Freelancers and solopreneurs paid hourly are responsible not only for delivering great products and services, they’re also on the hook for tracking their own time. There’s no manager double checking and no payroll department calculating their paychecks. Finding an easy, efficient way to track time is critical to being productive and billing correctly. Thankfully, there are apps that make this process much easier.
Productivity Challenge Timer
If you love breaks and thrive on the Pomodoro system of time management, the Productivity Challenge Timer is for you! It breaks your work sessions into smaller chunks of time and reminds you to take a 5-minute break every 20-minutes. It also cues you when the break is over and tracks total time on each project.
Currently only for Mac users, Hours offers a simple, visual timeline that clearly shows any dead spots in your schedule and allows you to create reminders and set rules about rounding partial time. It’s also easy to switch between projects and view total time spent for each one.
This one’s just for Android users at the moment. Timesheet does more than track your time on different projects. You can also break the time into daily, weekly, and monthly totals for each project or client. Even better, you can assign rates to each client or project so you can quickly and easily see how much money you’ve made.
If you’ve got contractors working for you, you may need to get an accurate picture of their time, too. With the right apps, tracking their time and paying them appropriately – even if they’re off site, is easy.
If you’re already using Quickbooks for your accounting system, their add-ons like TSheets and BillQuick integrate seamlessly. Employees and contractors can login from anywhere to enter their time and submit timesheets. And if you’re not sure their hours are accurate, you can use the GPS feature to locate them in a snap.
Get handle on your time management, and that of your contractors’, with some simple apps. You’ll be glad you did! And don’t forget, for more great tips like these, sign up for the newsletter!
How often do you feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day? If you’re like most busy professionals, probably more often than you’d like to admit. Lucky for you, there are some things you can do to get more done in less time and have more time to spend with those you love.
Track Your Time
For one week, write down everything you do. This includes scrolling through your social media feeds and bathroom breaks. It may seem a bit tedious, but by the end of the week you’ll have a good idea of where your time is being spent and changes you can make to maximize your productivity.
Get More Sleep
So often busy people stay up later and wake up earlier trying to “fit it all in.” The problem with this solution is that a tired brain is less efficient and that hurts your productivity. Instead, commit to getting a good night sleep. If you need 8 hours, get 8 hours. Your productivity will thank you.
This may seem like just another fad, but it’s not. Keeping a bullet journal is fast, but also helps you set goals and track your habits all at the same time. Similar to tracking your time, it shows you places you can improve and it also keeps you on track moving towards your goals.
Meditation isn’t just for people seeking enlightenment. It helps calm your mind and focus your attention – exactly what’s need to maximize productivity. You can spend less than 5-minutes a day meditating and reap amazing benefits. If you’ve never tried it before, here’s a place to start your meditation habit.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
Your time is a valuable resource and it’s up to you to protect it. When you’re asked to do something, ask yourself if it’s the best use of your time. If it’s not, say no. This may be hard at first, especially if you’re saying no to your boss or an authority figure, but if you do it professionally and explain you’re managing your time, it will usually be respected.
How you manage your time and run your day is a choice. It may not feel that way at times, but it is always a choice. Instead of starting off each day looking at your schedule trying to figure out how you’re going to fit it all in, take a few moments to prioritize and focus on those items that are most important.
Take Time for You
Extra time is great, but if you’re not using it to care for yourself, it’s not helping you have a more peaceful life. Commit to taking at least 30-minutes for yourself every day. Read a book. Have a cup of coffee and do a crossword puzzle. Anything you like! For 30-minutes. Your frame of mind and your productivity will thank you!
With these seven tips, you can maximize your productivity this year and get more done than you ever imagined. Want more great tips like this? Sign up for the newsletter!
Do you make a good salary, but still feel like you struggle to find money to pay the bills every month? Or maybe you run out and spend your paycheck the minute it hits your bank account – forgetting that you’ve already got bills and credit cards to pay. Oops! Money management sounds scary and many people are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. The good news is that with just a few simple skills, you can change the way you think about money and discover you have enough for everything you need, including saving.
Build an Emergency Fund
Let’s face it, emergencies happen. Instead of relying on credit cards or other debt in a crisis situation, build an emergency fund. Depending on your situation and lifestyle, it’s suggested you keep three to six months’ worth of expenses set aside. If you’re single or the sole provider for a family, six months is better. If you’re a two-income family, at least three months is recommended. More is always better, but these are good targets to get you started.
