Well, maybe you are, but just bare with me on this one :)

Unless you really are a charitable organisation and assuming we're talking about your job more than your hobby; getting suitably rewarded for your hard work is an absolute must.

Hours lost.#

Back in the day, i'd set aside an hour or so every week to retrospectively record my time on 'the system'. Not my favourite time of the week, but one that regular company-wide emails reminded me was critical and a task that under no circumstances should be shirked. Not only was any such attempt to recollect my whereabouts and activities earlier that week with any kind of accuracy, or even upon my ability to record time 'as I did it', a step too far on a Friday afternoon, but the process of recording time itself was a seriously inefficient use of not only my time, but everyone's time.

Extrapolating the time spent 'booking time' across the hundreds of people within my organisation presents a mind-boggling number of man-hours which could have been better spent on billable work such as, well, doing your job.

A better way.#

Firstly, let's deal with this concept of retrospective time booking. Unless you are blessed with the unshakable memory of little Dumbo (he's an elephant for those not in the know, ha), any attempt to record and subsequently bill your time is going to involve some kind of middle-man, some kind of mechanism to temporarily record your time before you actually recording your time. Sounds silly when you say it like that! :)

Middle man.#

I've seen lawyers physically filling in paper timesheets, passing them onto their secretaries for data entry into 'the system'. That's not only an unnecessary waste of one person's time, but a waste of at least two people's. Unbelievable.

I myself have noted down my daily tasks in varying forms of text files, spreadsheets and other forms of 'note', only to save them up for subsequent batch entry into 'the system' on a weekly or monthly basis. Basically just prolonging the pain.

If recording time as-you-go proves troublesome and clunky, it's time to ask the question "do we have the right system?".

If you choose not to log the smallest tasks and actions because 'it's just too much trouble' then maybe you should be asking "do we have the right system?".

More of the same.#

Whilst some of us may work for large organisations with hundreds or thousands of clients, most of us spend our days focused on a fairly small number of clients and/or projects, generally doing the same kind of tasks. Therefore your time management platform should embrace and acknowledge this, suggesting and prompting where appropriate to further improve the speed and accuracy of your time recording. If you generally book time to client X on project Y, then you shouldn't have to enter that every time.

Time is money.#

Why do we book time?

It may on the outside appear to be driving some kind of fancy analytics around making efficiency gains (oh the irony), or to facilitate inter-organisational budgeting and cross-charging purposes, but ultimately it comes down to money.

So in short, your time recording should be focused on helping you 'earn more for less'.

The fastest, most accurate way to record time.