Ditch the timesheet, pick up a ball

Can we make tracking time fun?

I have a personal hatred for timesheets, I think we all do. I know why they’re important and why we keep them, and yet I always find myself putting them off and when I do get around to them getting so frustrated with the level of detail required. So here’s an idea - ditch the timesheet.

But Evan, didn’t you just say they were important?

I did, but let’s think about what’s important - you want to know how much time you spent on which project or client right… So how about this.

Ditch the timesheet and pick up a ball. Setup a couple of bins by the door, label each one with the name of the project or client that you’re tracking. Twice a day, at lunchtime and closing, people toss a ball into the bin of the primary project they were working on (they can’t leave until they get it in - let’s improve that hand-eye coordination while we’re at it :-) Then just count the balls in each - there’s your timekeeping done.

*But what about hourly or minutely (is that a word) timekeeping?

First, read this article by Paul Graham on maker time vs manager time. We shouldn’t be multi-tasking, we should be working in half day blocks at least. Any less and you’ll lose at least 15-25% effectiveness. If it’s an email here or a phone call there, that’s OK. Just ignore capturing that time, it’ll balance out.

This does a couple of things - it gets the timesheet done on time, it forces you to work in half day blocks, and it’s fun.

What do you think? Let me know below?