Time tracking software has been somewhat of a sore point for some employers and employees to discuss of late. Much of the discourse surrounding this type of software revolves around the ideas of privacy being invaded, or the beady eye of “big brother” peering over an employee’s shoulder and micromanaging everyone’s every move.

There is, however, another aspect of time tracking software that is less talked about, but can be extremely useful not only to an employer but actually for the user of the software themselves.

Time tracking software, you see, can actually help us improve our working lives in multiple ways, in a variety of different industries.

Identifying problem areas

Sometimes it is difficult to assess exactly where our time is spent during a working day. We can find ourselves approaching the last hour of a shift, casting an eye over to the volume of work we have completed, and not feel totally happy with the result, but also not realize why we didn’t complete the amount we had hoped to.

This is where time tracking software comes in particularly handy, allowing us to deep dive into the analytics and see the exact amounts of time spent on different tasks. 

Are we spending too much time looking at one aspect of our work? Perhaps we are being too distracted by social media? Time tracking software will show exactly where our time and effort is being spent, and allow us to correct any discrepancies.

If your job happens to involve moving around a lot, some of these software solutions have built-in GPS tracking that can help you manage your day better. Realizing that you are spending too much time on one project, and not enough on another can be difficult when you are constantly on the go, but being able to sit down at the end of the day and see that you wasted far too much time attending to client/project X, and not enough with client/project Y, can help you make the adjustments needed in the future.

Productivity peaks and energy troughs

Not only can this sort of software show you what part of your day is taking up the most time (and whether it is worth it in the long run), but it can also show you just when you are being most productive.

For some, the morning hours are when the bulk of the day’s work is done, with energy levels trailing off after lunch. For others (the night owls of the world), production may hit a high after the sun begins to set. Whichever routine you happen to favor, setting out your day accordingly, and managing certain tasks for specific times of the day is easier when you can see the hard data sitting in front of you.

And perhaps this should be the biggest takeaway from the use of time tracking applications. Data, when set out in an easy to understand, often graphical manner, allows the user to see patterns that are not obvious when “in the thick of things.”

How often do we hear ourselves say something such as “where did all the time go?” after a hard day? With a time tracking app, you can literally see where it went.

The more you use the software, the easier you will also find it becomes to estimate how long projects will take in the future, so not only does it allow you to react to your problem areas, it also improves your ability to see what future workflows will look like.

Knowledge from data

The amount of data that can be gleaned from these software solutions can be extremely powerful for those looking to become more focused and efficient. In a world with endless distractions and what seems like constant interruptions through a myriad of communication tools, it might not be a bad idea to track your time at work. Whether you are slacking off a little too often, or working too many hours, these applications will spell out the problems of your workflow in black and white.

And with so many options, with a variety of different functions, the most difficult part is simply choosing which piece of software suits your needs best, in the first place. For those who have trouble managing their time, the easily implemented answer is time tracking software. 

Author's Bio: 

Zac Johnson is an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of internet marketing experience and branding.