How To Do A Time Audit For Your Business

So we all know we work really hard and are super busy, right? But have you ever taken a moment to really break down how you are spending your time?!?! (Instagram scrolling totally counts as work, right?!) 


Well Andy and I have been considering getting a virtual assistant sometime in the vaguely near future and we realized that it would be helpful to see how we were really spending our time and what we wanted to allocate to the VA.  

 

Kate painting florals on a large canvas

To say this was an interesting exercise is an understatement. I’ve always known I have a really unrealistic expectation of what I am able to accomplish in a certain amount of time, but this really brought that fact into the forefront.  It was also fascinating to see how my work time broke down over the course of a week.  Running a family business while raising a kiddo makes for very creative work hours.  Full disclosure, we have a nanny come help with childcare 12 hours a week, so we can usually count on at least 12 good hours, but beyond that, Andy and I try to split the time between parenting and working.  This means not a lot of time for couple time, but that is a post for another day. 


To set up a time audit, we used Toggl, a time tracking app.  The first week we wrote it down on paper and then transferred it into Toggl, but honestly the app was so easy to use, the second week we just tracked from our devices. 


We planned to do it during a week that was pretty typical.

 

Kate on the phone taking notes

 

It was interesting going about my day because the first day or two I definitely felt pressure to make super efficient use of my time, but as the week went on, I felt less stressy about it. 


Here are some findings: 

We found that both of us have very unrealistic expectations of how long it takes us to do things.  I definitely need to allot more time for creating my freebies and guides in Canva.  Something that I thought would take me half an hour ended up taking more like an hour and a half.  I realized I was forgetting to account for the process of posting it in all the right places. I also take a long time to paint. I mean, I knew this, but seeing it actually laid out was fascinating.


Perhaps what was most helpful was realizing that while both of us felt like we were working our butts off, neither of us were working as many hours as we needed to.  Childcare and life got in the way.


With these findings we decided that we both need to keep doing the time audit for a bit longer to better grasp how long tasks take so we can better budget our time. Additionally, it was pretty clear that we need an extra set of helping hands.  We decided to look for digital marketing assistant and we are going to be writing up the job description this week. This will help clear us of some of the more tedious tasks in order to be able to get to things that are going to move the needle in our business.


If you’re interested in doing your own time audit, I highly recommend it! If you would like a list of my favorite online tools for working smarter, not harder, fill out the form below to join my newsletter and get the free download with all my favorite online tools!

 

 

April 07, 2021 — KATE TALCOTT