This post will be a little different and will be anecdotal. For the past several years I have always been all about tracking every single activity. I have broken this down to over 200 different activities. It has gotten to the point where the tracking itself and even the reports have become more cumbersome than useful. I believed it was excellent for a season and makes a wonderful experiment to get an accounting for nearly every single minute of the day, week, month, and year. I would still recommend you do this if this the what you want to do. Remember that whatever system that works for you is the one that you use and definitely that this system will change from time to time. I am going in a different direction and ditching the extremely detailed time tracking that I have been doing. I will still be tracking my time, but it will be different and is using a different app. For over three years I have used aTimeLogger/TimeTrack iO to track everything, which was a manual process. Prior to that I was using Excel, which was even more manual. I have recently came across an app that tracks time more autonomously. This app, Smarter Time will still require manual entry and editing, but far less than everything I have used before.
This is still a shout out for TimeTrack iO/aTimeLogger and I will still recommend them as they are excellent tools and will only get better. Hey, Excel or pen and paper is great if that works for you.
Here are reasons why I would recommend anyone to switch time tracking methods, in this case from more detailed to less.
To save time! TimeTracking takes time. What better place to talk about saving time than a blog like this. While I still say it’s a worthy investment to track your time, if you find a way for it to take less time, go ahead with it.
The new system provides better data. If your old system became so complicated that the data isn’t useful anymore because there is just one much, then it is time to simplify. You will then be able to get more relevant data.
If you find your old method to be stale or a chore. Since tracking your time is optional, there is no need for it to become a chore for you. Whenever it does, then there is an adjustment needed so that it is enjoyable.
Your life significantly changes. I could imagine that there could be times and circumstances where tracking your time is not beneficial. While I don’t think that would ever be me, but maybe you don’t have a need or any desire to track your time and if you don’t see a need, don’t do something you don’t want to be doing. It may also be beneficial to take a break also, or only track a few items.
Everyone is different and the system needs to work for you. I will always recommend tracking your time, have a time budget and follow it or time goals, and whatever you use to be most effective in your life and to make the time for your purpose. Please let me know your thoughts and what time tracking strategies that you use if you use any at all.