Time tracking proved the perfect antidote for a freelance illustrator seeking to calm his perfectionist mind.

Using time tracking software can help calm your perfectionist mind

Markus Querengässer is a freelance graphic recorder, designer, trainer and founder of I-Have-A-Team. A self-styled perfectionist, Markus felt he spent too little time on his projects and wasn’t reaching peak productivity.

Using time tracking software had always seemed a laborious undertaking. It was during a training session that one of his participants recommended Timeular as tool that was helping them manage time more effectively. “This sparked my interest” Markus recalls. He was soon using Timeular and went on to create the illustrations for our hugely popular Productivity Masterminds podcast series.

Setting up the Tracker

Before customizing his Tracker, Markus looked at the various projects he regularly worked to identify his most common tasks. He identified these as VIP projects, customer projects, conceptualising/ideation, website design, phone calls/social media, surfing the internet, emails, relaxation, other.

“I chose these topics by identifying my primary daily work tasks. I really wanted to better understand my total working hours, billable time, distracting activities and time for recharging my batteries.”

One of the greatest benefits that Markus has experienced since using Timeular’s time tracking software has been the improvement in his billing accuracy. The weekly target option in the app allows him to define a time target for a project and then track towards it.

Calming the perfectionist mind

Tracking time has also helped Markus develop a better understanding of his working patterns, with the analytics in the app showing how much time he spends on activities vs his own, subjective view. “I can say ‘I spent a lot of time on certain things and I did the best I could with this time.’ This gives a feeling of relief to my perfectionist mind.”

Time tracking has also closed the gap between “hours sold” and “hours spent”. Earlier this year, Markus quoted 11 billed days for moderating a workshop session. During the negotiation with his client, he accepted 8 billed days. “What else shall I do in an economic downturn with less demand than usual?”, he thought. After tracking the project beginning-to-end, he realized that he had in fact spent 18 days in total on the project – 7 days more than he initially thought and 10 days more than he got paid for. This represented a significant loss of earnings. “This experience has fuelled my awareness of my own value and given me the confidence to negotiate bolder in future contracts.”

Reflecting on time together

Markus has also found personal benefit in discussing his time tracking efforts with a friend once in a while.

“My perfectionist mind was really thankful when getting feedback. It made me aware of how much I actually achieve with my time.”

Timeular is now a central part of his daily routine. “At first glance the price of Timeular may appear quite high, but I am convinced that the benefit is much higher. It helps you to act more responsibly and untangle yourself from the distractions of these uncertain times.”

Markus Querengässer works as a Freelance Graphic Recorder, Designer and Trainer at I-HAVE-A-TEAM.de where he helps people to embrace change through illustrations, visual accompaniment and memorable interactions.

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