My favorite tool for time tracking is Toogl.com. It's free (there's a premium version) and its reporting function lets you analyze time thoroughly and download the reports either to a spreadsheet or as pdf files. I use it for billing, but I'm going to try it for your suggestion -- I think it'll work perfectly.
Submitted Sep 21, 2011 11:00 AM
Thanks for suggesting https://www.toggl.com/
Submitted Sep 21, 2011 11:52 AM
The book E-Myth Mastery explains this tool very well and it is working for me. Self discipline, as you correctly insist, is the key to making it work. Thank you for the great article.
Submitted Sep 21, 2011 4:11 PM
I use the Timer function in QuickBooks (my accounting software) to do this. It allows me to create my own categories and subcategories, so I've created e-Myth categories of Entrepreneurship, Management, Technical Work, and subcategories under each of these to describe the type of work.
You can also get standalone versions of the timer to distribute to everyone in your business. I import timer files so that I can invoice clients and pay an hourly employee, but it also shows me how long people work on specific tasks. That helps me to create more accurate estimates for new jobs and to see where we may need help.
It's not perfect - it's hard to convince people to track ALL their time, rather than just the billable hours - but I'll keep working on it.
Submitted Sep 21, 2011 4:46 PM
It's Toggl.com, in case anyone was having trouble.
Submitted Sep 21, 2011 8:33 PM
This is exactly the problem I've been thinking about - how did you read my mind?
I'm going to go back to basics and do a time log.
Thanks for the toggl recommendation.
Submitted Sep 22, 2011 3:39 AM
Submitted Sep 22, 2011 6:57 AM
For those who are already working in Microsoft Outlook:
I use a 2nd calendar (with 15 min scale) to track activities. I categorize activities with different colors for ‘Top priority’ (strategic work, etc.), ‘Should have been delegated’, and ‘Mandatory’ (only for things like eating and sleeping). I leave all other activities with default color.
Also, I created a task with reminder to log time. When it comes up, I log whatever I've done in the last half hour and snooze the reminder for a half hour.
It’s very sobering to look at a weekly view in Outlook and see very little of the ‘Top priority’ color on my calendar…
Note: change calendar minute scale by right clicking in calendar -> view settings-> other settings
Most time management programs tell us to ‘have disciple’. I’ve found that working on the inner game of how to create desire and disciple automatically is more important than tactical approaches to managing time. Just finished Anthony Robbins ‘Time of your life’ and was helpful. $60 on eBay.
Submitted Sep 22, 2011 4:59 PM
good iPhone app is Eternity time Log by Komorian
Submitted Sep 23, 2011 5:05 AM
Have been using Toggl for keeping a time log and it works perfectly.
Many thanks for the recommendation.
Submitted Sep 24, 2011 6:46 AM
Great article Larry. In business as in life many people want something for nothing and few are willing to commit to a disciplined practice. In business there is always a clamor for attention and it takes discipline to identify and keep focused until completion high value tasks. I have found this to be a continual challenge especially with all of the new digital distractions. Thank you for the insight especially on the hand-off techniques.
Submitted Sep 29, 2011 10:05 AM
yup, it all sounds good. I will let you know how I do
Submitted Oct 1, 2011 7:50 PM
Larry, As an Engineer, I am a control freak. Because I am now trying to work on my business not in it and not be in the office, it becomes very important to impress on my President and he his staff to prioritize .
Simple Formula for business: If you cannot measure it you cannot manage it
What you are saying brings that home.
Submitted Oct 19, 2011 9:22 PM