Staying focused is crucial for higher productivity. However, many forces exist that challenge our ability to concentrate on essential tasks. External distractions, tendency to procrastinate, lack of motivation and poor work management — all these things frequently interfere with our performance. Thus, if you want your team to be more efficient and focused, you must address the factors that make them be otherwise.
Modern hour tracking tools offer plenty of practical features aimed to promote productivity among employees. In this article, we reviewed the varying ways in which an intelligent time tracker, such as actiTIME, can help your team become more focused on their daily work activities.
Time Tracking Promotes Employee Accountability
Every self-responsible individual is internally motivated to act their best, both in personal life and at work. But even the most self-accountable of us feel disengaged once in a while. In this case, external motivation techniques are in handy.
By encouraging your team members to track their working hours regularly, you express the desire to stay aware of how much time they spend on tasks.
Time tracking is one of these techniques. Daily timesheet completion fosters higher employee accountability. By encouraging your team members to track their working hours regularly, you express the desire to stay aware of how much time they spend on tasks. This helps them develop a sense of responsibility for everything accomplished throughout the day. Knowing that their timesheets are always available for review and evaluation by a manager, employees will have a lower tendency to slack on their jobs and waste working time on insignificant matters.
However, it’s critical to be cautious with the degree of control you want to impose on your team. While some time tracking tools allow managers to oversee every move their staff members make online, constant surveillance is usually perceived negatively and may lead to counterproductive results.
Note that the level of employee trust is directly linked to workplace productivity. Therefore, such non-intrusive solutions for manual time tracking like actiTIME are a better option if you value employees’ autonomy and seek to maintain positive relationships with them.
Work Planning and Estimate Tracking Help Fight Procrastination
Humans are prone to procrastinate, and there’s a high chance that some of your team members often feel inclined to postpone tedious work and enjoy some relaxing time instead. To deal with this inclination effectively, managers should understand the nature of procrastination well.
Charlotte Liebermann noted in her article for The New York Times that we procrastinate not because we’re flawed or don’t know how to manage time but because some of our duties and to-dos induce the emotions of boredom, anxiety and even self-doubt. It also seems like we usually delegate those tasks to our future selves that aren’t important or urgent enough.
The creator of Instant Gratification Monkey and Panic Monster, Tim Urban, once validly said that a chronic procrastinator starts doing important tasks merely when they go “from urgent to appallingly dire.” Still, the techniques aimed to develop a sense of urgency are, in fact, enough to get rid of procrastination for many people. And since we tend to avoid overly complicated and burdensome tasks, managers can better engage their team in work by breaking down large and complex assignments into smaller, more manageable pieces.
A time tracker can help you with that in case it includes the following two features:
- Deadline and estimate tracking — Most of employees are naturally motivated to accomplish tasks by the deadline because it either feels like an achievement or allows avoiding manager disapproval. Thus, be sure to show your team members when different pieces of work must be completed and provide them with the right instruments to track progress. In actiTIME, for instance, it is possible to indicate deadlines and estimates for tasks. You can also configure the tool to send automatic notifications to relevant users whenever the risk of schedule overrun arises.
- Task and project management — Some of the most advanced time trackers contain project management functionality that lets users plan the work scope and allocate duties to appropriate team members. Let’s assume actiTIME again. The app allows for adding as many small tasks to your projects as you wish and then distributing them among your team members. Afterward, you can monitor task progress and compare the total number of working hours tracked against original task estimates on the Kanban board.
These features support more efficient workload management and promote the sense of urgency provided that you set realistic but not too distant deadlines. If applied wisely, they can help you lessen employees’ desire to procrastinate.
In-depth Data Analysis Fosters a Long-term Productivity Boost
A clear understanding of how everyone uses their time is a major prerequisite for getting a long-term productivity boost in your team. The analysis of time tracking data assists in identifying any delays or interruptions in work processes. With this data, you can detect performance areas that require improvement and, after evaluating the overall workplace situation and talking to your employees, make further conclusions of why productivity loss occurs.
The analysis of time tracking data assists in identifying any delays or interruptions in work processes.
Software functionality that is particularly valuable in this case is reporting. Different apps offer diverse ways to visualize time tracking statistics. In actiTIME, users can review team productivity trends in charts and graphs of their choice, as well as generate comprehensive and informative reports. After analyzing your employees’ time tracking data, you have a better chance of developing and adopting more effective and appropriate strategies for promoting team productivity and focus in the long term.
Ready to give it a try and enhance team productivity with an intelligent time tracking app? Sign up for a free actiTIME trial today!