Entrepreneur Task Tracker
As an entrepreneur, you want to make sure that you’re being productive when you’re working on your business. Your time is valuable, and you don’t want to waste it.
Most entrepreneurs know how much an hour of their time is worth, and may even have a monetary figure attached to it.
If you could make yourself more productive when working, that hour of time that you spend would be worth more to you and your business. Your monetary figure would increase.
Say if you value your time at $50 an hour right now, and spend 40 hours a week on your business. That works out to $104k per year.
If you can increase how productive you are during every hour you work on your business, your “hourly rate” would also increase. As an example, say your hourly rate increased from $50 to $60… that would result in a yearly increase of over $20k!
You can see that this example is quite a small increase, but over the course of a year… it really adds up.
But you might be thinking “how would my hourly rate magically increase?”
By working on the things that grow your business, you can increase your revenue and the number of clients you have. You can increase your number of sales calls, sales emails, and create more content. And every time you sit down to work, you would be focused and spend that time effectively and get more done.
It’s a mixture of:
- Working on the right things that brings your business results
- Being more focused and achieving more with the time you do spend
How to Work on the Right Things and Be More Focused
But how can you measure how productive you are being when you’re working?
Wouldn’t that cost more time and effort… and overall probably make you less productive?
Not with the right system in place!
Have you ever tried to use existing apps and systems to keep track of how productive you are when you’re working?
They often don’t give an accurate representation of how productive you are being. A lot of them are only able to track the time you spend doing tasks.
Or it just feels like a whole lot of extra work to maintain tracking your tasks, and the benefit to you and your business isn’t worth the effort.
Tracking the time you spend on tasks is a good start, but it doesn’t really show the whole picture.
What if you’re doing work that isn’t really contributing to the growth of your business? Or you’re not spending that time being focused?
Consider these scenarios:
- You’re answering general work emails and you’re not being focused = not productive
- You’re answering the same emails but you’re being very focused = a bit more productive (the type of work hasn’t changed)
- You’re writing a blog post that will likely lead to exposure and sales, but you’re not being focused = more productive than scenario #2
- Writing the same blog post, but this time you’re very focused = very productive (You’re working on the right thing, and working on it effectively)
You can see with these example scenarios that tracking just the time on tasks isn’t really good enough, because there’s a few factors involved that determine how productive that time actually was.
I have created my own productivity tracking system, and it has made a huge impact on my own business life… and it’s what I will be offering you in this post!
What Makes This System Different?
Most importantly: it’s quick and easy to use, and won’t cost you much time – but the benefits can be really impactful. It takes about 20 – 30 seconds to input a task into the spreadsheet, and everything else is done automatically in the background.
I received expert help in knowing what to include in the tracker from an entrepreneur called Primoz Bozic, who has helped hundreds of 5 figure entrepreneurs reach 6 figures.
He had a great idea on measuring how productive the type of task you’re doing is. He suggested a really simple coding system called “impact of work” which is a number between 1 – 3. The higher the number, the more productive that type of task is:
- Low impact work – work that has to be done but doesn’t grow your business (admin, e-mails)
- Medium impact work – work that INDIRECTLY grows your business (designing a sales page / membership area)
- High impact work – work that DIRECTLY grows your business (writing, promoting your content, developing a new course / lead magnet)
The really cool thing about this system is that it calculates a “total productivity score” which is an intuitive scale of 1 – 10. It is a combination of time spent, focus and impact of work. This allows you to see how productive a certain task is, a certain day, a certain week or a certain month is.
It is calculated in the background for you, so that it doesn’t require any more time and effort from you.
All you need to do is input a few key details when starting and finishing a work session, and the spreadsheet takes care of everything else.
It is calculated through a combination of time, focus and impact of work:
To make it easier to understand:
- The higher the focus, the higher the productivity score is
- The higher the impact of work, the higher the productivity score is
These calculations give a certain task a productivity score from 1 – 10.
But it doesn’t take into account time yet.
When total productivity is calculated per day, week, and month – that is when time is factored into the calculation.
For example, if you spend:
- 10 minutes on a task which has a productivity score of 8
- 60 minutes on a task which has a productivity score of 6
Even though the first task is more productive… you have spent more time working on the second task which had a lower productivity score. This means that the second task would actually work out to be more productive.
This “time weighted” productivity score for each task is hidden in the spreadsheet in the background, and is then used for the daily, weekly and monthly summaries.
When you first start using the spreadsheet, you would input: 1) how many hours per day you want to work and 2) how many days per week. This will calculate daily, weekly and monthly hourly targets:
There are 10 tabs in the spreadsheet, but you only need to input into 1 and the rest are just for your reference.
