Learning how to track consulting hours efficiently is key for any consultant.
Whether you’re paid by the project or by the hour, if you’re not tracking time accurately, you’re probably losing money.
Putting an intelligent time tracking system in place helps ensure you don’t waste your time and energy and that you get properly compensated for your work.
Luckily, there are many time-tracking hacks and easy-to-use time tracking tools out there, including free time tracking software for consultants.
Here are our top five consultant time-tracking tips to get you started.
The key to a great time-tracking tool is visibility. Time-tracking software for consultants should simplify logging your time as well as checking in on team members and client projects.
Platforms like Toggl are a good starting point, but they don’t offer everything teams and collaborators really need.
Instead, we recommend looking for a robust project management solution with built-in time tracking, which can allow for easy automation and integration with other parts of your business.
Pro tip: With features like automated time tracking and integrated task management, PSOhub elevates how consultants track their time, manage projects, and bill clients. Plus, the PSOHub time tracker extension for Chrome allows consultants to track hours directly from their browser.
Whether you use Google, Outlook, or another calendar system, you should take advantage of it as a time-tracking tool. After all, entering hours once in your calendar and then again in a time-tracking app or spreadsheet is just duplicate data entry.
A time-tracking tool that integrates with your calendar can automatically track time for scheduled meetings.
Pro tip: Want to take full advantage of your calendar? Don’t just block off time for client meetings; include hours spent on items like project work and internal meetings. And always remember to include buffer time to switch between clients or tasks.
Setting boundaries and blocking off chunks of time on your calendar is crucial to consultant time tracking. It helps you prioritize and stay on task, as well as develop routines, like creating time blocks for email responses instead of checking them every time they ping.
Pro tip: Work smarter, not harder: Focus and flow come from eliminating multitasking, which is the true enemy of productivity. Instead, try monotasking, which is the practice of dedicating yourself to one task and minimizing potential interruptions.
Tracking your time is essential, but you should also explore how you’re utilizing your time so that you can find ways to improve.
Efficient time management is all about analyzing and refining your time-tracking practices.
Observe your time-tracking habits throughout the day. Are you more productive in the morning? Do you always procrastinate on certain tasks? Are you truly prioritizing the most crucial tasks? You may be surprised by what you find.
Pro tip: Some time tracking tools come with built-in analytics that can help you discover trends and patterns in your time logs.
You’re unique: A time-management strategy that works for say, Tim Ferriss, may not work for you. Luckily, there are countless time-management techniques out there to choose from.
There’s no right or wrong here; what matters is that it works for you and helps you get your work done with maximum efficiency.
Pro tip: One of the most popular time-management strategies is the Pomodoro Technique, which involves segmenting time into 20-minute blocks, followed by short and then, eventually, longer breaks. (Think: A HIIT workout for your brain.)
As Miles Davis once said, “Time isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing.”
So stop wasting time. Sign up for PSOHub today and become the most efficient consultant you can be.