What do you want to do with your money? Buy a house? Go on a fabulous vacation? Retire? Keeping these goals in mind will impact how you allocate your fund each month and also help you talk with a financial planner about the best options for you.
Assess Where You’re At
How are you doing with those goals? What can you do to manage your money differently to help you get, and stay, on track with them? Consider working with a Certified Financial Planner or other money management professional to help you get organized and come up with an investment plan.
You need to know where your money is going every month. Keep track of what you’re spending. Look at what you can change to reduce expenses. After you’ve made some cuts, remember to pay yourself first. Determine how much you can and need to save each month and make that the first “bill” you pay each month.
Your savings account is a key component of money management, but it’s not going to be enough to help you retire. You’ll need to invest to get the return you need. Don’t let this stress out you! There are amazing financial planners out there. Ask for recommendations and take the time to speak with a few before deciding on one. They’re going to be in charge of handling your money. You need to be sure you trust them and they understand your goals and values.
With these simple steps, you’ll have a much better handle on your money – and it won’t take long!
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Maybe you already know this, but it turns out, many of those “time saving” innovations, like email and smart phones, are actually creating a culture where everything feels like a priority all the time. In today’s society, it can be easy lose control over your time, feel completely stressed out and miserable as a result, and feel powerless to do anything about it. Here’s the good news – YOU can take back control of your time. Here’s how.
Remember Your Time is Valuable
You’d never squander your hard-earned cash on something that wasn’t important. Treat your time the same way. If it’s not aligned with your goals, joys, etc. don’t spend your time on it. And while we’re on the topic of money and time, consider spending money to save time. If you’re spending far too much time on chores or errands, pay someone to do them for you.
Seize the Day
Literally. Get up and out of bed earlier. Even night owls can benefit from an extra half hour or hour in the morning. The earlier you get up and moving, the more you’ll get done before work starts and the less stressed you’ll feel.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
This goes back to your time being valuable. If someone wants your help or asks you to do something, it is okay to say no. Taking on something for someone else gives them control over your time. If you have time and you want to do it, fine, but if not, just say no. And don’t feel guilty.
Breaks make you more productive. For some people, the Pomodoro technique works well. Basically, you work on a task for 25 minutes and take a 3 - 5 minute break. You continue this cycle until either the task is done or you’ve done as much as you can stand.
It’s so easy to get distracted by smartphone pings or email and social media dings. Give yourself a break from all that noise and truly spend time in the moment with the ones you love, doing something you love. It helps your relationships and your state of mind.
Being Busy is Not the Same as Being Productive
Look at everything that feels like it must be done right now. How many of them are actually priorities? Often those errands, tasks, and events can wait. Slow down and focus on what really matters and clear the clutter of busy work.
By taking control of your time, you’ll discover you’re able to accomplish everything want, spend time with people you love, doing things you want to do, and have less stress. Start today!
Why January and not some other month of the year? Well, first, it’s the start of the year, so getting organized in January sets you up to create new organization habits and nurture them throughout the year. Also, the National Association of Productivity & Organization Professionals (NAPO) has declared January National Get Organized Month. As proud member of this organization, I’m pleased to provide you with my best blogs about organizing your time, digital space, and physical space to help you start this year off right.
Today’s society is fast paces and high stress. It often feels like there’s too much to do, too little time to do it in, and that whatever needs doing will never get done. The truth is, with proper time management strategies you can be more productive, less stressed, and have time to do all the things that really matter.
If you’re like most of us, you spend countless hours in front of digital devices. Your computer, laptop, smartphone, etc. have almost become an extension of your living and working spaces. When they’re disorganized, it adds to your stress, even if you don’t realize it. Fortunately, wrangling it back into submission just take a little time (see above to get a hold on that).
You’ve probably experienced this. You walk into your home or a specific room and feel stressed. Maybe you’re not sure why at first, but as you look around you realize it’s just a mess. There’s a pile of dishes in the sink and clutter piling up on tables. The closets are exploding and you can’t find your favorite shirt. Ugh! Now is the time to take your space back and enjoy living and working in it again.
With some small changes, you can make 2018 your most productive year yet! It’s all about getting organized and January is the perfect time to do it!