The tabs are:
- Daily / Weekly / Monthly Summary
- Task Stats
- Totals Graphs / Analysis Graphs
- Total Productivity Details
The tracker tab is where you will enter information about the task that you’re doing.
When you start a task, you would input:
- Task name (If you’re doing multiple entries for the same task, make sure it’s spelt exactly the same. Copy and paste if easier)
- Impact of Work (1 – 3)
- Energy (A number from 1 – 5, how much energy you have at the beginning of a session)
- Start Time
Then you would go and spend time doing the task, and when you’re done, you would input:
- Focus (A number from 1 – 5, how focused you were during the session)
- End Time
All of the columns that have grey headings contain formulas, and you they will be calculated automatically for you.
On the top of the tracker tab, there is also a preview of the current day / current week / current month’s data. This is useful because you can see how you’re currently performing and it can help you stay motivated.
There is also a counter of number of days in a row you have worked. If you miss a day, it resets back to 0!
Daily / Weekly / Monthly Summaries
The summary tabs allow you to see exactly how productive you have been at different time frames. There is a daily summary, a weekly summary and a monthly summary.
These are all auto-generated based off the data that is inputted into the tracker tab.
Pictured above is the daily summary, and you can see that it has summarised data inputted into the tracker tab. This allows you to keep track of how you’re doing day-to-day in all of the different data points.
This tab summarises productivity data for each task that appears in the tracker tab. The task at the top will be the first task that you started, and the task at the bottom will be the most recent task that you started.
This lets you know how long you spend on different tasks, and which ones you are most focused for.
It can be useful to see which type of tasks you spend a lot of time on / how focused you are for them, because you can make decisions based off that data.
For example, if you are noticing a task you do every afternoon is low on focus but it is important – you might switch it to earlier in the day where you are probably more focused.
The leaderboards tab allows you to see your best work sessions. Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and see what you’re capable of if you’re looking for some motivation.
The table at the top looks for the best work session for the current week, the current month and the year. It judges the best working sessions based off 2 different criteria: total productivity and session length. You can see that the data point the line is based on is bold and underlined.
And beneath the main table, it shows you the best Working Streak (number of consecutive days) you have achieved so far.
The totals graphs track 3 things: Total productivity, total working time and total number of sessions. It shows these things at three different levels: Last 30 days (at day level), all data (week level) and all data (month level).
This is useful to be able to see at a glance how you productive you have been when working, and gives you a good overall indication. This can let you know if you’ve been doing really well recently, or it might show you that you need to improve.
The good thing about these graphs is that it’s an objective assessment, and isn’t based on how you “feel” you’ve been doing. After all, there is no arguing with data. You might be able to justify why things aren’t going well (“I was on holiday”, or “I was sick”), but at least you can see exactly how you’ve been doing.
The analysis graphs lets you see what effect certain factors have on total productivity, impact of work, focus and energy. It looks at the day of the week, time of working, session length, energy and focus.
The headings at the top is what the analysis is based on. For example, the top row of graphs in the above picture are all looking at the day of the week. And as you go across the different columns, it shows you your total productivity, impact of work, focus and energy. So the first row of graphs would let you see your best / worst days to work on.
This tab can be really useful to see what works for you, and lets you improve your work routine to maximise your output. For example, if 1pm is your best working time and 7pm is your worst… why would you want to spend time working at 7pm anymore – if you can help it? Or you might see that one day in particular is your best work day, and you might block out that day to focus on important projects.
However, use this tab with caution. When you don’t have much data inputted, you might think you have identified a better working practice… when really it’s because of the lack of data. Before you make any changes to your work schedule based off these graphs, I would recommend having at least 4 – 6 weeks worth of data.
Also, don’t think “my best working practice IS…”, think “my best working practice COULD be…” and run an experiment. Maybe you could spend a whole month doing something different with your routine and then see what effect it has had compared to your other months.
Total Productivity Details
This tab shows you information about the total productivity calculation.
Firstly, there is a section for you to calculate your hourly targets by inputting how many hours per day and how many days per week you want to work.
Then there is information for impact of work and total productivity – in case you forget and need a reminder.
And to the right, there is a table showing how a combination of focus and impact of work produces a productivity score for a certain task.
You will have noticed throughout the spreadsheet there have been various colours on some of the data points. This is conditional formatting, which means that the colour will automatically change when the number of that cell is within a certain range.
The conditional formatting lets you see at a glance how objectively “good” your data is. For example, if you see loads of light greens and greens then you know you’re doing a really good job. Or if you see lots of reds and oranges, then there’s room for improvement.
The ranges for the different colours are dependent on which tab you are on. For example, the ranges for daily total time is different to the weekly total time.
So if you’re ever curious about the colours, you can refer to this tab and see what you need to aim for to achieve certain colours.
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