On an intuitive level, “do it now,” as opposed “save it for later” makes sense. After all, why put off an important task when you could take care of it right now and breathe a little bit easier knowing that it is complete?
Easier said than done. For most of us, this isn’t reality. In fact, while only 20% of the population are considered clinical procrastinators, everyone procrastinates some of the time. In fact, people are more likely to put off a task that they don’t like to do until later. And, since most people don’t exactly consider themselves time entry enthusiasts...
It turns out that one of the recommended procrastination “cures” is to focus on the long-term benefits of completing the task in a timely manner. When it comes to entering your time contemporaneously, there are five primary benefits that you can focus on to shake the procrastination bug.
Five Benefits of Contemporaneous Time Entry
1. Billable hours will be more accurate.
The longer it takes you to enter your time, the less accurate your recollection of the time that it actually took and the specifics of the task. Of course, the most accurate time is that which is recorded immediately after the task is completed. Increasing your time tracking accuracy will help you protect yourself against clients who feel that you’ve overcharged for your time as well as the possibility of leaving money on the table when you’ve underestimated your time.
2.Your firm will generate higher revenues.
According to a recent article firms that keep contemporaneous time tend to generate 25 to 40 percent higher revenues than firms that do not keep contemporaneous time. Attorneys who enter time on a weekly basis tend to lose 25 to 30 perfect of their time, and those who enter on a monthly basis can lose as much as 55 to 70 percent.
3. Increases in time velocity lead to real-time data and better decisions.
When you are entering your time as you go, your firm is now able to keep track of your retainer accounts and other billable reporting matters in real-time. Real-time data allows you to make better decisions (equipped with more accurate and up-to-date information) and act quicker based on the information that you have access to.
4. You’ll have more time, spend it how you like.
Contemporaneous time entry contrasts with reconstructive time entry, when you spend hours of your time, bleary-eyed, digging through time capture logs, email, appointments and call logs. What else could you do with 12 hours per month? Anything you’d like. Think about it.
5. Time entry will become second nature, no longer a source of stress.
You know that feeling that you get when you receive the email reminder that timesheets are due? It’s not fun, is it? You can avoid this entirely by practicing contemporaneous time entry. When you quickly dictate or enter your time using a mobile time entry app, you instantly avoid having to spend your precious energy dealing with timesheets at the end of the month and the stress of having an impending (or overdue...no judgment...it happens) timesheet hanging over your head.
When you first begin to track your time, you’re going to want to procrastinate. That’s ok. It’s expected. Just acknowledge it and then focus on the reason that you are doing it. Focus on the benefits that will come to you when you get contemporaneous.
Are there other benefits to contemporaneous time entry that you’ve experienced? Share them in the comments section below.