Timesheet This

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In my former life as an urban planner, we had to keep timesheets.  Timesheets were the bane of my existence for 3.5 years.


Obviously, not one of my old timesheets, but you get the idea.  Each day, I had to write down what I did for every 15-minute time block.  My time had to add up to 8.0 hours a day and 40 hours a week so we could then bill clients. 


I really, really, REALLY hated timesheets.  I understood WHY we needed timesheets (to justify costs), but having to account for everything you do in a day is hard.  You also quickly discover that you spend a lot of time doing meaningless stuff and small tasks take 5 times longer to do than they should.  This makes billing without upsetting your boss hard.   It also makes you feel like a caged animal, but whatever.

Funny Graduation Ecard: Congratulations on being fully qualified to fill out a timesheet.(Source)

Anyway, in my quest to stop being late all the time, I am forcing myself to log a daily timesheet for myself for the next few weeks.  For now, I’m not trying to do anything differently, I’m just observing my work habits. 


I’m hoping that by writing out a timesheet, I will be able to streamline my workload, get stuff done faster, and hopefully achieve a better life/work balance.  The best part of being self-employed is that I can create my own schedule, which means that some weeks, I only work 30 hours.  The worst part of being self-employed is that it’s really hard and no one else can pick up your slack.  So there are many weeks that I work 70 hours, including Saturday and Sunday.


So, guess what I’ve learned so far?


  • I’ve spent two hours writing blog posts.
  • I’ve spent thirty minutes interviewing people for a freelance.
  • It took me 15 minutes to get out of the house for a run because I got distracted by email, the trash, and laundry.
  • I looked for my sneakers for another 5 minutes (my house isn’t that big).  Then I ran for 29 minutes (3.0 miles).  So I nearly spent as much time getting ready for my run as I did actually running.
  • I only wasted a combined 5 minutes on Twitter.
  • I showered and got dressed in 15 minutes.
  • I spent 1.5 hours responding to emails and comments.
  • + lots of other stuff that I won’t bore you with.


I cannot believe that I wasted 20 minutes of my morning wandering around my house, trying to get ready for my run.   Honestly, I think 20 minutes is probably GOOD for me.  I probably usually blow 30 – 40 minutes standing around in workout clothes.  It takes me forever to get out of the house, and I could’ve spent that time writing.  I would’ve banged out 1/4 a freelance piece in that time.


Do you have to maintain a timesheet for work?  What are your biggest time suckers at work and in your persona life?  Do you prefer to work in the morning or evening?  I tend to do most of my work at night, but I’m trying to switch to AM writing because I’m more creative then.



  • HTP Dad November 23, 2010, 12:44 pm

    You didn’t waste 15 minutes getting ready to run – you did the email, garbage and laundry! You are late leaving for our lunch, though. Just sayin’.


  • Kate @ Spoonful of Vigor November 23, 2010, 12:44 pm

    Sometimes when I notice I’ve been slacking on productivity, I’ll spend a week logging everything I do in my google calendar. Sounds really similar to what you’re doing, and it’s been really helpful and eye-opening!

    • Kristy @ Kristyruns.com November 23, 2010, 12:50 pm

      STORY OF MY LIFE! Time sheets in 15 minute intervals. Except theyget pissed if there are only 40 hours per week. They want to see 50 hours. 🙁

  • tina November 23, 2010, 12:45 pm

    haha, i TOTALLY do the same thing when i’m getting ready to go for a run!!! which is exactly why i try to work out first thing in the morning… you can’t waste time – just wake up and GO!

    thank god i don’t have a time sheet for work.. if they knew i spend 1-2 hours a day reading blogs i might be fired, haha!

  • Kacy November 23, 2010, 12:45 pm

    I currently have to keep the same sort of timesheet and I HATE it. But, such is life right now.

    The biggest timesuck for me is the internet, and cleaning random things around my house that I didn’t intend to clean.

