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Why I Toggl My Time

I started using Toggl to track time at work a year ago, but it only would last for a week or so. That was until last month when I gave it another try, but this time around I simplified the process. I then added our entire production & media department (10 staff members) to Toggl. But before I get into how I/we use it, I want to share quickly why tracking your time may be one of the best things you can do for yourself and your staff.

There are three major factors why I started tracking my time. They are:

  1. Awareness
  2. Data
  3. Accountability

1. Awareness

Before I started tracking I only knew what time I came into work and what time the clock read when I left the office. This gives me no awareness to look back on a day and see on what and how I spent my time. I had assumptions on how much time I spent in my email inbox or in the hallway chatting. I always said updating the website with the latest sermon did not take long, but how was I to really know. I knew I took time during the day to check social networks, but it couldn’t be more than 10 minutes right?

toggl_time

Since I began tracking at the end of February I was able to best online casino run a report for the entire month of March. I found some interesting things that I will share after April ends and I can compare the two months. For now I spend a minute or two at the end of the day looking at where my efforts went. This awareness gives me the opportunity to keep my self in check.

2. Data

This is something that we don’t have as a team just yet, but by the end of May we will. All organizations/churches track some type of data. It may be their profit margin, online sales or Sunday attendance. They track the numbers because they are helpful when making upcoming decisions. The same goes for a media or production department in a church. There are always videos to produce, logos to be designed, rehearsals to be prepped or a “small” event to be organized. All of these things take time and usually we are very good at underestimating the amount of time and resources a project/event takes. Our hope is that soon we will have data from all these different projects to use as a gauge to assist us in setting true timelines instead of shooting from the hip. The data will also give us great raw data on how to approach the need for future hires.

3. Accountability

Having the entire team on Toggl together has already improved our workflow and work ethic for most. After just 2 or 3 weeks the entire team makes jokes about whether something is “Toggl worthy”. And I believe that is a great thing! I know for a fact the amount of time spent on sideways energy has decreased. We have also had less lengthy “creative’ discussions, also known as watching a new movie trailer and talking about it at lengths. This in my opinion has it’s place in our type of creative environment, but it can be abused.

The team has done a great job in helping each other with the new time tracking and I can’t wait to share in Part 3 the results we are seeing and the data we have compiled. Next up will be Part 2 of “Why I Toggl My Time” where I will show how I technically use Toggl and how we have integrated it with our Basecamp Next account.

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