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Track your time to get more done

Do you think you don't have enough time to do all the tasks you need to do each day?
By Paula Rizzo |

 

From CEOs to janitors, we all have the same problem: We don’t have enough time.

 

As entrepreneurs getting the most out of our time is crucial. Everyone knows what tasks they need to do in a day, but do you know how long each of those tasks will take? Down to the second?

 

When doing daily tasks, the first thing you need to do is figure out how long each task takes. I mean how long it actually takes, not just how long you THINK it takes. Some tasks to consider include answering emails, how long it takes to debrief your team, and your commute.

 

Related: Become a productivity monster by eliminating these 5 time-wasting habits

 

Here are some ways to track your time:

 

Toggl: A Website and app that lets you track how long your tasks take.  So those reports that will “only take a minute” can actually be counted in real time.  This is also a good way for your freelancers to log their time as well.  That way they know how long it takes to finish projects, and you can see how much you owe them if you pay by the hour.

 

Rescue Time: A Web-based service similar to Toggl but also allows you to set limits on how long you check emails or update Facebook. This helps keep you from getting distracted while you’re supposed to be logging your time.

 

Once you know how long each task takes, you need to organize your time. 

 

Here’s how to do it:

 

Prioritize. 

It’s pretty obvious that an important report takes precedence over replenishing your stationery supplies but take some time to think about each task. Sometimes you forget about a small thing, which can have a much bigger effect on everything else. Plus think about where you can lump similar tasks together. For example, if you have a task that uses the same program, putting them together saves on going back and forth.

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Related: How to manage time with 10 tips that work

 

 

Use the Pomodoro technique.

The idea behind Pomodoro (which means tomato in Italian) is that you have 25 minutes to work on a certain task.  You are supposed to stop the clock if you drift. It’s a good way to train yourself to learn what 25 minutes of working feels like. Then you can take a short break (five minutes) or a long break (15 minutes). This strategy keeps you on task but also allows you to refresh your mind.

 

Reward yourself.

If you stick to your schedule, treat yourself to something you enjoy like listening your favorite song or reading a chapter of a good book. Just don't go overboard and derail your day.

 

Related: 7 steps for successfully running your day as an entrepreneur

 

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Copyright © 2015 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
This article also appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editor.

 

Photos from Flickr (Gavin Hoey and Jimmy Ngo)

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