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations November 23, 2010, 12:45 pm

    I don’t maintain a timesheet in my current job, but in practice, it’s common to track billable hours in tenths of an hour… every six minutes!! Can you imagine?

    I definitely do most of my work in the mornings. I am a SERIOUS morning person. My brain shuts down about 7:30pm.

    • Caitlin November 23, 2010, 6:06 pm

      ohmigod every 6 minutes sounds like hell.

      • Bethany November 23, 2010, 6:16 pm

        It is! I just started practice and write down EVERYTHING I do, even if its not work, just so I know where my time is going in the event I am low on my hours requirements.

    • mary August 15, 2012, 8:47 pm

      doing a six minute timesheet is really good for tracking where your time went. I used to ahve to do it in a porfessional services firm and still do it every now and then when I’m feeling overwhelmed by interruptions to what i intend to be my working day. It’s a pain to start but you get used to it quite fast, honestly!

  • Bethany @ More Fruit Please November 23, 2010, 12:46 pm

    I hate time sheets! I always feel guilty charging my time for doing tasks like sorting my email. It has to be done and probably helps me be more efficient later on, but it just doesn’t feel like real work.

    I like the concept of keeping a time sheet for your personal life though to really figure out how you’re spending your time. Sometimes the day is over and I’m left wondering what did I do to make it go by so fast? I’m interested in hearing how this turns out!

  • Kelly November 23, 2010, 12:47 pm

    But, isn’t writing down EVERY little thing you do also a time suck and counter-productive? Seems like it would be to me. I’d hate to have to document my days in 15 minute increments! Also, the biggest time suck for my work day (I am also self-employed)…the Internet and this blog included!! lol 🙂 I cannot believe how fast an hour goes by and then I wonder why I am not able to do other things…like read a book or magazine or finish “personal” projects.

    • I.N. November 23, 2010, 3:49 pm

      I work from home too and setting a schedule is really difficult. The majority of my time is spent on the computer doing my work. I do it all morning because I feel I might feel too much pressure if I leave it for the evening and night time. However, this interferes with any creative writing. Morning would be a good time for that, but I need to get to “work” right away. In the evening, I finally (finally) get a chance to check google reader and see its in the double digits…and then I want to read, catch a movie, phone my mom, etc, etc. So, I am really finding this schedule thing difficult.
      I am not going to be a “tracker” though. I don’t even do google calendar. I find that stuff makes things more complex than they need be. KISS ..keep it simple stupid…I don’t do well with this, but I’m trying to adhere to it.
      I don’t think I have the high-maintenance personality to track things on a schedule. Sounds like something Monica on Friends might do. Obviously, it is working for you.

      I do agree with your father too Caitlin. You’re not doing “nothing”. You are doing laundry, relaxing, reading, finding your socks. These are normal, acceptable activities.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 23, 2010, 12:51 pm

    No timesheet for me – I think if teachers had to start using time sheets, the district would shred them because there would be a lot of overtime compensation. 🙂

  • Liz @ Blog is the New Black November 23, 2010, 12:53 pm

    I love the “you’re qualified to fill out a timesheet” pic! That cracked me up!

  • Anne @ Life is a Joy November 23, 2010, 12:54 pm

    Definitely a morning person. Getting the creative thoughts out of the head before e-mails and meetings start distracting me! Cleaning the house and trying new recipes is also a major distraction!

    I submit my hours but in bulk .. so just number of hours per day. It’s all for one client so that’s pretty easy.

  • Leah @ L4L November 23, 2010, 12:56 pm

    I have to manually keep a time sheet. It’s a challenge. I bill for 3 different bosses at my office so it gets weird. And sometimes my time blocks overlap. It’s a major headache. I probably spend at least 15 minutes a day just figuring out how to code my time sheet!

  • Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun November 23, 2010, 12:57 pm

    I stay at home with my kiddo and do some other odds & ends working from home (a bit of freelance, tutoring, etc). I prefer getting work done in the mornings but know I get distracted by things easily. I wonder if “clocking in” my time would help me sort it out better?

