To be honest, I wasn’t sure until recently. I kind of knew on average how long it took me to do a piece of transcription work, depending on the number of speakers, audio quality and so on, but in reality, I wasn’t really sure. I might be focused on a job for a wee while, but then I would get sidetracked with something else and before I knew it, half the day would have disappeared and I wasn’t really sure how much I had actually achieved.
I know there are a million and one time tracking apps and gizmos out there, but the method that’s working for me is the simple stopwatch function on my phone.
I’m sure a few of you are familiar with the Pomodoro technique, whereby you use a timer to break down your time into chunks of, say, 25 minutes, and when the timer rings you give yourself a five minute break before starting on the next chunk of time. I haven’t exactly used this method before, but I had tried putting on the timer on my phone for an hour to see how much I would get done, and that did improve my focus, but only to a degree.
The stopwatch, however, actually measures how much time you’re spending on a job, and if you do need to take a break from what you’re doing, you can hit pause and go back to it in due course without ‘losing your place’, as it were. You might find that you don’t want to stop, mind you, as it becomes a bit of a case of mind over matter in the battle over who will win, you or the stopwatch!
It’s also a great way to track what’s coming into your business on a daily basis. I’ve started logging the time spent on transcription (and proofreading) work on a spreadsheet and it calculates each job’s hourly rate based on my ‘per audio minute’ rate and the time spent on the job and gives me a weekly total and a running monthly total. It’s quite an eye opener and a fantastic way to reach your targets.
Do you use a stopwatch or other time tracking software in your business? Please either comment below or pop over to my Facebook page and let me know!