Friday, 3 February 2012

keeping track of time: working vs interruptions

The type of work undertaken at The BPc falls into two main categories:

  • website creation for an agreed fixed fee 
  • optimisation / link building for a set number of hours per client per month

In a small office with limited resources, there are a number of interruptions during any period and an accurate record needs to be kept of how much chargeable time has been spent on working for each client.

Various methods were tried, from paper-based worksheets to spreadsheets but what was needed was a simple start-stop stopwatch that could be operated with a single click.

There are free downloads, simple to install, that enable a semi-transparent box to reside 'always on top' in the bottom right of the computer screen (or bottom-left for left-handed mouse users); click to start the time, click to pause, whenever necessary. A reset button sets the stopwatch to zero so that the next project can be timed.

It is also possible to work with more than one stopwatch, in case the interruption results in you switching to another project (suggestion: set the boxes to different background colours).

This method of keeping track of actual time spent per project has resulted in regaining valuable minutes that used to be wasted each working day, locating the time sheet, typing in numbers, etc., making for a calmer environment.