  • kalin November 23, 2010, 12:58 pm

    when i was in americorps we had to do time sheets…. i hated them! and my day was all over the place so everything was in like 10 minute bits-not fun.

    now i’m a substitute teacher… which means i have a lot of days at home. it’s very easy to get nothing done all day! so i make giant giant to do lists…. and i make myself finish them before i do anything else… i found if i make them really specific (“empty dishwasher, wipe counters, clean stove” rathern than just “clean kitchen”) i get more done-it’s easier to do small tasks in my head.

    i would hate to see how much time i waste in a day though!

  • Michelle (The Runner's Plate) November 23, 2010, 12:59 pm

    I see you spent 2 hours writing blog posts, which doesn’t sound like a lot of time for two posts, but I just can’t believe how long it takes me to write one blog post–and sometimes they aren’t even that long! I don’t know how to make the process more time-efficient though.

  • Marg November 23, 2010, 1:02 pm

    Oh lord timesheets, I’m on everyone each week to fill out those timesheets! It’s by project though and not by every 15 minutes, so hopefully a little easier. We need them to invoice!

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair November 23, 2010, 1:02 pm

    I really, really, really enjoy my job in Marketing BUT filling out my timesheet every day SUCKS!

  • PhillyGirlRuns November 23, 2010, 1:03 pm

    I’m a freak of nature and actually enjoy the “billable hours” aspect of my job. Sometimes I find it spilling over into my normal life – I’ll catch myself thinking of chores in six minute increments, like “ok, laundry will take .2, water plants .1”, blah blah…but I find that it keeps me FAR more accountable and productive. It’s not so much “writing something down every 6 minutes” as it is learning to think in tenths of an hour.

    • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday November 23, 2010, 1:05 pm

      Wow, do you really have 6 minute increments for your billable hours? That’s tight.

      • PhillyGirlRuns November 23, 2010, 1:18 pm

        yup, it’s the standard – I used to think it was insane but now it’s just normal!

        • Anon November 23, 2010, 1:38 pm

          I live by the six-minute increment, too!

    • Molly November 23, 2010, 10:18 pm

      yep. every six minutes. of every day. to add up to 200+(of billable, so not lunch, or blog reading) per month is my requirement. it’s my life as a baby attorney

      • PhillyGirlRuns November 24, 2010, 8:48 am

        2400 as a minimum? that’s insane…you must be in NYC. it’s a different world!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 23, 2010, 1:03 pm

    I don’t have to fill out one for work, but I think it’s a worthwhile thing to do in order to find out which areas of your life are sucking your time away. I might just do it this weekend because I feel like I can never get as much done as I need to!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman November 23, 2010, 1:11 pm

    If I had to fill out time sheets that often at work I’m sure there’d be a 15-minute block for filling doing time sheets. Kind of a waste of time. I’m glad my job doesn’t require that.

  • Brie November 23, 2010, 1:11 pm

    Have you read “168 Hours”? Really interesting insight into time management and how people really do have more time than they think. Great post btw 🙂

  • anonymous November 23, 2010, 1:20 pm

    I like to work early morn (7 am to 11am) or evening ( 6 pm to 7 pm). In the afternoon I get nothing done! Great post 😀

    • I.N. November 23, 2010, 3:52 pm

      You have a very short work day. One hour? Sounds remarkable.

      • anonymous November 23, 2010, 5:02 pm

        I work freelance.

        • Jen November 23, 2010, 9:08 pm

          Uh, hook me up with those hours please!

        • anonymous November 23, 2010, 9:13 pm

          oh i meant i work the morn & evening hrs1 sry for any confusion.

  • Michelle November 23, 2010, 1:25 pm

    I have to fill out timesheets, too! I’m easily most productive from 10-2, and then I kinda shut down from 2-5, and then I’m good for 5-8 (this is all if I’m at work). I’m definitely a morning person!

