The secret to time tracking without going insane!

Knowing how you spend your time is incredibly helpful, especially if you struggle with “time blindness” and even more so when you “feel” it takes far longer than it actually does.

There are lots of amazing tools out there, like Toggl Track, Clockify, and more, but they all have one small problem for me; they require my input and I have to interrupt my day by clicking a button (or hitting a shortcut) and although I can “make a new habit” I'd rather stack my habits rather than focus on “learning how to effectively click a button” each time…

I knew I would never do it… so I found a solution that worked for me.

Episode Link: {{d-episode-link}}

Share with Others: {{d-show-listen-link}}



Jonathan Stewart:

It feels like I'm spending all of my time. In these books. It takes. Uh, forever. I don't want to be doing this. I could be spending way more time doing things that are far better. Getting clients, bringing my message to the world. Instead I'm spending hours and hours setting up these books and filling in the numbers. This just takes. Forever. If you're anything like me and your struggle with things like timing and how much time things take it could be really easy to think something you don't enjoy doing takes forever. I can't stand doing the books. I can't stand copying and pasting the numbers from a spreadsheet into another spreadsheet. Spreadsheet work is boring. I have way more fun talking to amazing humans like the people listening to this however, it's something that needs to be done bookkeeping is one of those tasks that are integral to running a sustainable business. so I want to make it as easy as possible. And so I did. That's why I created this system to make it easy as possible for me to do the books and then move on. However there was one big problem still. It was taking me forever. Or so I thought Time blindness is something that I super struggle with. I cannot keep track of how long things actually take me and so I have been looking for a number of years to be able to actually track my time effectively, to being able to see how much time things actually take. It helps with invoicing and figuring how much to charge alongside a whole host of other things. But the software like toggle track and other apps of that sort involve some form of input. I've got to remember to press the button and then press the button again to stop and start. And that's fine for stuff. I really enjoy. To start it, but when it comes to stopping it and I'm enjoying stuff and I'm taking the time and stuff comes up in the day and I have to step away for my kids and lots of different little pieces happen, it becomes really bloody difficult and gets harder for me to remember to turn it off and on and then I just get frustrated because I forgot to turn it off or I forgot to turn it on, then I'm back to guessing. and it is just annoying. It was frustrating and this is something that I've heard from a lot of clients who are experiencing the same thing. And what I see is people go, well, you just need to practice. You just need to build a new habit and get used to it and remind yourself and do this and do that. You need to improve yourself to do that, which is fine to a certain degree, but the problem is I have a very limited amount of time and of all the habits that I want to build being able to turn on and off a button. Honestly. Isn't one that I'm interested in building and motivation plays a big part in habit building. And i don't have the greatest motivation for something like pressing on and off on a timer What I really needed wasn't to build a habit it was to find something that fit me. And the reality of what i wanted to achieve especially when it came to the books. I know that bookkeeping is important. As a business owner, being able to see what your money is doing, that's important and integral to running a sustainable business. However. I for some reason, kept getting blocked and just found it really hard work and yes, there will be a time to hustle, but for me, I was not interested in hustling. I wanted to get what I needed to get done. Done. There was always stuff you're going to hate doing and find it boring and dull. But knowing how little time it actually takes is one of those final things that stops me from getting stuck. If I know it's only going to take me say half an hour, when really, I thought it took three then I'm going to take away that final block in starting and get on with it. What I needed was a solution that did it all for me so that I could actually see how much time I was spending without having to spend time figuring out how much time. I was spending. And thankfully I managed to find a solution that worked for me. There are a number of different platforms that do something similar even toggle track has their own time tracking automatic thing, but I never found it worked enough for me. So I stopped using toggle track and I started looking around for other solutions. One of the solutions I found was timing, which is a fantastic tool and it does do some auto tracking for you, but you've got to set up projects and have it all set up as part of a project. And. And a task and it was a little bit more than I wanted. What I wanted was something that was completely and utterly invisible. What I meant by invisible. I don't have to touch it. I can just go in, see how much time I'm spending doing something. And then get out. I don't want to think about what I'm doing. I just want to focus on the task at hand. And thankfully I found a solution that fit me. Rise. Rise is a time-tracking tool with a slight difference. It does it all for me, it pre categorizes everything, and it has a very nice, minimal and attractive dashboard that does it for me. I have a little timer in the bottom right-hand corner. As I'm recording this it's actually going up, but it says I have been working for a one hour and 26 minutes, 18% of the day has gone. And it has been an hour and 12 minutes since my last break. All of that is shown in a tiny little screen. And that for me is delightful. Another thing with my time tracking is when I get started on work. I don't stop. I often can completely forget the day and just hyper-focus for those neurodivergent individuals you'll know exactly what that feels like. Either you will hyperfocus or hyper not. And for me, the 45 minute reminder that I have set myself, allows me to see when I haven't had a break. Now, will I always listen to the 45 minute reminder to take a break? No, of course not. But it's that. And it helps me to really see, and that's how I found out that actually I don't take three, four hours to do my books. It's about an hour and 45 minutes. In the world of business, there are those who love tech and those who really don't. The people who love tech are always talking about the solutions that fit them without sharing the context behind it. And what led to those decisions as part of this new section on the podcast, I'm going to be talking. About why the tools I choose fit the way I work, but I don't want to just hear from me. If you are running a business and you have a tool that is helping you. I invite you to reach out to me. There will be a link in the description of this podcast where you can have a chat with me, and we can have a talk about the context around the tools that you use. Because outsourcing the way that you work to other people without context. Is how tools become more than a pain. They become a hindrance. And instead of talking about habits that we need to build or things we need to fix about ourselves. I want to extend the conversation to. Why the tools work for you. And so that people, if you're listening. And your audience and people around you who can hear you talking about why you use their tools. And they'll have a better idea of like, oh, that's definitely not for me. I can't use the tool like that. I need a tool that does this. So, if you're interested in coming on and talking about a piece of software that you use, that you have in your business, that is. Absolutely life changing and you want to share the context around it and how it helps you. To help your clients, or you do the best of your work. Reach out to me in the link below. I look forward to chatting to you. About the tools. That work for you don't try to force yourself to use a tool just because it's popular or recommended or everybody else is using it, or your best business buddy is using it. It's about finding what works for you. If you are someone who is really happy to learn, how to build a habit around pressing buttons and likes that feeling, that tactile feeling of pressing buttons feels good for you. Then I don't know whether rise would be a good solution. But for me, what I needed was something that was just not in my way, that just allowed me to get what I needed. There are so many tools online that you can find that probably no one has ever seen before. And there is ones that suit you and fit your needs.

Got An Impossible Problem?