How an Online Timer Can Improve Your Workday

In the virtual workplace, keeping track of billed time is important. It helps you stay on track with your tasks and shows you which tasks take more time than others. It’s a great way to measure resource allocation.

When you are first starting out as a Virtual Assistant, it can be difficult to adjust to managing your own invoices and billing. No doubt there are tools and apps to help you with this, but it’s also important that you take a proactive approach with your timed work.

A great way to do this is with an online timer. You can use the Pomodoro method. This is a technique that uses a timer to break down your work into small intervals, usually 25 minutes in length. This is then followed by a short break.

Use the tips below to become acquainted with the method and to more accurately measure your timed work.

1)  Optimise your efficiency

A study conducted in 2016 found that:

  • 67% Of respondents regularly check social media while at work;
  • 19% Spend 0-15 minutes per day on social media networks while working;
  • 17% Spend 15-30 minutes or so and
  • One in five respondents say they spend over an hour a day on social media while at work.

Admit, you’re probably spending more time than you should on social media or on other distractions. You may not be consciously aware of it, but placing a timer in your workspace will be a eye-opener. Suddenly you realise that time is gone and you didn’t do what you were supposed to do. This is a great way to take responsibility for your productivity.

As the timer moves towards your time limit, you’ll have more motivation to finish the task before the buzzer goes off. This means more tasks completed on time, more client hours and a larger income!

A word of caution though; don’t reduce your work quality just to finish your tasks on time. If you’re struggling to manage your time, rather evaluate the task difficulty and see whether you allocated enough time for it to begin with.

2)  Identify clients who are wasting your time

A timer can help you to identify which clients give you time-intensive tasks with the least reward ie. clients that are wasting your time.

An online timer can track your hours by project, which can further be broken down into billable and non-billable time. With this report, you can either work with “bad” clients on a different billing structure or respectfully terminate the agreement.

Perhaps more importantly, you must use this information to identify weaknesses in your own billing/invoicing structure and make changes. Clients are more likely to pay on time and hire you repeatedly if your invoices are accurate and there are no surprises.  Track your time so that you may have a better idea on how to bill your clients in future.

These are just some ways you can use an online timer for your work, however, there are many uses for it. You can use it to manage employee efficiency, track a team’s goals and so much more.

Do you use an online timer? Let us know!

The Virtual Assistants Association of South Africa (VAASA) is a non-profit Association, founded in 2016 for the benefit of all virtual / remote administrative professionals in South Africa as well as businesses and professional people who recognise and utilise Virtual Assistants. We support VA’s and we provide VA’s to entrepreneurs or businesses looking for assistance. Need a VA? Contact us!