I’m always looking for new ways to improve, challenge myself and do something a little different. Lately I’ve been trying to get more done in less time….
Let’s face it we all only have 24hrs in a day and sometimes it’s hard to accomplish all your tasks on time. Little jobs can drag on and end up taking hours, if not days to complete. I know because I’ve fallen into this trap a few times, more than I’d like to admit.
No matter how much planning that goes into something the goal is never achieved in the given time frame. Something gets in the way, something goes wrong and that causes deadlines to be missed. Well that’s the excuse that I usually come up with but if I’m to be totally honest maybe the problem is not with the sudden interruption but rather with me and the how I work.
All the little breaks to check and respond to email, a glance at the latest sports headlines, and to quickly log into Facebook and see what’s been happening in the world in the 30 mins since you last looked! Laying the cards on the table these sorts of distractions can absolutely Kill your Productivity. Not only do they take away valuable time but they act as an annoying distraction to your brain just as it was about to enter “work mode” and start focusing in on productive tasks to complete.
I heard this kind of behavior referred to as “Lizard Brain” and is completely normal but if left unchecked you will quickly become a Busy Fool when you should be a Strategic Entrepreneur.
I know I’m not the only person dealing with this and so I was excited recently to be introduced to a fantastic little tool to help keep me focused and accountable as I work.
Lizard Brain please meet Time Doctor
Time Doctor is a simple little desktop app that monitors how you use your time. When started it asks you to input what task you will be working on, so now for instance I will say that I’m working on a new blog post. You then click “Go” and the software works away in the background keeping track of your time.
All sounds fairly good but how is this going to help me accomplish more in less time?
Well if you begin to stray and find yourself browsing around online the software notices this and you’ll get a little pop-up message asking you what are you working on and basically giving you a helpful little nudge to get back to work! Everything is consolidated and you can check your productivity by viewing reports in the members area of the site.
Beware this makes for some scary reading!
The first few days you try this software you’ll get a fright about how much wasted time you pack into each work day. For example the first day I used it I “worked” for around 7 hours but when I checked my reports it was easy to see that only 3 hours were spent on what I could call Productive Tasks i.e. those which directly make me money or push me closer to completing a goal.
This is very sobering and what you’ll find is that you start to focus more and use your time more wisely. This in turn leads to working more productive hours each day and allows you to get a lot more tasks completed in less time.
But don’t think Time Doctor ends there.
This tool is perfect for monitoring remote employees. Say for example you have a Virtual Assistant who works overseas…. You can add them to your account, get them to install and use Time Doctor and you can see exactly how they are spending their working hours. You’ll be surprised by how much this will increase their productivity and most will be quite happy to use it because they’ll be able to get their work done faster and keep themselves better organized.
There are many, many other features and benefits of the software but I’m relatively new to it and these have been my experiences with it so far. I’d highly recommend it if you feel you spend a lot of your time spinning your wheels, working hard at your computer but not seeing the results come in.
I’ve seen a significant improvement in my own performance and I know it will only get better as I get more used to the system and become more focused on my work. And believe me it’s a great feeling at the end of the week seeing how much you’ve accomplished in such a short period of time – it’s almost like magic!
But infact all you’re doing is managing your time more effectively to get better results and I for one think that’s a great thing!
So check out Time Doctor for yourself and let me know how many hours per day it saves you!
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