on research, writing, editing, and proofing a landing page. Leveraging this data helps you to explain the cost of the project in clear, specific terms.
Time-tracking can also help you ensure that you don’t spend way more time than you originally estimated for a project. For example, if you estimated that a project would take you four hours to complete – and billed accordingly – you’ll want to make an effort to remain within that time frame. Otherwise, per-project work can turn quickly unprofitable.
Leveraging Your Data — For Full-Time Employees
If you’re a full-time employee, you may not pay as much attention to time tracking.
After all, you make the same amount of money every month, and in many companies – especially large corporations – time is not always carefully tracked and employees aren’t always held accountable.
Still, tracking and leveraging your time as a full-timer can become a valuable professional asset.
Leveraging your time-tracking data can be used for:
- Asking for a raise
- Asking for a promotion
- Offloading a responsibility that is sucking your time
- Asking for a shift in role or responsibility
- Increasing your productivity at work
Asking for a Raise or Promotion
If you’re already tracking your time as a full-time employee, we are impressed! Do you know who else might be impressed with this self-imposed initiative and organization? Your boss.If you’d like to ask for a raise or promotion, show upper-level management that you are a time-efficient, productive asset to the company Click To Tweet
If you’d like to ask for a raise or promotion, show upper-level management that you are a time-efficient, productive asset to the company, and that you’ve increased in speed over time.
Reframing Your Role or Responsibilities
It may be the case that you are frustrated with how you are compelled to spend your time at work. Maybe you were hired for a specific role, but have been given responsibilities that don’t align with this job title.
Time-tracking data can help you alleviate this potentially frustrating situation by giving you proof of this disparity.
Increasing Your Productivity
Finally, you may be able to complete your work more quickly and efficiently – and potentially cut down on your hours – by gaining more understanding of how you spend your time.
Track your time carefully for one week, and take a look at how you could be spending your time more wisely and productively.
Time-Tracking for Managing Personal Productivity and Burnout
For both freelancers and full-time employees, assessing your time-tracking data can help you manage your personal productivity and prevent burnout.
Take a good, hard look at how you’re spending your time: How much time are you spending on tasks that aren’t producing a lot of income or value? How much time are you spending on administrative tasks, such as sending emails, writing proposals, and maintaing your personal website? Are you factoring that into your rates (if you’re a freelancer)? What are your major “time-sinks”? Facebook? Twitter? Checking your email?
If you’re a freelancer or if you run your own business, time-tracking data may even help you to see that you may want to hire an additional employee, or outsource work to free you up for more valuable tasks and priorities.
Finally, time-tracking data can help you prevent burnout. If you’re exhausted, anxious, and overwhelmed by work – but you’re unable to realistically decrease your workload – you can use time-tracking data to help you cut out unnecessary tasks.
Or, you may realize that you’re spending less time than you could be on specific tasks or client work, in this way providing incentive to take on more work, expand your client base, and increase your working hours.
A Final Word on Time Tracking
Here at Timing, we are obviously huge advocates of the usefulness and value of tracking and leveraging your time. Gaining a clearer understanding of how you spend your time – and communicating that message to the people who pay you – can be a professional game-changer.
If you track your time, do not skip the important step of leveraging that data to your advantage, both to increase your earning potential and to help you craft a schedule (and life) that is happier and more productive.
Timing makes this process easy by automatically tracking and categorizing the time you spend on your computer, and organizing this information into clear reports. If you’d like to give it a try, click here for a free trial.