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances November 23, 2010, 1:25 pm

    Caitlin, seriously, THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!!! Not to get too long-winded here, but I just started a new job a few months ago that requires me to time-track. Basically, I am supposed to time each task I do and document it – I’m only “required” to get somewhere between 6.5 and 7 hours logged each day, though, because the place I work is pretty cool and they understand the need to move about the office and take breaks every now and then. HOWEVER – I really, really hate tracking my time. It makes me anxious and, to use your phrase, I feel like a caged animal at times. But it’s comforting to read other people’s experiences and know that time tracking is actually pretty normal and I’m not alone. 🙂 I’ve been really freaked out lately when I’ve noticed myself mentally tracking my time when I’m not at work – “loading laundry, okay, two minutes…” GAHHH!

    Anyway – I can’t wait to work for myself one day and not track my time. You are awesome to do it on your own accord, though, just to make yourself more productive.

  • Jessica November 23, 2010, 1:27 pm

    I am a lawyer and live my life in six minute increments!!! It is awful some days – especially when something takes thirty minutes that should really take six and I can only bill for six 🙁

    • I.N. November 23, 2010, 9:44 pm

      This is similar to my work. Although I am not in the legal field. But, I may work for a hour, and only be able to bill for 20 minutes of that.

  • Ali November 23, 2010, 1:27 pm

    This is such a good idea! It always takes me way longer to do certain things or I take a “quick break” and an hour later I’m back doing work. I think this could be a way to help manage my time better and be less stressed overall with grad school! I can definitely see how it would be kind of rough to HAVE to do it for work though.

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine November 23, 2010, 1:32 pm

    Ugh, a timesheet sounds miserable. I’d love to be self-employed one day, but I definitely need to work on the mindless internet surfing in order to be able to do that!! Biggest time suckers are ALWAYS Facebook, Twitter and my Reader!!

  • Jess @ Fit Chick in the City November 23, 2010, 1:34 pm

    This is another brilliant idea! I absolutely need to do this.

  • Corey @ the runner's cookie November 23, 2010, 1:37 pm

    I can so relate! I could spend a whole day doing a whole lot of nothing.
    What I do is create anchor points in my day – things I HAVE to be at, like appointments or even things I just set in stone for myself (like taking a yoga class at 12, being at the coffee shop to do work at 2, etc.) And then I set my other things around that. So from my to-do list, I’ll see what I can reasonably get done before yoga and push just to get those few things done. Then after yoga, it’s the next set of things before the next “anchor point.”
    This really works for me because for some reason!

  • Sarah for Real November 23, 2010, 1:37 pm

    Time sheets don’t bother me. I keep a post-it note with my tasks for the day.

    8-9:45 on x-job
    9:45-10:15 on another x-job

    It’s not a big deal but then I don’t have many where I switch tasks every 15 minutes.

  • Alina @ Duty Free Foodie November 23, 2010, 1:46 pm

    I am naturally most creative at night, but I write my blog in the mornings, because that fits into my schedule better. I used to keep a timesheet for my last job, and I hated it (it makes me feel like a caged animal too).

    The way I work best is, I process information in the back of my mind and write the actual report or whatever very quickly. This doesn’t lend itself well to timesheets!

  • Kiran November 23, 2010, 1:46 pm

    Yes I did and seriously, I’m not missing it now 😀 But I can see your point of using it to account daily activities.

  • Sarah November 23, 2010, 1:46 pm

    I think what you’re doing is very interesting. That said, if I EVER had to log my time by 15 minute increments I’d go CRAZY!! Seriously, that’d drive me nuts. Personally I’d like to do some sort of time tracking, but I’m really scared to see how much time I’m wasting. 🙁

  • Caitlyn (A Spoonful of Life) November 23, 2010, 1:49 pm

    for some reason, I am always late as well. This whole semester, I’ve arrived to class RIGHT on time, but rarely with time to spare. Oh well! Semesters over!

