Three Easy Ways (and Why) to Track Income Producing Activities
Do You Get Distracted?
As a business owner, there are many distractions to draw attention away from income-producing activities (IPAs). The top distractions include
- Incessantly checking your email
- Wasting time on social media
- Searching for misplaced items or papers
If you spend the bulk of your day working on non-productive activities, you are not working on those things that increase your profits. You are actually wasting time and losing money. You might as well spend a day at the beach and get some sunshine.
One of the first steps to overcome this wasteful cycle is to track your time. The old adage is true: You can’t manage what you can’t measure. This alone will not help increase the bottom line. But it will help you see where your time is going so you can evaluate the needed changes to increase your income producing activities.
Time tracking is also important for another reason. If you are not keeping a close eye on the time you spend on a project, you may not be charging your clients enough money to cover your expenses. This is especially true for businesses like web design and digital marketing, where it is easy to get involved in a technical issue and lose track of time.
Here are three ways to measure time so you can make the necessary changes to increase your IPAs.
#1. Download a free time tracking app like Clockify.
Not only does Clockify track your time with clock watch like accuracy, but it is one of the simplest free tools on the market. With the click of a button, Clockify will measure how long you spend on any given activity. In addition, Clockify can measure billable hours. This is perfect if you are working in web design, like us, or another field where time is easily misplaced.
#2. Track your time using a spreadsheet like Excel.
As a business owner, you likely have a spreadsheet program that can track your hours. It may take a few minutes to set up a spreadsheet, but it will be worth the effort. When you begin tracking your time and see where you can make improvements in your IPAs, you’ll be thankful you took a few minutes to set it up. We here at Sugar Five lean pretty heavily on spreadsheets. Excel might be the 6th love language.
#3. Get a day planner calendar that blocks out 15-minute increments of time.
There is nothing wrong with doing things the old fashion way. When you begin a task, mark it on your calendar. When you finish that task or get interrupted, make a note. Remember, the goal here is not to track every minute of your day for the rest of your life. You are merely trying to recognize those areas in your schedule where you are losing money by not engaging in income-producing activities.
Once you begin tracking your time, you’ll be surprised where your time actually goes each day. But even better, you will learn where you need to make changes. And best yet, you’ll see how to make your profits grow. Or, you might be the unicorn who is over-productive and finds out they need to take a day off. Now, wouldn’t that be nice?
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