Like many small businesses owners, Richard always found more things to do in any given time than he could necessarily manage. Even though he doesn’t bill by the hour, he was interested in how he spent his time.
“I don’t often invoice in direct time units. Nevertheless, it’s critical for me to be able to see how much time went where, and being brutally honest, if I’ve wasted time.”
Furthermore, he found that in client discussions it’s incredibly helpful to have a documented timeline of “what happened with whom and when”. This makes it possible to offer maximised transparency to the customers.
He bought Timeular last year but COVID19 led him to work more from home and really deal with time management. That’s why he became a full-time user in March.
“I wish I’d started earlier. Also I should have experimented with the app. In terms of usability, it’s so easy and quick to set up that I didn’t really need much in the way of guidance.”
Planned tasks vs reality check
Richard usually tries to plan his day in detail as the last “close of business” task the previous day. He assigns Outlook slots to all the things he needs to get done and then works out priorities. His clients are in many different time zones. He knows that when he shuts down in the evening, there will be a surge of late-night needs coming in from the US and also an early morning surge from Asia. This means from about 5:30 when he starts work, he will need to reschedule a couple of tasks to fit his clients’ needs.
He assigns an hour each day for mindfulness in the form of a forest trail run or a dog walk, although sometimes work timing makes that a challenge.
Furthermore, Richard is using the Outlook function to build automatic buffers into meetings and conference calls, which helps him declutter and ensures he doesn’t stay in front of the hardware for extended periods of time.
“Timeular is, however, a superb extension to this and also a reality check. I’ve subscribed to my Timeular feed in Outlook on all devices, so I have now my plan but also my reality, which not only helps me make sure I’m spending appropriate amounts of time on individual projects but also gives me a correlation of what needs to be done and what took up how much time.”
More accountability and transparency
Timeular gives Richard a massive boost in terms of time accountability and effective transparency. It helped him optimise his invoicing cycle and gave him a lot more confidence in the way he structures his projects. His billing process now takes 30 minutes less per client, “so that’s a huge productivity bonus and gives me time for more effective administration work!”. Furthermore, it gives his clients a better sense of deliverable timing.
“I’d often researched systems – I think I get on better with Timeular not only because of what it offers but also because it’s fun to work with. Of course, you could – as I have done – write a little database to do this, but the cross-platform functionality and having the physical octahedron makes tracking quick and easy. I had looked at alternatives and I’m very happy to have chosen this system.”
“Timeular protects time from its worst enemy in the shape of time-wasting and lack of focus.”
Richard is the owner of Graphic Strategy, a technology and strategy consulting company.