The freelance lifestyle is an attractive one. But with all of the flexibility comes the reality that work might not always be as regular as we
They say that time is money, and as a freelancer, every minute wasted is income lost.
Especially when you’re working on something that you love, time can fly by and a client’s budget does not take into consideration your sunken costs.
Luckily, incorporating a time tracker into your workflow can help you streamline your operations, freeing up more time for billable work.
Here are four reasons why.
1. Using a time-tracker protects you from scope creep
Time trackers serve as your ultimate truth-teller. You’ll quickly realize that the project you thought was going to take an hour actually took twice as long.
It’s even better if you can discover this in the midst of working. If you find yourself allocating more time and resources to a project than what was allowed for in your original contract, you can take a step back and reprioritize tasks as necessary with your client. Time trackers can help you escape scope creep by giving you a clear record of your time, so you (and your client) will be able to see where the time went and what needs to be added to get the project completed.
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Related: The Benefits of Time Tracking
2. Time tracking helps you quote future jobs
Getting into the habit of taking advantage of time tracking allows you to realize how long your work usually takes and come up with the best quote to give to your clients in the proposal stage, so that scope creep doesn’t become an issue as often.
Many freelancers overestimate or underestimate how long a certain task takes, so having the data in front of you gives you the information you need to set prices that work for you.
3. Where does the time go? With a time-tracker, you’ll know
When it’s almost midnight and you’ve been working on a project for the entire day, time trackers can give you a view of what specifically you did throughout that day. If you pay close attention to how much time is spent on non-billable work, you can increase your productivity by automating, delegating, or eliminating those tasks. Using software like Fiverr Workspace that saves you time on invoicing, drafting contracts, and following up on late payments can help you automate your tedious, non-billable work.
With a detailed tracking sheet, it’s easy to set a productivity goal and keep track of where you are. By breaking down how time is actually spent on your billable work, you can figure out what you can do to increase your efficiency. So using a tracker is not only a great tool for billing your work, but also serves to be a profitability and personable accountability tool.
Read more: Common Time Tracking Pitfalls to Avoid
4. Discover your optimal workload
A third of remote workers say their top productivity blocker is having trouble shutting down at the end of a work day. An extra couple of hours each day might not seem like much, and you may not even notice the effect it’s having on your health and productivity.
But seeing the total hours we put in might serve as the wake-up call that we need to dial it back. It can give you a reason for why you’re feeling so sluggish and rundown.
When you review your hours at the end of the week, you can also see how much you actually got done—are you really getting more done by working more hours? Or are you getting slower with your tasks as you take on more stress?
You’ll be able to get a better idea of your optimal workload and your optimal work hours.
To learn more about the benefits of time tracking and other ways to run your business better, check out Fiverr Elevate – free courses to help you take your business to the next level.
Your time is always on top of your mind when you start a project. It governs how long your lunch break can be, or how early you should wake up in order to start your daily grind. But a time tracker helps you get the data on how you really work, so you accomplish your goals faster.