Guest Post: Does Time Tracking Actually Help You Get More Done?

Today we’re excited to bring you a guest post from Kat Boogaard, one of our productivity pals at Toggl! Read on to learn about our awesome integration, as well as how you can use Toggl and Habitica together to achieve your goals.

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If you’re not tracking your time, your work towards your goals might proceed at a snail’s pace.

What would life (and productivity, for that matter) be like if time simply wasn’t an issue? Well, if you ask us, the answer is, “Pretty darn boring.”

We know—sometimes time is that pesky thing that you feel like you never quite have enough of. But, more often than not, it’s actually a pretty awesome motivator.

Perhaps you’re racing against time to defuse a bomb in your favorite video game. Maybe you’re racking your brain for the right answer while the Jeopardy theme song plays in the background along with that classic, faintly ticking clock. Or maybe you’re on a training run, attempting to beat your previous personal best mile time.

In all of those instances, time is the very thing that lights a fire under your butt and inspires you to focus, keep your nose to the grindstone, and get stuff done. So, is it any wonder then, that tracking your beloved time could be just what you need to kickstart your productivity?

Personally, we’re big believers in time-tracking. And, using the seamless Toggl integration combined with the gamification approach of Habitica, keeping a watchful eye on how you spend your hours couldn’t be easier—meaning you can instantly unlock the secret sauce to using your time more effectively and more efficiently with just the click of a button.

Not totally convinced that you’re ready to start the clock? Well, we’re here to change your mind. Here are three key benefits that come along with tracking your time. If nothing else, we’re willing to bet you have the Jeopardy theme song stuck in your head now.

  1. Increased Awareness

Let’s start with one of the most obvious benefits first, shall we? Keeping a close watch on your time will likely mean that you naturally waste much less of it.

Why? Well, for starters, it instills a certain sense of urgency. Think of it as racing yourself—you’re eager to get as much productive work done in a single time block as you possibly can. Knowing that you have a running clock ticking away inspires you to keep focused on the task at hand.

Secondly, tracking your time achieves the not-so-simple task of raising awareness about where all of your precious hours are going. Perhaps it’ll bring you to the realization that you’re spending two hours per day on your inbox—something you could easily cut down. Or, maybe you’ll be slapped with the rude awakening that tasks that should take you thirty minutes are taking you an hour—because you’re falling into the trap of mindless internet surfing.

Regardless of what conclusion you come to, tracking your time is sure to be an enlightening experience. After all, there’s no way to know how much time you’re wasting without actually tracking it.

And, the best part? Your increased awareness is then sure to result in increased efficiency. Think about a marathon runner, for example: Their goal is to always beat their previous personal best time. With a time-tracker in your arsenal, you can approach your work tasks with a similar mentality—further adding to the gamification of productivity you already enjoy with Habitica.

  1. Improved Processes

Your workload is fluid—it’s always changing. So, that means your approach to that work should be flexible as well.

However, all too often, we find ourselves completely married to a routine. We stand firm in our workflows not necessarily because they’re efficient or productive, but because we’ve simply always done things that way.

Unfortunately, that can lead to a lot of bottlenecks throughout your workday—places where you’re getting stuck, simply because your process doesn’t quite gel with your work anymore. Enter the miracle of time-tracking.

Your timer will make it easy to identify those places where things are getting road blocked and held up. And, then? You can take that valuable information to tweak and improve your own processes to always maximize your effectiveness and efficiency.

Remember, your approach doesn’t have to be set in stone, and time-tracking will make it that much easier to adapt and adjust when the time comes.

  1. A More Realistic Workload

Have you ever heard of the Planning Fallacy? This psychological concept asserts that we all have the tendency to severely underestimate the amount of time a specific task will take us. We’re all a little too optimistic, apparently.

While that may allow you to approach your day with a positive feeling, it typically always leads to disaster. That to-do list you were so sure you could conquer in eight hours is left mostly unfinished, and you wrap up your day feeling completely discouraged and disheartened.

Being more realistic about your workload is yet another key benefit of tracking the amount of time different tasks and projects take you. When planning out your day or your week, you can have actual information about how much time specific things take. You no longer need to make your best (absurdly optimistic) guess—you can now form your plans based in actual reality.

Ending each day feeling productive and accomplished, rather than frustrated and frazzled? Well, if that’s not a convincing enough benefit, we don’t know what is.

Many people roll their eyes at the thought of tracking their time—after all, it just seems like one more thing you need to add to your ever-growing to-do list. However, time-tracking is not only incredibly easy (particularly when directly integrated with Habitica!), but it’s also super beneficial.

By keeping a watchful eye on how you’re spending your minutes, you’ll wind up with less wasted time, an improved approach to your work, and a more realistic handle on just how much you can get done in any given day.

If you consider yourself a time-tracking skeptic, do us a favor and at least give it a try. We’re willing to bet you’ll be humming a different tune (ahem, we’re putting money down on the Jeopardy theme song) in no time.

UPDATE 12/2/16: Our Toggl integration is now also available for Firefox as well as Chrome! Enjoy 🙂

 

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5 thoughts on “Guest Post: Does Time Tracking Actually Help You Get More Done?

  1. I’ve been using Toggl for the last year and a half at work. I’m constantly switching between projects and it’s invaluable at the end of the month when I need to know how long I spent on what. I honestly don’t know how I could track my time without it. I started using Habitica around the same time to track all these little tasks. I’m glad to hear the two are joining forces!

    Like

  2. Mike

    I, too, am both a Toggler and Habitican. Been Toggling for a few years, but have been Habitifying for a mere five months. I don’t use Chrome but I am not worried about having electronic integration. For me, the key to productivity is following a system. Both Habitica and Toggl help me maintain focus and stay within my system.

    Like

  3. xander

    Hi nice article, it just appears that the toggl button integration is not working with habitica at the moment. Any idea when this will be back up and running? (Mac 10.11.6 Chrome versions 54.0.2840.7)

    Like

    1. habiticasabe

      Hello xander,

      What trouble are you running into? I gave it a try just now and it seems to be working OK, so it may be something specific to your browser or OS. The Report a Bug Guild might be a good place to strike up a conversation about it!

      Like

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