5 Reasons to Track Your Time (Even if You Don't Charge by the Hour)

5 Reasons to Track Your Time (Even if You Don’t Charge by the Hour)

By Joel Widmer | Tools & Resources

Jul 03

Do you know how many hours you spend on email each week? Each day?

How about the number of hours you spend on business development?

Or reactive vs. proactive activities?

I didn’t either until I started tracking my time. Because I wasn’t charging by the hour, I didn’t think time tracking was necessary. Boy was I wrong.

Below are five reasons to track your time, even if you don’t charge by the hour. Once you finish reading those, be sure to check out the video below from my Entrepreneur Productivity Hacks course.

1. You Can Set Boundaries for Yourself (And Others)

Tracking your time can help you set boundaries, for yourself and for others, you may not even know you need.  By tracking in real time, you can start identifying patterns in your day and determine what restraints to put on yourself and others.

2. You’ll Become a More Effective Worker

The goal is not only to track your time, but to use those insights to figure out how productive you are. Just because you spent two hours on a project doesn’t mean you accomplished two hours worth of work. Take a step back to look at where you time is going, and it can help you become more effective in your work.

3. You’ll Set the Foundation for Business Growth

Tracking your time is just the beginning. It will set the foundation for you being able to delegate and outsource the tasks that are not the best use of your time. This is foundational to scaling your business or growing in your company.

4. You’ll Be Able to Calculate Your Value

If you don’t charge by the hour and instead charge on the value that your client gets from the project, tracking your time is essential to figuring out what that value is. Otherwise, you are just pulling a number out of the air. First, figure out what your input is then you’ll be able to accurately justify what the value is you are providing to your client.

5. Create Job Descriptions for Delegated Tasks

When you have the goal of growing and scaling your business, tracking your time will help you generate a laser targeted job description for the things that you want to delegate. You will not only know what you are delegating, but also how long it should take and all the activities required.

If you’re interested in more time-saving tricks, be sure to check out the rest of my Entrepreneur Productivity Hacks course, and let me know which tool is your favorite.


About the Author

Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife, son, and daughter.

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(4) comments

Great tips here, Joel! We track time like crazy purely for our own internal understanding.

We use an awesome tool called Toggl to track time and I can easily create reports of my team to see how everyone is doing and who is more efficient at different tasks.


    Hey Todd, Thanks for the comment. I use Toggl as well. The video below actually shows how to set it up and track your time w/ Toggl. I’ve tried a bunch of different time trackers out and it’s by far my favorite.


Thanks Joel! I am giving toggl a try. I was recently talking with a company and they cited the problem they were having getting time tracking reports submitted. Toggl looks interested with its Team reporting. I love that they have a lot of integrations with other leading tools (Freshbooks, Trello, etc.)

Thank you for the great article!



Thanks for five good reasons Joel! I tried Toggl, but it didn’t quite suit me, because ofter I forget to start a timer and log my time afterwards. After a little bit of searching, I found Saus (http://saus.us). It is a great tool for time tracking. The main screen consists of a clear week overview, which makes it very easy to make new time entries and spot gaps between entries.

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