I don’t know when I became such a stickler for time. My fellow lovers of being on time (i.e., early as hell) usually, not not always, come from the military and we bond over stories of being 10-15 minutes early to everything.
I use OneNote for my work documentation because the company I work for has all these Microsoft licenses and it’d be a shame to waste them. And why not, it’s quick and easy and as far as I can tell it’s not eating my CPU/memory.
When I’m going through an engagement, I’ll create a page in my OneNote document
called “timeline”. In here I’ll press Alt+Shift+F which I learned drops a neat
and tidy timestamp that looks like
8/3/2017 8:22 PM. I’ll throw a note after
that with whatever is going on at the time and go back to work. Once a gig is
over I’ll have my notes for the work but I’ll also have a tidy timeline of all
the interesting twists and turns that answers all manner of questions:
- How long did that installation actually take?
- How long were you on your break?
- What time did you get started with the customer?
- What time did you cut out for the day?
- How long were you stuck with issue_001?
The other thing I do is use Toggl. If you haven’t experienced this software you are truly missing out. You can use it via their website, using a client on your desktop (for Mac OSX, Windows, or Linux), or on your phone.
When I’m starting a new job I’ll set up a client (optional), a project, and hit start if I’m not sure what I’m doing for them right then. When I hit stop I’ll fill in the particular task and that gives me a solid record of what I did and for what time spans and for which customer. I’ll also track internal things as “Administrative” or “Assisting” without a client so I know when those inevitable switches in context happen.
Finally, and I ran into this issue today, my desktop wasn’t being synced with a time server. This pains me to no end because I rely on my calendar to be right and I start meetings pretty close to the top of the hour. Little did I know that for how long I’m not even sure I’ve been off by 5-7 minutes. Maddening. So this is your reminder to check our your settings if you’re on Windows.
- Control Panel
- Clock, Language, and Region
- Date and Time
- Internet Time
- Change Settings
- Check the box next to “Synchronize with an Internet time server”
I’m using the default “time.windows.com” unless someone has a compelling reason that I should use something different. NIST maybe? Let me know in the comments.
How do you track your time?