Efficiently Billing Projects: Time is Money!

by Katharina on September 23, 2013 · 0 comments

Post image for Efficiently Billing Projects: Time is Money!

Ten minutes here, five minutes there: responding to e-mails, typing out notes, quickly settling a telephone call – the small tasks are highly time consuming. Anyone who doesn’t bill ‘minute tasks’ is idiomatically throwing money down the drain – get your time back now!

Humans, that is a scientific fact, are unable to accurately assess time periods. Our body does not have an internal sensory organ that objectively measures time. Admittedly, we can perceive and remember the duration of events but this memory is always deformed – and frequently idealised. The crux: everything above three seconds (!) is hardly assessable. The longer a period of time, the more we are off the mark. Mistakes are therefore bound to occur – or do you happen to know of a task that takes no longer than three seconds to complete?

Some will now argue: ‘Why so fussy? This one short call, that really doesn’t take longer than…” Only a few minutes? Be honest with yourself: nothing on this earth takes ‘only a few minutes’! These alleged trivialities add up to big chunks. If you don’t bill these periods of time, your customer will have no idea of how much work you are actually doing for him.

There’s only one thing that helps with drastic miscalculations: the accumulation of experience! With sensible time tracking you will soon be able to determine how long certain tasks actually take. The benefits are apparent: in the future you will deliver more punctually, with less stress – and you will earn more. I remember the epiphany I had when I first measured the time I needed to proofread a page. Especially the time taken on tasks we enjoy we often estimate too optimistically.

No doubt: measuring the expenditure of time for small tasks can be tedious. Anyone using an excel file for time tracking will soon hit the brick wall. Practical tools like TimeTac allow for background time recording within seconds – and everywhere: the online time tracking software runs on any browser and is a reliable companion when on the move thanks to iPhone and Android Apps.

In the next article: correctly assessing your expenditure of time – the professionals’ best tips

Trackback URL: http://www.beyond-9to5.com/2712/efficiently-billing-projects-time-is-money/trackback/

Leave a Comment