    I am a morning worker, runner…everything! I am more alert and focused in the morning after I’ve run and showered.

  • Faith @ lovelyascharged November 23, 2010, 1:49 pm

    I don’t have to do a timesheet but I’d be hella afraid to see it if I did…”15 minutes wiping snot, 15 minutes picking play dough out of crevices of shoes, 15 minutes extracting student A’s fingers from student B’s nostrils…”

  • Ellen@FirednFabulous November 23, 2010, 1:57 pm

    I really SHOULD keep a timesheet to keep myself accountable for all those wasted minutes on Facebook. Now THAT would be scary! And I always waste a little time checking email, etc before I run in the am…I need a little down time first to get me geared up!

  • Amanda November 23, 2010, 2:01 pm

    Ugh I have to track my time for work and it’s not so fun. I mean, how am I supposed to categorize facebook/blogs/g-chatting 🙂

  • Cat November 23, 2010, 2:02 pm

    Up until recently my life was billed in 6 minute increments. There was even a code for filling out timesheets! To be honest I really didn’t mind it that much and it became routine quite quickly. The most depressing bit was seeing my ‘target’ hours for the year down in the corner and realising how much of my life was spent staring at that screen.

  • Amy November 23, 2010, 2:03 pm

    Was just wondering if you have ever had problems with shin splints and how you managed to get through them? I have recently developed shin splint in just my left leg and having to take a 2-3 week break, which completely messes up my race/training schedule. Any advice or helpful info??

  • ally November 23, 2010, 2:09 pm

    I also bill in 6 minute increments like some have posted about above, but we don’t have to account for all the time in our day… so if I’ve only spent an hour and a half working on something all day and the rest of the day I had nothing to do my time for the day will read 1.5. Fortunatly my pay is the same no matter what 🙂 (Unfortunatly some of my days are over 12 hours and my pay is still the same, haha)

  • Sarah November 23, 2010, 2:28 pm

    I spent 15 minutes look for my keys yesterday, making me late for lunch with a friend. Do you want to know where I found them? IN MY CAR. I took a deep breath and vowed to get myself more organized.

  • Lizz (leadingthegoodlife) November 23, 2010, 2:30 pm

    Timesheets blow! 🙂

    I totally understand them and I want to like them, but they make me feel like I’m wasting time. Plus, whenever we are urged to record time at work, I put a ton of effort into it and no one else does, so it gets scrapped. Anyway, I think they’re a good way to help cut out “junk” time, even if it means scheduling 15 minutes to do whatever you want.

  • Rachel November 23, 2010, 2:31 pm

    I don’t think anyone likes time sheets. I’d like to make it a goal in life to never have to keep a time sheet again. Keeping track of how long I spend doing various things during the day would be an interesting experiment. I know I waste a lot of time here and there.

  • Dee November 23, 2010, 2:42 pm

    I am not as busy as you are, but a friend of mine who is has decided that this works for him: get started working first thing in the morning, what’s feasible for you. He chooses 7:30am. He works without distractions until noon, when he takes a 30 min lunch break. After this break, he allows up to 90 minutes of “admin” which includes facebook time, but also important work related emails. Then, he picks one work project to complete from 2-4, and no matter what, stops working at 4. He has found he gets more work done now, than he did when he spent 12 hours a day at work- somehow, resigning yourself to being at work All Day, might actually make you less productive. Also, he always ends each day by making a detailed plan of what work he will do in the two big blocks set aside, and he makes a general plan one month in advance so he can have a tight sense of what needs to get done.

    Like you, he has the kind of work that is self-scheduled and very multi-faceted- writing, research for writing, presentations, lectures, and meetings. I’m sharing this because recently he’s been raving about how his life has been transformed, he has his evenings to do Life stuff and family time, and is alot less stressed, so maybe these things would work for you too!

