As a manager, it can be tough to balance how you allocate the time of your team. We often hear the saying “Time is Gold,” yet we don’t always prioritize our time as we should. It’s important to consider how we can make the most of our time and use it wisely to benefit both our organization and us. If we possessed only a small piece of gold, we would dedicate our attention and effort to safeguarding it, ensuring that it is not lost. However, do we demonstrate the same level of concern for our time, which holds even greater value than that piece of gold?
It’s worth considering why some companies place more importance on managing costs than managing time. Although many companies have accounting software and hire skilled accountants to manage costs, few have similar resources to track their time. It may be wise for companies to begin prioritizing time management with the same level of attention as cost management.
Time management or time recording in project management is a particularly controversial topic. This is not only about recording working time but also about recording or measuring times for specific tasks!
The advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages – if implemented correctly. Thus, companies, as well as employees, have a clear benefit. It must be assumed that time recording is not used for control purposes. It serves the sole purpose of process improvement, learning from reflected experience. It is important, for example, to realistically record the time (effort) required to complete an activity:
- Employees are usually assigned to several projects – This requires a realistic estimate of working time.
- Work on a fee basis, services, etc. – inaccurate efforts can only be further calculated inaccurately.
- New projects or operations offers require precise effort estimation – otherwise, the basis is not valid.
- If the effort estimate is realistic, the actual costs can be calculated or further calculated.
- The quality of staff planning increases – overplanning becomes rarer and rarer (with increasing experience), overloads are reduced, and “invisible” efforts become “transparent.”
- AI can evaluate the experience and make predictions for future developments – provided the initial values are consistent.
- From a strategic point of view, it can be answered whether an investment has paid off.
However, all this presupposes that there is a basis of trust in cooperation.
Under these aspects, time tracking can be understood as an instrument that improves the use of resources in the medium term and identifies inefficient projects. However, there are always challenges to overcome in achieving what we desire:
Time’s Hidden Currency: Unraveling the Fish’s Lesson
Never does a fish anticipate experiencing a scarcity of water one day. (If you’re wondering how I know about a fish’s feelings, I admit I wonder too!) Humans are immersed in time, just as fish are immersed in water. In fact, when a person’s most precious possession is their time, the abundance of time surrounding us often leads us to treat it as invaluable. The more accessible it is, the more we tend to disregard its worth. Why should we bother accounting for it when we have plenty of time?
Navigating Time Measurement and Organizational Resistance: Autonomy and Accountability
Order is a desirable quality, and anything worthwhile is often hard to attain. When it comes to measuring the time spent by employees, numerous reasons arise for their resistance, resulting in countless real or fake excuses. However, the complexity of accurately measuring employee time is the sole valid reason to accept their excuse.
Another topic to consider is the contrast between supervision and independence. It is a common misconception that submitting a detailed timesheet of one’s performance may result in unwanted intervention and compromise personal independence. However, in a work performance report, the initial step involves individuals assessing and providing self-feedback, regardless of the potential consequences such as disciplinary action or recognition in subsequent stages. Independence relies on personal strengths and being aware of both weaknesses and strengths. Feedback plays a vital role in fostering self-awareness.
Time’s Paradox in Managerial Performance: Beyond Clocks and Constraints
Indeed, the value of time is undeniable. However, when it comes to managerial roles, assessing individuals’ performance solely based on the quantity of work accomplished within a limited timeframe is insufficient. Consider the scenario where a manager successfully negotiates a deal, resulting in substantial profits for the company within just a couple of hours. Conversely, a single mistake with a customer could swiftly dismantle a relationship built over decades. In such instances, I would prefer the manager to waste a thousand hours and, instead, avoid critical errors. While it may be argued that a manager with excellent networking and negotiation skills could ignore time report writing tasks, I believe that each aspect has its rightful place. Measuring performance in diverse dimensions necessitates different tools. Why should we allow our competent managers to waste time, even when their performance is commendable?
To share a personal experience, I can say that wasting time is one of the factors that lead human beings towards mediocrity. When you do not take responsibility for your time and life, you become one of the millions of lost souls in the hustle and bustle of life. This lost individual gradually loses their impact, becomes a fossil, and no longer grows. No healthy organization wants its manager to remain stagnant. Again, it’s about personal growth that leads to organizational growth. An influential manager who values learning and understanding strives to cultivate these qualities within their organization, even though it may require significant effort and challenges. However, a manager who is trapped in time and daily issues, doesn’t need to do anything for their organization to gradually collapse from within. Just by neglecting their organization and not trying to keep it refreshed, the organization crumbles on its own. First in terms of learning and vitality and then ethically, and finally financially and functional.
In this piece of writing, I’ve tried to say that order is good and important. Organization and Project time management is crucial, and with this management and proper time accounting for tasks, organizations and individuals can prosper! Or, to speak more honestly, they can take steps toward personal and organizational prosperity. A good tool for having such an organization life is using an online time tracking system such as TaskBrowse. Would you like to know what benefits you can expect from TaskBrowse, an effective time-tracking system? Here are some of its features:
- Automated and continuous recording of working hours
- Tracking of time worked from home and while traveling (for consultants, field staff, craftsmen, project staff, etc.)
- Uncovering hidden efforts such as endless discussions and coordination, telephone and written communication
- Providing proof of actual hours worked
- Live recording of time or via stopwatch, with time being directly booked to the task
- Enabling easy plan-actual comparison.
So, let’s try TaskBrowse. It is free to try!