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😎 How using Time-tracking can Help you Work Smarter, not Harder

 

In today's fast-paced world, it's becoming increasingly important to use your time efficiently, without burning out yourself or your team. Chasing deadlines, running like a chicken without a head, and working under pressure doesn't make you more productive. Working smarter means you get time back. That’s a win-win situation, but how do you achieve it?

 

Set Clear Goals and Priorities 🎯

 

One of the keys to working smarter is to set clear GOALS & PRIORITIES. This will help you plan your time more effectively and ensure that you focus only on the most important tasks. If you’re working towards broader objectives try using SMART goals - this framework helps to focus on the direction and desired results. Discuss the goals with your team and look for other easier ways to achieve your goals. Your team might find opportunities that you didn’t think of in the first place. #collaborationIsKey

 

Use Time Estimates ✏️

 

Once you have a clear idea of what needs to be done: ESTIMATE how long it will take to complete each task. The estimation process might seem difficult in the beginning. Here are some tips that will help you start:

  • agree with your team on the estimation method,

  • divide your tasks or stories into smaller chunks - it’s always easier to estimate those,

  • remember that the estimation process is a team sport, you can better predict the time effort when everyone is involved and encouraged to speak up,

  • be realistic, or even pessimistic, if you see some uncertainties on the horizon, 

  • avoid over-committing,

  • take into account any potential roadblocks that may arise.

 

Track your Progress 📈

 

Look at the ACTUAL time spent on each task and compare it to your Original and Remaining Estimates. This will help you get an overview of:

  • how you & your team are performing with your goals, 

  • what kind of tasks make you inefficient, 

  • where you can make improvements to be more accurate in your predictions in the future,

  • any potential delays you might have that require action or communication with your stakeholders.

 

Use Technology to Your Advantage 💻

 

The best decisions are made when they are backed up with DATA. While native Jira does allow you to track time against issues and estimate the remaining time, your options for viewing that information are quite limited. You may want to consider adding a time-tracking app from the Atlassian Marketplace (Note that I'm part of the Clockwork Team at HeroCoders). There are many options and they differ in terms of available features, so it’s worth thoroughly researching them before moving forward.

 

Estimated, Remaining & Actual Time in Jira 🚀

 

Look for an app that:

  • allows you to easily updated the Original Estimate,

  • automatically recalculates the Remaining Time,

  • lets you compare the Original Estimate, Remaining Estimate, and Actual Time Spent in a single, robust timesheet or report.

While you and your team work towards your goals, you can check progress by opening the Timesheet Report and clicking on the Actual vs Estimate icon. This will add the Original & Remaining Estimates to your report.

 

Estimated vs Actual Time Spent report.gif

 

Tracking those metrics regularly will help you:

  • learn from real data,

  • improve your decision-making,

  • advance your work coordination,

  • mitigate risk,

  • deliver your work on schedule.

That’s working smarter instead of harder.

 

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