    • I.N. November 23, 2010, 3:51 pm

      Wow. I think I need more details. Sounds good.

      • Dee November 23, 2010, 6:20 pm

        Yeah, the key to this plan is the gentle, self-imposed time limit. He says it makes him really focus because he has told himself, time runs out at 4. Plus, by making a plan at the end of each day for the next day, he comes in knowing exactly what he wants to accomplish. That’s pretty much the nuts and bolts of it.

    • Caitlin November 23, 2010, 6:10 pm

      I think this a good idea. The crux of my issue is that Im obsessed with a clean inbox but maybe it would be more efficient to do it once a day (or maybe twice).

      • Dee November 23, 2010, 6:22 pm

        Yeah that part is hard! His casualties have been, he’s not as “on top” of responding to colleagues, meaning instead of instant response he might not get back to people for a few days. That might be harder for you as a blogger- but then again, the blog is part of your work so maybe you allocate more time for emails than he would. Good luck fine-tuning your system!

        • N. November 23, 2010, 9:50 pm

          I find it difficult sitting for these long hours. I am on the computer 95% of the time. In order to achieve good work, I have to sit. Caitlin, how do you deal with this? Also, Caitlin, how do you divide your freelance and other things and other tasks in a day. How do you separate them during the day? Do you choose one at a specific time over another?

  • Nicole November 23, 2010, 2:46 pm

    I’m fortunate that I also have a job that allows me a pretty flexible schedule, but if I sat down to write a time sheet I don’t think it would paint a pretty picture. I definitely waste a lot of time check, and rechecking my various email accounts. Maybe it would be a worthwhile exercise just to see where I waste the most time and reevaluate :/

  • Halley (Blunder Construction) November 23, 2010, 2:48 pm

    I’m a slave to the timesheet as a civil engineer, although right now it’s working in my favor (only doing part-time.) I don’t mind it for work, but you’ve got a great point in applying the concept to the rest of life.

  • Heather November 23, 2010, 2:55 pm

    Thankfully I don’t have to keep a timesheet at work…that would drive me nuts to have to write down what I’m doing for every 15 minute block!

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss November 23, 2010, 3:01 pm

    I don’t write timesheets, but they’re a really good idea. I mean, it’s crazy how time just seems to disappear while I’m in front of the computer. It’d probably help to actually *see* that time on paper, then I’d be less likely to be here that long.

  • Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow November 23, 2010, 3:02 pm

    I am a self employed gal over here so no time sheets for me. But without my detailed, scheduled calendar I AM LOST!

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing November 23, 2010, 3:03 pm

    Because I’m grant-funded, my time is very flexible as long as I’m getting work done and I work 40 hours per week. My coworkers do though, and I shudder at the thought of having to fill one out! One coworker literally writes down notes of every, single, thing she does from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

  • Amber K November 23, 2010, 3:14 pm

    I am so glad that I don’t have to do this! I practically fell asleep watching my husband do his once.

  • jen November 23, 2010, 3:19 pm

    I love this! In my previous life I was a legal assistant and every minute of every hour during the week was scheduled and accounted for. Since I’ve become a stay at home mom, I struggle with how to get it all done and where the he** did the whole day go?!


  • Jazz November 23, 2010, 3:21 pm

    I used to have to do timesheets too, now I have a job with no ‘set’ hours which works so much better for me! I hate doing admin stuff, expecially expense claims..

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans November 23, 2010, 3:22 pm

    My job requires me to track other people’s time and its turned me into the Time Police! I am now way to regimented about where everyone in my personal life is, is going to be and for how long. It drives them mad and me even more so! I would love to just be, not worried about time for even a little while. What a change of pace that would be.

  • mindy @ just a one girl revolution. November 23, 2010, 3:31 pm

    I need to do that for my evenings and weekends! I feel like I could be so much more productive during the hours I’m NOT at work!

