Are you freelance? Are you wondering how to properly track your time?
As a freelance worker, you must know how to track your time. It’s important to track your time. You need to be paid for all the hours you work. You must track as this will help your employer be able to pay you for the right hours. You don’t want your employer to guess or not pay you for all the hours you worked. Let’s start with the basics
What do you Mean by Tracking Your time?
Tracking your time basically means that you are keeping a record of the time of day and hour many hours each day you worked on a project you worked on. In any workplace, your hours worked are tracked. This could be either logging into a system, writing down your hours, etc. Tracking your time helps you to keep track of how much time you have worked on your freelance project. It doesn’t matter if you worked 1 AM in the morning or 2 PM in the middle of the day you should keep track of your hours. For any project that you are hired for as freelance work you must. Recently, I have been using the Time Tracker from the company Indy.
How to Track Your time?
One of the main ways you can keep track of your time is simply by writing it down. Stating the time when you started and when you ended your work for the day. In addition, excel sheets are a great option for keeping track. Currently, I use the website Indy and they have taken it called Time Tracker, with their tool you can simply create a profile, login, and on the top right of the dashboard. Simply hitting the play button starts the timer. If you need to take a break, step away you can simply hit the pause bottom and it will simply pause the timer.
A freelancer is someone who is hired to do contract work. You are hired for your skills. For example, if you are a graphic designer you could be hired to make new graphics for a company event. Freelancers mainly work with their clients using a contract. Having the right contract pre-set up explaining that you are in control of the hours you work and how long it will take you to complete the project. As a freelancer, you must protect yourself legally and by documenting your time. You can prove all the hours you worked. In addition, make sure you have the right legal documentation to make sure you can send an invoice to make sure you are paid.
Contract of Time:
By keeping track of your time, you are fulfilling the requirements stated in the contract. A contract is an agreement between the client and you, the freelancer. Having the proper contract stating how time will be tracked and when to expect to be paid will help you to get paid for all of your hard work. In the contract, you state how much you want to be paid for the hour/ a day / per project. Whichever works for you. The contract states that you will be provided an invoice in which you will state how many hours you have worked and how much you would like to be paid. By properly tracking your time you can know how much time you have worked on the project and how much you would like to be paid.
Benefits of Tracking your time
1) You have proven all hours and days you worked
When you keep track of all the time you have worked including dates you can prove to your employer you worked these hours and need to be paid for all the hours and days you worked. You are responsible and keep track of all the people you worked for.
2) Helps promote time management for you the freelancer
As you work on different projects you are recording your time in the same way if you worked in an office your employer would be keeping track of your time. As a freelancer sometimes you can lose track of time, maybe take your time. Freelancers usually work the hours and time they want to work. They are usually self-paced with the knowledge of knowing the day and time an employee wants the project complete. When you keep track of your time you learn how to keep track of how long each project takes you. In addition, you can use your time limit of completing projects to help promote your freelance services. For example, if you start to realize that for each web design project you work you can complete the project in about a week. You can start in your portfolio that you have a fast-track record of completing freelance work with quick turnover time.
3) You have a record of all the freelance jobs you have worked
Keeping track of all the projects, companies, individuals you have worked for helps you know who you have worked for and can help you create a portfolio. If someone is considering using your freelance services, they can look at all of the past projects you have worked on and past companies you have worked for. In this way, you can keep track of all the projects you have worked on.
Negative Affects if You Don’t Track Your Time
1) You don’t have a time limit to work
If you are not keeping track of the time you worked, you could potentially not complete the project on time. If clocked into an in-person job your work hours would be tracked. You would know I work a 9-5 job, you would know what time to get to work and know what time you should leave. When you keep track of the time you now know what time you should start and you know how many hours you have worked in the day and what time of day you want to get done for the day.
2) How can you prove to your employer the hours you worked?
If you don’t track your time and you send an invoice to your employer, they could potentially ask for proof of how many hours you have worked. If you don’t have a timesheet or any record of keeping track of the time the employee could under pay you or just have to guess what hours you worked. You appear more professional when you have records and proof of what hours you worked and how long you worked. Keeping track of time is important.
It’s part of being a freelancer. Ask anyone who is a freelancer, they will tell you to keep record of all the days and times they worked. You may need to provide proof of hours worked for taxes at the end of the year. As each freelancer must pay for their own taxes. Keeping track of time helps you know how much pay could potentially receive. When you receive payment, you must put aside a percentage of each paycheck to pay for the end-of-the-year taxes. If not, you could potentially have hundreds of dollars you have to pay in taxes. I could hurt you financially instead of you feeling the financial freedom that you should feel while working as a freelancer. You could end up in a worse financial place.
Overall, it’s good to track your time. Tracking your time is important.
How to Track Your Time
As a freelance worker, you must be able to track your time. Some of the easy you can track your time as a freelancer
1. Excel sheet
You can use Google Excel sheets and/or Word Excel sheets. Simply state the time date and the hours you worked each day. You can do this by first starting the date and then stating you started at 9am and finished working for the day at 5pm. By the end of each week then you add how many hours you worked each day and state how many hours you worked for the week. You can also add the total hours worked on the freelance project.
In the way that you create an excel spreadsheet with your time, you can also create a spreadsheet in Word document and/or Google document. Simply state the time date and the hours you worked each day. You can do this by first starting the date and then stating you started at 9am and finished working for the day at 5pm. By the end of each week then you add how many hours you worked each day and state how many hours you worked for the week. You can also add the total hours worked on the freelance project.
3. Screen Shot Time
By taking sheet shots of the time you started working and the time you ended for the day you can show image proof of hours worked. In this way, all you need to do is create a folder on your laptop stating the project name and for each screen shot you are showing each day you worked. You then can add your hours and you now have proof of what days you worked.
4. Download a Time Tracker App
Downloading a time tracker for me is the best solution. It’s currently what I use for my freelance work. An example of this would be the app Indy. You can simply start the timer when you start working. In addition, you can hit the pause button when you need to take a break and then simply hit the play button to start the timer again. Once you are complete for the day you simply hit the check bottom and add the time tracked in the invoice.
Time trackers help you keep up to day on hours and days you worked without the hassle of taking screenshots or creating an excel sheet in hours and date. The app does it all for you.
All of these solutions are ways that you can add your hours and be ready to track your time as a freelance worker. Keeping track of your time is important and needed for adding up hours so that you get paid on time. By having your hours tracked you get to fulfill the contract and get paid. Keep track of your time as a freelance worker.