3 ways to use time to work smarter

Have you ever lost track of time? Typically we think of this is a good thing. Time is often used as a barometer to measure how much we enjoy what we’re doing: if time flies we’re having fun and if it drags we dislike the task at hand.

That may or may not be right, but in order to truly manage time we have to be aware of it. If you subscribe to my newsletter, Switching Gears, you’ll read all about how effective you can be when you time your tasks.

In fact, I’m timing the writing of this blog right now. I’ve given myself a set time limit … I’ll let you know how I do.

So here are three ways a timer will help you work smarter:

  1. Timing your tasks may actually help you get them done faster. If you impose a time deadline on the task at hand and set your timer as your aid, you’ll be surprised at how much more focused and efficiently you can work. Nothing gets the adrenalin going faster than seeing that timer countdown to 0.
  2. Track the time you spend on client work. If you’ve budget a set number of hours to work on a project, and quoted the client accordingly, you’ll want to make sure you stay on track. Keeping that timer ticking as you work, will help you stay true to the hours you’ve budgeted. Remember, time is money.
  3. Schedule breaks. How many times have you spent an entire morning working at your computer without taking a break? We all know this isn’t a good thing, for our bodies and our minds. The timer will serve as a reminder that it’s time to take a break from the computer. When that timer goes off, you know it’s time to get up and walk around. Stretch, get a drink or go outside for some fresh air. Whatever you choose to do, it will refresh you before you start the next task on your list. A fresh mind is a more productive mind.

There are many timers on the market. You’ll be surprised at how they can help you stay focused and on track.

(By the way, I finished this blog with 8 minutes to spare. A record for me!)

How do you monitor the time you spend on tasks? Join the conversation and leave your feedback in the comments box below.

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