Like many small businesses owners, Richard Taylor 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 finding out exactly how he spent his time.
“It’s critical for me to be able to see how much time went where, and being brutally honest, if I’ve wasted time.”
In client discussions he found it helpful to have a documented timeline of “what happened with whom and when”, allowing him to offer maximum transparency to customers.
Richard initially purchased a Timeular last year, but it was the Covid-19 outbreak that led him to take a closer look at his working patterns when he was forced to work from home. Facing the challenge of staying productive in a home environment made him understand the importance of time management. That’s when he became a full-time Timeular user.
“I wish I’d started earlier. 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 tries to plan his day in detail at “close of business” the previous day. He assigns Outlook slots to all the things he needs to get done and then works out his priorities. His clients are in many different time zones, and 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 that from about 5:30am when he starts work, he needs to reschedule a couple of tasks to fit his clients’ needs.
With the time he is saving each day he is able to assign time to practice mindfulness in the form of a forest trail run or a dog walk.
Furthermore, Richard is using the Outlook function to build automatic buffers into meetings and conference calls, helping him declutter and ensuring he doesn’t stay in front of the hardware for extended periods of time.
“Timeular is 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
Since using Timeular, Richard has also noticed a massive boost in terms of time accountability and effective transparency. It helps him optimise his invoicing cycle and gives him more confidence in the way he structures projects. His billing process now takes 30 minutes less per client – “ a huge productivity bonus that gives me time for more effective administration work!”. This also provides 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. 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 Taylor is the owner of Graphic Strategy, a technology and strategy consulting company.