Stay on top of your workload (and mental health) with a time tracker.

Ad hoc projects

Productivity often feels too much like a fleeting moment than a focused channel. It’s too tempting to open a new browser tab, check your phone, or (if you’re like me) pace madly around your desk in a reluctance to sit still. Capturing that moment of focus and stretching it as far as you can is the key to finding the productivity groove you’re seeking on a daily basis.

Easier said than done, right? Perhaps, but if you’re looking for something new to boost your output, tracking time on your day-to-day tasks comes with a bevy of benefits that will help you improve your work, and maybe even yourself!

To be clear — this article isn’t about how your organization or managerial oversight benefits from a time tracker. This article is all about YOU!

Time tracking gets you started

You’ve finally come to that one task on your to-do list that doesn’t inspire you, and the urge to pop open a new browser tab is rising. Don’t do it!

Instead, flip on your time tracker and give it a go. Just 5 minutes. I promise you’ll be glad you did; best case — you hit the zone and find that spark you were looking for, and worst case — you maybe make some headway, or at least figure out how not to approach the task the next time you sit down to do it. Time tracking apps to increase productivity such as Nifty log individual efforts on a task, so its no problem if you need to stop your timer and come back to your task in a new state of mind.

Time tracking sees things through

If you’ve built some steam on a task’s progress (for example, writing a time-tracking blog article) and are starting to lose momentum, knowing that you’re clocking your output helps you find the gusto to close out your efforts. This is particularly magical in the creative space, where the inclination to await “inspiration” is often used interchangeably with procrastination. Running a timer helps you close out your rough draft or design concept while you’re still in the same mindset.

You can use different types of timers, like script timers and other time-tracking tools, if you’re creating content like videos and blog posts.

In fact, I’m tracking this article’s rough draft as I write it, knowing full well that it will go through multiple rounds of revisions before publishing. Simply put, a time tracker can help you gut out the difficult part of a task and gets you to the refinement stage even sooner.

Time tracking helps you improve

Once you’ve gotten in the habit of tracking efforts, you’ll start to determine how long certain tasks tend to take you to complete. Not only does this help you improve your productivity (to be clear, the task timer isn’t as time trial, but efficiency is the holy grail of productivity), but understanding your output tendencies enables you to simplify your task management with wisdom and forethought.

And, if you’re struggling with mental health, keeping track of time can be an effective PTSD treatment. You’ll be able to see how you’ve grown and changed as you heal. Not only that but tracking time can show you that, despite the negative impact an event had on your life, it’s not interfering with your current life in a big way.

In a perfect scenario, you’ll be able to extend your now-elite self-management discipline to all facets of your life, not just your professional one, but let’s take this one step at a time, starting with the first task at hand.

Ready? Let’s get started.