We always hear that time is money, but when all of your time is tied up in, well, time, you could lose even more. Tracking time effectively means being able to quickly assess budgets, analyze productivity, and make sure everyone is on the same page. But too many time tracking methods are clunky and inefficient, leaving employees less likely to clock in–and a more likely headache for HR.
Instead of trying to learn new software or walking around the office with a stopwatch, try these super-efficient ways to keep track of time.

1. Time-Tracking HR Apps
Using software to track time and perform other HR tasks might seem like the easiest way to go, but what about when you’re in a remote location and away from your trusty computer? Instead of relying on software, try using a mobile app. That way, when you’re on location, you can still quickly organize time and enter specifics before you forget.

2. Task Management Apps
Streamline both your work and your time management by using a group task service (we like Trello and BaseCamp.) Both services allow you to create to-do lists and assign blocks of time to different employees. Better task management also makes for a transparent approach to leadership, since the entire team can see how much time is being spent on each project.

3. Regular Check-Ins
You don’t need facts and figures if you just want a loose idea of time management and project deadlines. Simply staying on track via check-ins on Slack or other intraoffice messaging services can help you get a better idea of how much time each project is taking. What’s more, it puts a finger on the pulse of your organization instantly, rather than waiting around for time sheets. Let’s face it: Most employees hate filling them out anyway.

4. Assign an Admin
Having each individual employee keep track of their own time might seem like the most efficient way to stay on top of the task, but it has a few fatal flaws. Unless employees are extremely dedicated to time management, their tracking might be imperfect, hurried, or skipped entirely. By assigning one admin to oversee time management, it centralizes all of your processes so hours and minutes are less likely to fall through the cracks or be tracked inefficiently.

5. Track Projects, Not Employees
No one likes big brother looking over their shoulders, and employees are no exception. Instead of checking up on individuals and tracking their time, consider a switch to tracking overall projects instead. That way, employees feel less like they’re being watched and more like they’re part of a cohesive team. By budgeting hours for each project ahead of time, you help keep everyone on the same page without alienating employees with excessive timekeeping.
However you decide to keep track of time for your organization, remember that every second counts. The less time you spend obsessing over every minute and logging in specifics, the more time you have to spend on other tasks–all in good time, of course.

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