Learning to track my time

I am not a fan of time tracking, at least as I type these words, but have been reading a lot lately about how doing that can be quite the game changer for productivity and delivering good work.

My problem with time tracking stems from the idea of being a salaried employee - right I get 200 pennies per day no matter if I work 20 minutes or 20 hours, the same 200 pennies is the net result. There should be better measurement of how busy I am or how long things take since there is no incentive for me to enter my time.

What if there were an incentive? What if, I have no idea, for example it actually takes to mow the lawn. Sure I think it takes about 45 minutes and so I plan for it to take that long. Then, I imagine I can go out and cut the grass 1 hour before I need to do something else, leaving 15 minutes to get to the next thing.

If that thing is at another location, and I should not appear as if I have just cut the grass - likely the estimate of 45 minutes may be incorrect. Lets try again - I need to be presentable, and get across town for an event at 2pm. I should leave 30 minutes flight time to get there and 20 minutes to cleanup before I go. That is 50 minutes, cutting the grass has been estimated at 45 minutes, an hour and 35 minutes would be needed to get the grass cut, clean up, and get to the next event. While this is an estimate - it calls out at a high level why tracking time is a good idea.

Ouch. That hurts.

I know - the same 200 pennies gained per day no matter the work. The same amount of grass cut, no matter the time spent. But - maybe knowing where my time goes and how much of it actually goes to each thing will help me know just wht I can get done with the windows of time I have.

I am still new to tracking (and not completely complaining about it) and have much to learn. For now, when I think of it, I use toggl. For work, I log time in rally as reasonably as I can to ensure things are at least tracked at some level. I do not know if I will ever truly master the time tracking where it becomes so second nature that it feels strange to skip it - I really hope so. Because I might just be better at getting things done if I know just how much time I spend.

Here’s to hoping.

Written on March 1, 2020