This post was sponsored but the opinions are my own.
It has been quite a few weeks now since I have written a post or two on my blog and social channels. I have been feeling quite overwhelmed with the holiday season, everything that is going on, and managing it all. I am not depressed or anything, but I have been unable to work productively and efficiently lately with my time that I have. I am relying this week and going forward on http://www.officetime.net OfficeTime app to help me plan out my day better, and ensure that each project that I have on my plate gets done, or at least gets started and progresses according to my plan.
There are tons of options available for time management, scheduling and watching over the time allotment for each particular project when you are an office employee and rely on products that your company can supply you with, that connect you with the whole team, allow you to communicate with others, and track your progress as well. These apps and platforms often cost so much money that the only companies that can afford these are large multi-national corporations. It is so easy for an employee to get all of these tools provided to you by management, learn them quickly, and integrate them in your workday to make sure that all of your work runs smoothly and so productively.
It is really not the same at all for self-employed individuals, freelancers and contract workers. Often times nothing is provided to you, literally no tools at all. Everything has to come out of your own pocket, and because of this we often end up having to bootstrap the whole operation. Most of the time if not all of the time you get what you pay for. When you employ a free app, you are often limited in the number of actions you are allowed to complete, or you are stuck with having to get three extra apps just because yours is no longer supported, does not do what you need, and requires additional help from other tools.
This whole process often becomes very frustrating to navigate what exactly you need, find the right tools, and then learning how to combine tools into your workday to help you actually accomplish anything. I have been struggling with trying to get control of my day.
This is where we get into the idea that we need to plan out our tools we use better, and if possible actually get paid apps that can help build our day around being productive. I am so tired of trying to save money and getting the worst options available just because I cannot afford to get the best tools. As a result, when I cannot plan my day properly, everything suffers, and first and foremost my motivation. Maybe it is my anxiety, but when I am frustrated, I cannot really get organized well, and accomplish much. My husband often complains that when his desk is messy he cannot concentrate or work at all. When you have a mess on your mind, it is always difficult to find enough motivation to even start working on a project, you keep delaying it, or you are unable to properly track what exactly you are accomplishing over the whole day.
One other issue that I have been having is being able to track my time to each different project. I have many things going on and happening at the same time, and while I always tend to work more effectively when the deadline is looming (I always complete projects on time, or earlier!), I always hope that I can track progress on each project that I am working on, start early on them, and then keep adding towards its completion every day. Surely this can help to ensure that I can get projects completed earlier than in the past.
As a blogger there is often an issue with time management, and this is my third problem, really, after inability to get organized, stay on or ahead of schedule as I described above. I often receive projects with a flat rate regardless how many hours the project will take, and I would really like to have an idea how many hours I actually spend working on a project, whether it is photography, editing, designing recipes, or writing assignments. While I have worked with most types of projects in the past, I sometimes have trouble figuring out exactly how much time I may need to complete each particular project. This is because I often have no idea how much time each action that I need to complete will take.
Tracking my time, and planning out my day based on time management techniques is really the only way that I see that I can continue moving forward. Going through projects that are urgent, then working on deadlines coming up, and slowly reducing the amount of time that I spend every day going through email, social networks, and little tasks that shouldn’t take up my whole day.
I have started using OfficeTime which is a desktop app that helps tracking time allotted and used for each project. This company also has a mobile app that can help track time virtually from anywhere with a smartphone.
The cost of the app is $47 right now. The company offers a 120 day hassle-free moneyback guarantee that if you are not satisfied with the results, it is easy to get a refund.
I find that one major problem for me with purchasing a product lately has been that almost every product I need requires a monthly subscription fee that may be affordable but combined with many, many subscriptions necessary as I plan to use these platforms for an extended period of time, makes this whole concept completely not affordable for me. I am so glad that OfficeTime is based on a one-time payment only, and does not require a monthly payment to continue using it.
I believe that time tracking is very similar to tracking calories when on a diet. If you don’t track your calories you end up overeating and indulging. If you don’t track your hours that you spend working on each particular project, you end up underestimating your time for each, and undervaluing your work as you will inevitably forget to track down all of the hours that you spend on the project. OfficeTime makes time tracking easy, and doable, it is not a chore at all.
I am really amazed with all of the features that this app provides – it is possible to invoice your client based on the number of hours that you are billing. It is easy to export your data, and you can even track expenses for each project.
Love how there is no need to make a hard press on a button to stop your time tracking when you are away from your computer – it is done automatically where OffcieTime is able to capture the exact time that you have been away from your desk, and you can either assign that time to another client/project, or just drop it.
OfficeTime is offered for Mac/PC/iPhone/iPad and Apple Watch. I have to hope that you can get control of your day again with OfficeTime – such a helpful platform!