Time Tracker: Start-up productivity
by Evren Ozkaya on 26 June 2014
I should be tired. It is 2:30 am in Philadelphia.
Today, I drove my car for 8 hours and 33 minutes, mostly in circles. It was a long day. But, I achieved a lot:
Please, do not try to make sense of the route (or lack thereof), as it was mostly last minute meetings put together on the fly. And it turned out to be a terrible route, but a fun & productive day.
- 6 hrs 31 min of sleep, and my day started in Philadelphia, PA
- 4 min of exercise was enough to get me energized
- 25 min of morning preparation, and off to first client visit in NY
- 2 hrs of client visit in New York to kick-off a project
- 12 min of lunch (a nice Gyro on Route 1 in New Jersey)
- 1 hr 13 min of meeting with consulting partners in Yardley, PA
- 2 hrs 42 min of another client meeting over dinner in Wayne, PA
- 1 hr 39 min of beer & chat with a friend in downtown Princeton, NJ
- ...and back to hotel in Philly close to mid-night
You might think that I lost my mind or something is wrong with me. Otherwise, who in the world would keep track of the time of every single activity? Well, I do it for the last ~120 days (~2900 hrs), continuously. If I am a freak, I am not the only one. See Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst's 10 productivity tips at the Inc Magazine (by Jeff Haden). I first saw Jim Whitehurst in 2007 as a speaker at a conference at Georgia Tech, when he was the COO of Delta Airlines. When I was listening to his story of how they turned around Delta's performance from near-bankruptcy situation, I remember admiring Jim and his leadership skills. Therefore, seeing productivity tips from him many years later in this article immediately got me hooked.
Quoting Jim directly: "Tracking my time is something I just started to do recently. It's been an eye-opening experience--and one that has really helped me focus"
When I read this article, it was the first couple days of starting my consulting company,Supply Chain Wizard, and I decided to give it a try with pp that Jim is using). At first, it felt really weird and difficult. But over time, I got so used to it that it turned into a number one personal productivity tool for me.
I do not know if there is any other founder in the world, who tracked every task/activity of his/her own time from the very beginning of the start-up. If there is, I really would like to share/benchmark our data, and compare insights. But I have the feeling that this will play a major role in our company success, as it already significantly increased my personal productivity and satisfaction with how I use my time, my most valuable resource.
Here are 4 ways Time Tracking helped me, and can potentially help you:
Thanks for reading my very first LinkedIn post. This was a promise to myself to start writing regularly, as I noticed in my "time log" that I don't spend much time on writing. I am thankful to Jim Whitehurst for the inspiration, and to Jeff Haden for sharing Jim's productivity tips.
Please let me know what you think. Do you track your time? Would you like to try? Do you think you have significant opportunity to be much more productive? Have you discovered better ways to achieve your productivity goals? I would like to learn from other "time trackers" too.