Why a time tracker is your secret weapon

I started using a Timesheet app again.

When I do my review of my private clients’ written work, I hit a button when I start and when I stop and I record exactly how much time it’s taking.


Because one of the most important decisions we make is how we use our time.

And in business, particularly if we are smart, and creative, and complicated, well, we aren’t always honest about how we spend our time.

And one of the easiest ways not, to be honest, is to simply be fuzzy and in the dark about how much time something takes.

I love reviewing my clients’ work. I love seeing them show up on the page. I love seeing where they drop in and really come alive, and where I can feel they are holding back or getting tangled up. I can drop into the Zone, where it’s me and their words and their essence and I’m following that path of how to make their work more clear and powerful, and true.

But no matter how much I love it, it’s still useful to know exactly how much time I’m spending.

Because the time I spend should have some relationship to how much I charge for that portion of the service.

Because that time spent is time NOT spent on another project.

And it’s my job as the boss of my business to direct that flow of time. To ensure that how I spend my time is in some kind of happy relationship with the impact I want to have on the world. With how much income I want to receive for what I bring forward.

How we dedicate our time shapes how we live our lives and how we grow our businesses.

When you dedicate time to the things that matter most, business or personal, your life flourishes.

And when your time fills with things that seem to matter in the moment, that are fun and interesting but keep you from the scary high dive into writing, or the courageous call to someone who could hire you, or the tricky time trying to sort out a new business model, it’s easy to get stressed, to feel simultaneously tired and unsatisfied.

This is one of those times I challenge myself to get honest.

To track how long things take. Not how long I think it takes. But how much time it actually takes.

So I can be sure this activity fits appropriately into the larger picture of the business I am trying to create.

In private practice, we love our clients. We want them to thrive. We want them to get everything we’ve promised and more.

And sometimes we do that by giving them more time, and more time, and more time. And then we wonder why we feel strained, overworked, and out of reach of our financial goals.

Don’t get me wrong. I love reviewing clients’ work. But I need to love it while also understanding exactly how much of my precious time I am dedicating to it.

One of my life mottos is: Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth. Especially to myself.

When we are precise about things, we have more power. When we are clear about what we are, and are not, doing, we can make different choices. We can be more true to what matters.

So where in your life do you need more precision?

Is there an activity in your business that you need to tell more truth about?

Something that might be grabbing time that is better dedicated to something else?

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