Admittedly, the concept of a tracker feels very “1984,” or Big Brother, if you will. In an age where a lot of us are already paranoid about how our online activities are being monitored, why would we want an extra pair of shackles, right?
Except that trackers weren’t designed to shackle us remote workers. Quite the opposite, actually. If you don't know what time trackers are, check this video for more:
That might be hard to believe, given how they keep tabs on your working hours and automatically take screenshots of your monitor every few minutes in some cases, but the tracker’s primary purpose is actually to free up more of your time and thus help you engage in more productive activities. Here’s how:
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Higher Accuracy for Estimating Your Profit Margins and Lead Times
The number one reason why telecommuters should use a tracker is that it can make or break your livelihood.
Working remotely makes it all too easy to switch between tasks or fall down rabbit holes in the midst of a project. Without a tracker, accurately estimating exactly how much it takes you to produce a certain kind of output is very difficult, and that can’t be good for anyone.
Inaccurate estimates can make you lose out on revenue or may put off clients who may feel like your services are overpriced, especially if you don’t have tangible proof of your actual working hours.
Granted, you’re not likely to come across exactly the same project or client twice in this business, but having an hours tracker makes it easier for you to see exactly how much time you spent on a similar project and then simply make the necessary adjustments from there.
Time is money to many a telecommuter. Since most of us aren’t paid a fixed monthly wage, non-billable hours, such as creating invoices and summarizing our work logs (or worse, following up clients who still haven’t paid), can cost us money we could have earned using those hours for profitable work.
Trackers greatly reduce your non-billable hours by taking care of chores like the ones mentioned above. (Save for the bit about chasing down delinquent payments. No one’s come up with a digital solution for that yet, I’m afraid).
So, instead of hunkering down to manually generate invoices for a couple of hours, you can use that time to market your skills further or close a deal with a potential client.
Faster Billing Process
Getting paid correctly and on time can do wonders for your sanity as a remote worker. This is why some trackers have automatic payroll features that invoice clients directly.
It should also be noted that trackers should be integrated with other useful financial management services to expedite billing and/or payment processes further. Coupled with PayStaff’s revolutionary remote payment platform, for instance, timely and accurate reports from trackers would result in timely and accurate compensation as well.
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More Time Spent in Deep Work.
“Deep work” refers to a state where you’re fully focused on your task and have managed to achieve a rhythm that lets you breeze through projects with ease. It’s very much doable, but having to deal with repeated interruptions and distractions can make it difficult to accomplish.
The best hour tracking apps run quietly in the background, unobtrusively gathering data on your productivity so you can focus on what you need to do rather than stopping every hour or so to track your progress.
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Better Time Management = Increased Productivity
The data provided by your hours tracker can be invaluable if you know how to use it.
For instance, it can enable you to analyze your time sheet for inefficiencies. Did you spend too much time doing research on a certain task? Were you derailed by a couple of distractions at some point during your workday? Which processes could use streamlining?
Furthermore, you can sync your tracker with your project management apps so you can see the task sheets, deadlines, and hours spent at each phase of the project in one place.