Why Using a Time-Tracker is a Game-changer for Freelancers

Time management can be tough when you are a freelancer. They say that time is money, and every minute wasted is every dollar wasted. Even when you’re working on something that you love, time can fly by and a client’s budget does not take into consideration your sunk cost. Luckily incorporating a time-tracker into your workflow can help you streamline your operations, freeing up more time for billable work. Here are three reasons why:

Using a time-tracker protects you from scope creep

In the midst of working, sometimes you find yourself allocating more time and resources to a project that is outside your original contract. Time trackers help you escape this scope creep by allowing you to take a step back and reprioritize tasks as necessary with your client. Since there is a clear record of your time, your client will be able to tell where time went and what needs to be added.

Getting into the habit of taking advantage of time tracking allows you to take control of your work and come up with the best quote to give to your clients. It can also be beneficial to look back at your previous projects to understand how much time needs to be allocated towards a task.

Taking advantage of time tracking allows you to take control of your work. Click To Tweet
In reality, freelancers are more likely to bear extra costs to keep clients and assure future business. This can be harmful if a certain task is taking up more billable hours than it should.
It’s important to use a time tracker to show your client where time is going and the advantages to finding a new process or hiring a support resource.

Where does the time go? With a time-tracker, you’ll know

When it’s almost midnight and you’ve been working on a project for the entire day, time trackers can give you a view of what specifically you did throughout that day. Once you pay close attention to how much time is spent on non-billable work, you can increase your productivity by reducing that and allocating your time wisely. Invoicing, drafting contracts, following up on late payments can help you automate your tedious, non-billable work.

As a general rule, most consultants spend 40-50 hours a week on a project. Around 5-10 hours will be spent on non-billable work, depending on the project and situation. The rest will go towards the execution of the task. Time tracking can help you create more accurate scopes of work moving forward because you will have the data to refer to that shows exactly how long things take.

Time tracking helps you create more accurate scopes of work moving forward. #productivitytips Click To Tweet

With a detailed tracking sheet, it’s easy to set a productivity goal and keep track of where you are. By breaking down how time is actually spent on your billable work, you can figure out how much you should charge your clients, and what you can do to increase your efficiency. Using a tracker is not only a great tool that bills your work, but also serves to be a profitability and personable accountability tool.

Time-tracking helps you know when you’re overdoing it

Time trackers can help you understand how much time you actually spend on a project. The reason why you might feel sluggish and run down is because you may have overdone yourself. When you review your hours at the end of the week, you’ll be able to have a better idea of your optimal workload.

Some people might be okay with logging 60 to 70 hours or more, but for most of us, seeing the total hours we put in might serve as a wake up call that we need to dial it back. Plus, time trackers serves to be your ultimate truth-teller. You’ll quickly realize that the project you thought was going to take the an hour, actually took twice as long.

Time trackers are the ultimate truth-teller with your #freelance work. Click To Tweet

Your time is always on top of your mind when you start a project. It governs how long your lunch break can be, or how early you should wake up in order to start your daily grind. But time trackers help you accomplish your goals productively, and work smarter.


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