5 Tips to Stay Focused at Work During a Personal Crisis

5 Tips to Stay Focused at Work During a Personal Crisis

 A personal crisis could strike any person at any time, and it doesn’t matter how stable or happy your life might otherwise be – the effects can be devastating. A personal crisis will be on your mind almost constantly, no matter how much you might want a break from it. You are also likely to take the problem to work with you no matter how hard you try to put on a brave face.

No matter how hard you might try to get your work done, it can be all but impossible to prevent other thoughts from creeping in and harming your productivity. Your performance at work can begin to suffer as you lose focus, potentially causing harm to your professional life. It’s a fairly common issue, and around 47% of employees say their performance at work is sometimes affected by their personal commitments.

If your professional life also takes a hit, then things will only get worse for you, making it essential for you to remain focused at work as much as possible. You can take steps to help you maintain your productivity at work as much as possible. 

Create a Schedule

 If you’re working without a specific goal in mind, it can be easy for your thoughts to distract you. Creating a schedule will help you keep focused on your work, helping you to work towards a goal rather than just working through the motions. 

To help keep your productivity on target, consider using time tracking software like the one from PK4 Tech to monitor your time. Time tracking software will help make it easier to tell when you are being productive and help you avoid wasting time. Knowing that you’re monitoring yourself can also help you focus on your work. 

Speak With Other People

Anybody going through a personal crisis should speak with other people. Meet up with somebody close to you and explain the situation and how it affects you. Also, listen for their feedback and advice and be prepared to hear some things you may not like.

However, this doesn’t mean you should speak with everybody about your problems. When at work, it’s best to limit what you say to other people. For one thing, telling colleagues about your situation keeps your head in the issue instead of giving you a chance to focus on something else.

Treat Going to Work as an Escape

When things are difficult in your personal life, going to work can be the ideal escape. Even the journey to and from work can help give your mind a break from what is upsetting you, and your mind will become even more occupied when you have a job to do.

There is also a social aspect to working with other people, making your job a convenient getaway. You can get involved with discussions not related to your personal commitments, whether they’re work-related or not. It can also be great to arrange a social outing with work colleagues although you should be careful not to overdo it, especially if you must work the following day.

Don’t Push Yourself Hard

You’re only human, so don’t put too much work pressure on yourself if you struggle sometimes. Instead, give yourself some space occasionally and don’t be hard on yourself if your productivity does take a hit.

It may take you a bit longer than usual to perform tasks, and things won’t improve for you overnight. However, beating yourself up about it won’t improve the situation and can make matters worse. Things will likely improve after a while, but you just have to let them through your system naturally. 

Limit Personal Contact

With a personal crisis going on, some people will likely want to call you regularly to get updates. Instead, it’s a good idea to set some limits and let people know that you’re at work and need to focus on your job.

Having people call you regularly to talk about your problem will cause you to keep thinking about it and perhaps even remind you about it when your mind has taken a break for a while. Unfortunately, it will also distract you from your work, potentially upsetting management and colleagues and increasing work pressure.

Try to limit calls to urgent matters only and, if needed, limit who has access to your number. You might need to turn your mobile phone off if the calls you’re receiving is harming your productivity.

Summary

Although most people will recover in time, there is no way to take away the pain and anguish of a personal crisis. In the meantime, it is essential to look after yourself, including looking after your professional prospects.

When going through a personal crisis, it’s important to focus on your work so your job is not adversely affected to the point where work pressure also becomes difficult to cope with. But, on the other hand, you will also need to acknowledge that you’re going through a difficult time and that you should not expect yourself to be firing on all cylinders.

Give yourself breathing space and time, use time tracking software, create a schedule, and set limitations on disturbances to help keep you focused. By focusing on your work, you’re helping to ensure you’re still in great condition when your crisis finally subsides.

Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash

How You Can Benefit from real-time GPS tracking

How You Can Benefit from real-time GPS tracking

Time theft can cause a significant dent in a company’s bottom line. Indeed, a study has shown that employees steal around 4.5 hours from their employer every week on average. And while companies can take steps to monitor their employees in the workplace, it becomes even more difficult when employees are working out in the field. 

Field workers are typically trusted to spend their time productively instead of doing something not work-related. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for field workers to abuse that trust. For example, some people might choose to do some shopping on their company’s time, or maybe go for a meal. In some cases, field employees might not even leave their homes at all but still charge for time that they did not spend working.

It should also be noted that time theft is not always deliberate. Employees can make mistakes and forget details about their working week if they don’t fill in their timesheets straight away. 

The main headache with monitoring fieldworkers has long been the fact that you just cannot know where they are. It’s often easy for field workers to lie about their location or their timing with no way to check up. However, GPS has provided an effective solution to the problem. 

Modern Tracking Apps are the Solution

 

In the past, GPS tracking hardware would have been prohibitively expensive for most companies and would not represent a solid return on investment, if at all. However, GPS hardware is now very affordable and can be installed on smartphones. Indeed, modern smartphones typically come with GPS already installed, meaning the technology is already available for companies to use.

Of course, having the hardware that tells you where somebody is great, but it’s not of much use without software that helps you make use of information. The good news is that apps like those from PK4 Tech are available on the market that integrates GPS technology to offer valuable information for managers regarding their employees’ whereabouts and behavior. 

Time tracking apps can use a smartphone’s GPS to place the phone’s location at any time. Simply put, a time tracker, in conjunction with a smartphone’s GPS can tell managers where their employees are and where they have been. As a result, the solution helps prevent time theft because employees can no longer lie about their location, while it also helps prevent honest mistakes on timesheets. 

An Effective Deterrent

Not only does GPS time tracking software help prevent time theft, but it also helps to prevent it from happening in the first place. It can otherwise become too easy even for dedicated employees to start taking liberties, so it makes sense to let all your employees know that their location is being tracked.

Remember that it’s also important to educate your employees on why such technology is required so they understand why it is being implemented. Otherwise, it could be easy for them to feel as though they are not trusted and are being spied on, potentially causing morale and productivity to take a hit. Ensure that your employees know that using the technology is not an attempt to spy on their every move but to protect the company overall and provide reports that help improve efficiency.

In-Depth Reports

GPS time trackers can do so much more than just inform managers of their employees’ geographical location. For example, trackers can also keep records on which tasks an employee was working on, such as travelling to a location or carrying out a site survey. You can then use this information to see how efficiently employees are spending their time and what you can do to improve their efficiency further.

Comprehensive dashboards are also available that help management to see key information at a glance, helping them make fast and impactful decisions. Reports can also be created and distributed automatically, removing much of the manual work that would otherwise be involved.

Summary

GPS time tracking helps to remove many of the issues associated with time theft and employees working in the field. Not only does the technology help managers monitor and record employee data, but it also helps to act as a deterrent. The technology can help prevent deliberate time-theft, while it can also help avoid genuine errors. Remember that it’s important to educate your employees on why the technology is important to prevent a loss of trust.

With GPS time tracking apps, managers are also equipped with information that can help them make informed decisions that will help boost efficiency. Overall, the technology can help prevent time theft, increase productivity, and improve the bottom line. 

 

 

5 Reasons Why Time Tracking Makes Sense!

5 Reasons Why Time Tracking Makes Sense!

Timesheets help to ensure that you pay employees accurately. They help ensure that you’re not overpaying while also allowing employees to get a fair salary. As valuable as timesheets are, however, there is quite a lot of work involved in processing them, making project management harder. For example, time sheet approval is often a manual, time-consuming process, especially if you need to check and correct errors.

The good news is that thanks to PK4 TimeTracker, time review and approval is now made easier than ever before. The easy to use platform makes time sheet approval faster and easier than traditional methods while also helping to eliminate or at least reduce some of the other drawbacks.