  • Ash November 23, 2010, 3:35 pm

    I’m salary so no time sheet for me. I love it. But I definitely take it upon myself to take long lunches sometimes…and I goof off a little too much sometimes. But I figure as long as my work gets done, that’s what is important.

  • Jamie @ Food in Real Life November 23, 2010, 3:43 pm

    I’m not usually late but I sure as hell waste time doing stupid stuff. I bet I would have so much more “found” time if I started tracking like this, even for a short while. Good idea! And that sub 5 minutes on Twitter? IMPRESSIVE!

  • Kelly November 23, 2010, 4:10 pm

    My timesheet for work is less intense. I just report my hours worked, but don’t have to account for what I was actually doing. I waste tons of time getting distracted by little things when I’m heading out the door no matter where I’m going. AND lastly, I do my best work in the morning. I’m definitely a morning person.

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) November 23, 2010, 4:43 pm

    oh god – I can completely relate! I have to record time in SIX minute intervals!!!!

  • Kelly November 23, 2010, 5:03 pm

    This is why I don’t think I could work at home- when I try to get things done at home they always take me longer- that doesn’t stop me from doing it, but I couldn’t do it all the time.
    I’m a teacher, so the most time consuming thing is getting things planned and ready for the kids, responding to parent e-mails, sending e-mails to parents to let them know about things, 1 million and 1 meetings, and probably a lot of other stuff. Doing a timesheet from my job would prob require another person to watch me because I could never write it all down as I’m doing it ahha.

  • Sarah @ EatRunGarden November 23, 2010, 5:10 pm

    I am the worst at taking way longer than it should to change into my work out clothes and get out the door. It usually involves at least 2 extra trips up stairs to grab somegthing I forgot and usually its not even there.

  • Bean November 23, 2010, 5:11 pm

    Just like you, I tend to do most of my work at night too. Right now I am working on my habit to be a morning person. Rising early sounds more productive for me.

  • Nicole November 23, 2010, 5:28 pm

    Thank you so much for those workplace e-cards. I am now frittering away time laughing at them!

    • Caitlin November 23, 2010, 6:12 pm

      hahah there is a really good one that says “I need a time code for not doing shit.”

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit November 23, 2010, 5:42 pm

    Very interesting- you are awesome for tracking your own time while working for yourself! That cartoon is amazing, btw.

  • sarah (the SHU box) November 23, 2010, 6:23 pm

    i tried this for a week, and it was pretty interesting. check out the book 168 hours — i thought it was quite thought provoking on this subject!

  • Lacey @ Lake Life November 23, 2010, 7:13 pm

    Apparently we’re supposed to do time sheets at work every year, but last year was the first time I had to do it (I’ve been there 5 years.) I found that I was basically the only person in my office to tell the truth on the time sheet, since my work added up to 7.5 instead of 7 hours. (We work 8-4:30 and have two 15-minute breaks and a half-refreshing 🙂

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 23, 2010, 7:18 pm

    I would be scared to make a time sheet for myself because it would just show me how much time I waste on blogging/facebook/procrastinating in general. 😛 Speaking of which, I really should be writing a paper right now…

  • Lauren November 23, 2010, 7:24 pm

    I fill out time sheets for work (15 min increments). We only have to submit once every 2 weeks, so I keep a 2nd outlook calendar of my time spent — I can easily copy over my official meetings into my timesheet calendar, and then add in additional projects done. Work isn’t super anal about it, and I actually track more detail than what’s required.

    I find the detail is helpful for me to make sure I’m spending my time on the right projects and for planning for future weeks’ schedules.

  • Jacalyn November 23, 2010, 7:53 pm

    OMG! I have a whole new appreciation for my career choice! I have never had to fill out a time sheet for my job. All that structure would freak me out.

  • Amy at TheSceneFromMe November 23, 2010, 7:56 pm

    No timesheets for me, just a timeclock at the hospital! Thank goodness

    I love that rug in the picture you posted. But I love all animal prints!

