#94: My Time Tracking Audit for Q1—I Need a Better Schedule

On today’s show, I’m doing an audit of my time tracking for the first quarter of the year. I used to do time tracking using pen and paper, mostly to keep me on task. That worked, but it didn’t allow me to easily track and analyze my data to improve areas of my freelance business.

I now use the Toggl app to track all of my work time. Today, I will talk about what I learned from time tracking the first quarter of 2021.

Time tracking and analyzing that data can help you figure out whether you’re pricing projects accurately and whether you should delegate or outsource parts of a project. If you track your time for a certain type of project, it can help you create a more accurate project rate for a similar type of project in the future. It can show me whether you underpriced a client and need to increase your rates for them the next time.

I worked, on average, 23 hours each week of 2021 so far, over about 4 ½ days a week. I’m definitely sitting at my desk more because I did not track my break time or social media time, which I plan to track in the second quarter.

That doesn’t sound like I work a lot, which is partly my goal. But I also struggle with the idea that I could do so much more, that I could make more money, that I could expand this podcast or other side projects.

Even though I’m a morning person and don’t do deep work in the afternoon, I also get really tired in the afternoon. I am not sleeping great and could possibly be dehydrated, so I’m going to work on those two things.

Plus, I would like to have a more regular schedule and have a bit more structure to my day.

Here’s what I want to do in quarter two to have a healthier day, feel less tired and create more of a structure:

Track my social media time.

Set a timer for 7 p.m. to remind me not to snack after that.

Set my light alarm for 6 a.m. and take advantage of my morning peak productivity time and energy.

Use a water reminder app to make sure I’m staying hydrated.

As for my client work, I learned a few good lessons from time tracking the first quarter. But, the results were mostly good news, confirming that I am charging appropriately. Listen to the episode for detailed information on a few projects, what I charged and what that earned me per hour of work.

Have you tried time tracking? If so, have you analyzed the data, which then helped you improve your business? I’d love to hear what lessons you have. I’d love to feature several of you on a future episode of Deliberate Freelancer! Email me at melanie@meledits.com.

Biz Bite: Find an expert.

The Bookshelf: “Writers & Lovers” by Lily King

Resources:

Subscribe to the new Deliberate Freelancer newsletter at MelEdits.com/newsletter.

Episode #5 of Deliberate Freelancer: Track Your Time for Better Efficiency

Episode #91 of Deliberate Freelancer: All Things Pricing: Project Rates, Day Rates, Retainers and More, with Jennifer Duann Fultz

From the Front Porch podcast—episode 11, Literary Therapy, Volume 6, mentions “Find an Expert”

Kendra Adachi and The Lazy Genius Way

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