A few days ago, a friend asked, “what do you do at work” and I struggled to find a good answer. Perhaps, you have that challenge as well. On any given day I can be found doing a variety of tasks with my daily priorities are always changing. I remember when I first started working, I wished I had more work and responsibility because reading proposals and filing was monotonous. But no sooner did I ask for more work, I received it. And now I have more than enough to fill my day. I think I probably have enough to warrant an intern, but I’ll save that discussion for another time.
In between answering grantee phone calls, responding to emails, updating or creating website content, drafting grant agreements or even preparing for meetings I can easily forgot what some my priorities are. So, a few weeks ago I started to keep track of the amount time spent on each task. As you are probably guessing, it quickly became overwhelming. However, it made me extremely aware of how much time I was not using effectively. Even with a detailed weekly to do list, something always seemed to to be forgetten or responded to late. Do you know how much time I lost doing a simple Google search? I think I accidentally spent 30 minutes looking that piece of information. For that reason I was elated when I found an old post on Lifehacker called Five Best Time-Tracking Applications. The story gives details about 5 popular time-tracking applications that their readers use to help manage their time. Although the post is from 3 years ago, all the applications are still in existence and have positive user feedback. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find one that fits my needs and easily tracks my time with as little input from me.
What do you do to save time during your workday? Do you use time-tracking software or other techniques?