Take control of my time 🎧
Don’t let distractions get in the way. Use Timeular to minimize pesky procrastination and unimportant reactive tasks, and to get the data you need to make changes in your workplace.
What we’re interested in tracking for this outcome is a combination of what is causing you to feel like you’re not in control of your time and the features of those activities – things like how frequently they occur, what causes them, etc. but for now let’s focus on the what.
1) Select your activities to track
You’ll probably have a good enough idea of what’s occupying your time.
Pick the handful of activities that you spend the most time on or you know are sapping time, and forget the rest for now.
e.g. that could be:
- “Internal comms (Slack)”
- “External comms (Email)”
Or if it’s a specific client or project, you can be binary with it, e.g. “Acme Inc” and “Everything else”.
Applying the Pareto principle and focusing on the 20% of activities that take up 80% of your time is a good move.
2) Track and get the data you need
Start tracking straight away and make sure you capture distraction (be aware there’s a 1 minute minimum time entry limit).
The Timeular Tracker is great for remembering to collect granular data and fast-moving context switches.
3) Analyze and do what you need to do
The fun part comes once you’ve got the data and you can draw up an action plan for change.
If the change is within your control (muting notifications, putting phone out of reach, using a website blocker, etc) then make those changes and observe the impact.
If it’s a wider change that’s not easy to make, then check this guide out for what to do next.
4) Set a Goal for the change
Once you’ve got an action plan, go ahead and codify it in Timeular by setting it as a Goal – e.g. spending up to 30minutes per day on ‘Distractions’.
This is great for keeping you on track to action the change and not let things slip back to how they were.
Feel free to mix up the activities by introducing new ones if it makes sense. Everything’s changeable in Timeular.
How long should I track for? 🤔
Short answer – for as long as it’s needed to feel in control of your time.
It’s best to continue tracking until you meet your desired outcome and then pick the next outcome that makes sense for where you’re then at.
Our philosophy is that time tracking is much like staying fit – you may need a short bursts of high intensity exercise at times and at other times it’s a case of staying in shape with less intense but regular activity.
A lot of our users find a weekly cadence of 1) setting a tracking goal → 2) tracking it → 3) reviewing and identifying change → 1) setting a new goal (etc) to be a good rhythm.
So, look to the week ahead and then ask yourself the question again. Remember, it takes a few days to ingrain the habit of time tracking when you’re starting out.
Tips and final words of encouragement 🙌
- Start by figuring out what’s your most important time management problem that you’d like Timeular to help with (rather than just starting to track random activities).
- Don’t try to track every little thing, or be a hard-ass about stopping the clock when you go to the bathroom or get more coffee.
- It’s hard to track 100% of your time right away, start easy and track the big things first. Be easy on yourself if you missed little things.
- If you have a Timeular Tracker put it somewhere where you see it often – it’s a great physical reminder, e.g. below your monitor or next to your phone
- If you don’t have a Tracker put a Post-It or sticker near your monitor as a visual clue to track
- Adjust our reminders in the Settings > Reminders & Emails section, e.g. we have a start of day reminder, long time entries reminder aka. Pomodoro reminder, and many others that assist you in our daily workflows
- Get used using our CMD+E (Mac) or CTRL+E (Windows/Linux) Quicktrack shortcut to easily start and stop tracking out from any app
- Easily fill in gaps in your timesheet and edit wrong time entries with drag and drop functions
Need more help? Get in touch with us and we’ll be glad to help.
What do you want to achieve next?
- Build healthy time habits and find better work-life balance 🕔
- Improve my health and wellbeing 🧘
- Prove something I believe I already know🧑⚖️
- Achieve more and make more of an impact with my time 🎯
- Take control of my time 🎧
- Discover where my time goes 🤔
- Help manage ADHD or neurodevelopmental condition ⏱️
- Track time spent on specific projects or clients 🏷️
Go back to Guide: get started with time tracking.