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In my last job they required us to turn on a task timer for every little thing. Remembering to do that, and to turn it off, was a royal pain. First I had to look up which task it is, start the timer, stop the timer, find the next task and repeat, then flip back to the first task. Lots of open browser tabs within tab groups to keep track of it all. And if I came up short or went over on budget, there was a “conversation” with management to account for discrepancies. Then I had to go by memory and try to reconstruct the “missing time” accurately enough to be convincing.

Now that I’m freelancing, I try to keep up the habit because it does have merit for tracking estimates and actuals, but now it’s just me to answer to for discrepancies and I can fudge the numbers as I see fit. The time records did, however, save my bacon in a recent dispute.

Comments
  • 3
    I scripted my time records, I don't keep per-task records though so it's just a script that changes my default browser profile, opens a window and logs the start time, and logs the end time again and resets the default profile when I close that master window. If I did track tasks, I think I'd do it as a browser extension that prompts me when I open a jira ticket.
  • 3
    Not sure if it would help but I've been liking WakaTime for this if you wanna check it out
  • 1
    Micromanagement & abusive relationships, that’s what this is called. It’s okey to have PTSD after this, to want to log all your milliseconds and then chart them to nice pies.
  • 0
    Oh, I hated those timers! My boss just didn't understand that I could do a lot of work at the same time, but clicking the timer, well noooo
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