The Type of Clock-Watching That Makes for Better Measurement… and Business.

No Comments Yet | by Elise Perkins

Guest Post by Shonali Burke

It’s a new year, a new month, a new day.

You danced 2016 out, let 2017 in, and it’s full of bright, shiny new promises that would make Snow White’s half-eaten apple look duller than Gollum after he lost his Precious (Lord of the Rings #ftw).

I love that you’re so amped! While you’re still energized about the new year and making it the best that it can be, here are three tips on incorporating measurement into your work from the get-go … so that you really can make it the best year yet.

Track your time.

I mean it, and I’m reminding you to do so because there are still countless PR pros and consultants who’re not exactly sure where their time went.

Ladies and gents, time is money. Literally.

Everything that you do during your work day either contributes to building your business in some way… or it doesn’t.

And the only way you’ll know which side of that equation your activities fall, is by first getting a handle on how much time you spend on them.

There are several freemium time-tracking tools out there. I started out with Toggl, then switched to Harvest. [editor’s note: check out Lewis Parrott’s recent review of Toggle here]

If you manage a team in more of an agency setting, I highly recommend checking out Clicktime (not freemium, but extremely cost-effective and user-friendly).

Track your time. Yes, again.

This isn’t a typo.

The reason I wrote this “again” is because you could set yourself up with a great time-tracking program, or software.

But if you don’t use it, it’s pretty useless.

So whatever program you choose, make sure you come with a comprehensive list of tasks that are both billable and nonbillable, and assign them to your various clients… and even yourself.

After all, the only way you’re going to get ahead is if you treat your own business like a client, no?

Develop a habit of meticulously starting and stopping your timer. Over time (ha!) you’ll start to see trends in how long it takes to accomplish various tasks… as well as how much time you tend to spend on non-billable activities.

And depending on how long certain activities take, you can then determine whether you should be doing them… or whether outsourcing them would be a more effective use of your time.

Chunk your time.

At first glance, chunking your time is much more about productivity than measurement.

However, it has a domino effect. Because the more you group certain types of activities together, the more you’ll work more efficiently. can focus on Getting Things Done.

That means you’ll actually be able to Get Things Done, instead of getting distracted and flitting from one thing to another.

As you develop more efficient work habits, you’ll start to get more done in the same amount of time than before.

Which means you have more time left over to engage in more business-building activities.

And because you’ll have been tracking what you’re best at v. what is better left to someone else, you’ll know right away how to allocate budget… and time.

There you have it. The type of clock-watching that makes sense… as well as dollars and cents.

Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps smart businesses make bank by taking their communications from corporate codswallop to community cool™. She is also the founder of The Social PR Virtuoso®, which provides online, on-demand training that helps you unleash your inner Social PR superhero (sign up for her Master Course on Social PR through midnight EST, Feb. 24). Shonali is mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn’t you like to be in her kitchen?

About Elise Perkins

Elise Perkins founded ep communications in 2014 after seven years of working for trade associations and think tanks. Today she focuses on building brands for businesses and people, using a savvy mix of content and influencer strategies. She sits on the board of Washington Women in Public Relations.

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