  • Amanda (modernation) November 23, 2010, 8:24 pm

    Ugh – have to do timesheets, too. And I hate it. this is something new to me and it is really hard to get used to.

  • Wei-Wei November 23, 2010, 8:31 pm

    Man, I think I need to keep a timesheet to find out exactly how long I take reading blogs. Seriously, I bet it’s over 2 hours a day!

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In November 23, 2010, 8:46 pm

    At work…i waste time on BLOGS! But since I have a blog, I consider blogging “working” too. My jobs just probably doesn’t appreciate me “working” on my other job while I’m at theirs!

  • Cassie @ Back to Her Roots November 23, 2010, 8:54 pm

    BLECH. Timesheets. We have to be 75% billable at my job, so each minute of my life is tracked to a client, project, and task. Which is fine during those rare times when I work on one project in a day. But I have 15-20 projects going at a time. There are a whole lot of “.25 hours” on my daily timesheet.

    Much, much better than my last job though. We had to be 100% billable! We literally didn’t get paid for staff meetings or going to the bathroom or meeting with clients before they signed a contract with us. And I was on salary! Sheeesh!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) November 23, 2010, 8:57 pm

    I am a grade 7/8 teacher, and I don’t have to fill out any kind of time sheet ever. My job actually allows me to have a lot of freedom.

  • Deanna November 23, 2010, 10:26 pm

    Ahhh, time sheets!! The death of me. There are some weeks when I spend a good 1.5 hours on Fridays trying to remember what the eff I did all week. I work in PR with multiple clients and job codes so Lord knows how I keep track of everything. I end up writing stuff down in a notepad and deciphering it days later. My suggestion? Do it twice a day and you will be better off. Good for you that you don’t have to do one but are still being diligent.

  • Laura (Starloz) November 23, 2010, 10:31 pm

    i dont want to start timesheet, i’d scare myself with all my wasted time

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 23, 2010, 10:53 pm

    Keeping track of billable hours has been the hardest adjustment in my new job, but it is amazing how much more productive I have been! It will definitely keep you off Facebook during the day (soooo guilty of that at my old job…).

  • Coco November 23, 2010, 11:53 pm

    Facebook = the bane of every college student’s existence.

    Also reading this blog right now is preventing me from writing a paper….

  • maya @ finding balance in tokyo November 24, 2010, 12:06 am

    We don’t have timesheets, but at the end of every day I have to submit a daily report. They’re pretty loose, I just write the projects and activities I have done and the rough amount of time.. but it can be really hard filling them out to look good on days when I just don’t have much to do!

  • Charise November 24, 2010, 8:47 am

    Oh, timecards. Until last year, we were still doing handwritten timecards. At a company with a large department dedicated to software development. And we had to account down to the tenth of an hour. Now we account by 5 min intervals through a Web-based program. I work in science publishing, so we also have to count for our productivity by number of pages we’ve edited for applicable tasks.

    Also, now that I work from home twice a week, I have to use a separate cost code for work done those days, meaning I basically double the number of timecard entries and it can take FOR. EVER. to fill out each week.

  • Karen November 24, 2010, 7:31 pm

    I have to keep a timesheet for work (I’m a CPA in public accounting) and it’s a pain in the booty. We have to track down to the .10 of an hour (that’s every 6 minutes!!)…it’s quite ridiculous but I understand why we do it!

  • Julia @ Brides Up North November 25, 2010, 12:16 pm

    OMG – im a lawyer and mine is every 6 minutes. Try that 🙁


  • suzy pepper November 26, 2010, 9:15 am

    But sometimes we have to stand around the house in our workout clothes and meander. What kind of a life is it if every spare moment you have, you’re thinking about working? I know how you feel because I so often am just sitting around not doing work when I could be doing work, but I also know that sometimes I get anxious when I’m not doing something productive, and that’s not a good thing. It’s good to be comfortable just being with yourself and listening to your own thoughts, even if it’s about nothing.

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