There you are, sitting at your desk, facing the computer and trying hard to concentrate on your work. Then there comes a new e-mail or a colleague with something funny to share. The e-mail possibly needs to be read immediately. The colleague, at least out of common sense and courtesy, needs to be acknowledged. Suddenly you no longer have any idea about what you were doing before... Does it remind you of something? Do not worry, it happens to everyone! If you are too overwhelmed, most likely it will come back to you in a few seconds and, if you are lucky, not much time will be lost. It is not always the rule, unfortunately. For those cases in which you may feel you have to much to deal with, the following time tracking hints can help.
Before you turn on your computer, know what you are about to do
When you sit at your computer, know what you will do instead of adopting a "turn it on, and then we'll see" attitude. If you do not know in advance on what you will work, chances are you will be trapped by the loads of distractions technology has to offer. Soon you will be sharing your focus among several issues and what you were supposed to be doing becomes just one of them. A good way to deal with that is to determine a time you dedicate to reply mail, another when you will take care of your assigned jobs and one you will reward yourself with a time to relax.
How can time tracking can help you?
If you are starting a new project and do not know how much you need to allocate for it, try to estimate. It will help in further planning. So, when creating a new project in the Time Tracking app of your choice, set a timetable and proceed to record the time. Here we will use primaERP as an example. If you exceed your plan, you will see the amount of time used in red.
Get rid of distractions
If you work in a shared office or even in an open space, distractions will come every now and them. It is part of being in a team and should be nothing to stress about. However, there will be times you need to protect yourself from that. In those cases, it helps to let people know what you are dealing with. Of course you do not need to inform everyone about exactly what you are doing. It can be useful to let people know how busy you are and how much they should need your help before they interrupt you. One option is to determine a certain “do not disturb” period and inform your colleagues about it. If you do a wide range of activities and cannot know what you will be doing in advance, the next advice can help.
Fortunatelly, at primaERP everyone loves to listen to music while working. Each one with their own earphone, listening to whatever pleases them the most. We have therefore adopted this funny rule.
If a colleague has headphones over both ears, it means that we should not disturb him or her. If it covers only one ear, the person is fully available. :-)
Simplify and delegate
Especially if you hold a leadership position, never try to handle everything yourself. You will live in constant stress and tension, which certainly does not help with concentration. Before you do anything else, think whether there is someone in your team who could handle the job better and more efficiently than yourself at that moment. Do not be afraid to ask for help from your colleagues. If you have organized business processes clearly, everyone should know who is and who is not busy.
How can time tracking help you with this?
Each project can be assigned to a project manager who will be responsible for its fulfillment. Within the project it is possible to create sub tasks and assign them to individuals. Everything is then displayed in an easy to read team calendar.
Beware of multitasking
Check how many tabs you have open in your browser. See which of them are directly related to the task you are mainly supposed to deal with at that time. Should you be multitasking? Is it really necessary at that very moment? You may feel that you are able to handle everything and you possibly are. That will certainly slow down the process, though. With that comes stress, since most likely soon you will have a few unfinished tasks and all deadlines will start to pressure you at once. When possible, it is always better to concentrate on one thing and try to give it your best.
How can time tracking can help you?
It is no coincidence that primaERP can record time on one project at a time. Take advantage of it and deal with one activity at a time.