Career Management: Maintain a Time Tracking Record in Order to Stay Organised as an Employee or Freelancer
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You have to learn how to manage your time and tasks responsibly whether you work as an employee or as a freelancer. You need to keep track of time spent on certain tasks each day for your employer or client. This is useful to verify the progress that you are making on your projects. It can also pinpoint any difficulties that you are having which require more information or resources. In addition, you could identify tasks that you are very talented or skilled at completing.
First, you will need a Word or Excel Time Tracking template. Then you will need to add relevant information for yourself and your employer or client. Ensure that the template has columns for the date, hours, time and task. You will need to have a total field that sums up all the hours worked per week. Templates can be downloaded from Microsoft Office at http://office.microsoft.com/en-001/templates/. In addition, most Office suites already come preloaded with templates, so you could check those to determine whether they suit your needs.
One advantage of keeping track of work done for each project is that it makes it easier to determine how much progress you have made. You can easily identify your milestone tasks and compare them to your expected project schedule or Gantt chart. Then you can communicate with your team or client each week to determine if tasks should be added, removed or modified for future work.
The second advantage is that you are able to pinpoint problem areas. These would be tasks that you spend an incredible amount of time on in a specific day or have to repeatedly tackle over weeks or months. You need to determine if you have all the information you need to complete the tasks correctly or if you need to ask your supervisor or clients for more information. It might also be that you need to strengthen your skills and experience in that area. Maybe you have to ask a team member or another freelancer for assistance in order to defeat that hurdle. Make sure to ask for guidelines and tips on how to tackle similar problems in the future too.
The third advantage is that you will be able to identify tasks that are easy for you to complete. The task could be easy because of the area that it covers. On the other hand, it might also indicate great talents and skills that you have in those areas which allow you to complete the work quickly and efficiently. Add those tasks, talents and skills to your strengths and use them to showcase your expertise in the future.
Using a time tracking sheet to track your daily tasks is very beneficial to your job or freelance work. Be better prepared for future projects by using the lessons learnt from your previous time tracking records.
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