Stop throwing darts at a board when you need to estimate. Track your pace so you have the data to estimate a project with confidence. What you need to track and how to start, today, in my How To column at Copyediting.com.
Other Benefits of Timing Yourself
I like the point this post makes: that timing yourself helps you focus. This certainly works for me, and that is not why I started tracking my time; it’s a side benefit.
Using an app made a big difference for me, after 15 years of just jotting start and stop times on a spreadsheet.
- I don’t like hitting “stop”, so I now chunk my tasks and reduce the little interruptions.
- When I do have to accept an interruption, I don’t worry that I’m miscalculating time for either task.
That timer (app) showed me that “just answering this one email” takes FAR longer than I had been estimating. The same goes for the billable task itself: those ones that I get really into seem to take no time at all. But I was wrong; keeping records is how I know.
Freelancers can vastly improve their bottom line (and probably thus their job satisfaction) by looking at their business with a critical eye at least once a year. Collecting productivity data makes this possible.
In this series:
- The Art of the Upsell: using three-tier pricing to get happier clients and more income
- Stop Wasting Time On Estimates: How to give a ballpark estimate on the fly
- podcast (to come)
Photo by Shedrick Mask used under CC BY-ND 2.0 license.