Traditional Timesheet Tracking Methods

Over the years, companies have tried numerous team management methods regarding tracking, reviewing, and approving timesheets. Unfortunately, these methods have numerous flaws that can result in you putting many hours into the time review and approval process. Some of these flaws include:

  • Employees forgetting to complete timesheets
  • Employees deliberately filling in the wrong details
  • Dishonest practices like ‘buddy punching’
  • Lost timesheets
  • Difficulty verifying information
  • Difficulty reading handwriting
  • High paper use
  • Employees forgetting badges and punch cards etc.
  • Employees having to queue to use punch cards and similar.

Many of these problems are reduced or even eliminated with time management tools like the PK4 TimeTracker, however.

Time Tracking Software

The PK4 TimeTracker is a powerful yet easy to use time tracking platform that makes it easier for employees to record working hours clearly and accurately. With the data stored safely in Salesforce,  it is a lot easier to work with. And the software provides a range of helpful project management features that take a lot of the work out of time review and approval.

Easily Verifiable Hours

The PK4 platform has team management features that help make it easy for managers to verify that employees were working according to their timesheets. For example, geo-tracking technology will let managers know that employees were in the location they were supposed to be.

Timesheets are Not Lost

With data recorded digitally and synced in real time to Salesforce (for the mobile and web apps), companies no longer have to overcome problems caused by lost timesheets. The information is also available immediately in real-time, instead of waiting for employees to bring their timesheets to the office.

Easy to Read

Because your employees record everything digitally, timesheets created with the PK4 TimeTracker are easy to read. Gone are issues over not being able to read somebody’s handwriting and problems such as paper documents becoming ruined.

Human Error

People make mistakes; they can also forget to track time, and a study has shown that just over 25% of people never track time reading or answering emails. The PK4 TimeTracker software helps to reduce human error both from the employee and from the person reviewing and approving the timesheet.

Reduced Paper Usage

You won’t have to use any paper when working with digital time trackers. A paperless system will help reduce your costs in the long term while also helping you do your part for the environment.

Additional Tools and Functionality

Time tracking software will also help the time review and time sheet approval process in other ways. With the PK4 TimeTracker, project management has all the information it needs right in front of them on a single screen. Timesheets can be approved with the click of a button or sent back to the employee for amendments if required, with a message stating why the timesheet has been returned.

The PK4 time sheet approval software works seamlessly inside Salesforce, helping to keep all relevant data in a single location. Additionally, users that don’t use Salesforce can still use the PK4 TimeTracker web app OR mobile app OR the Chrome Extension for employees to track their time. This is especially great for time tracking for employees working out in the field. All these timesheet entries are also directly synced to Salesforce for analysis, reporting and integration with payroll and invoicing.

The benefits of using PK4 TimeTracker don’t end there, either. For example, for people tracking time within Salesforce, you can install lightning components where a timer starts automatically when employees start working on a specific record. The timesheet can also be broken down in terms of which tasks the employee was working on. Comprehensive reports are also available, and dashboards that help to make it easy to see relevant details at a glance.

Overall, the PK4 TimeTracker offers an impressive array of functionality and streamlining the work involved and helping to reduce time sheet approval errors and other problems. Check out how simple it is to enter, review and approve time with this powerful yet easy to use platform.

5 Tips To Stay Focused At The Office Or At Home :)

5 Tips To Stay Focused At The Office Or At Home :)

Some people thrive in a busy office, but not everyone is cut out for working in a distracting atmosphere. If you’re struggling to get things done at work, there are plenty of ways to be productive without chaining yourself to your desk and swearing off all social interaction.

The most precious commodity in today’s world is focus: holding undivided attention to the task at hand. But how do we get there when we’d much rather “focus” on Facebook or watching funny cat videos?

Don’t despair. We’ve prepared these 5 tips for focused work to help you slay your workday and make your colleagues jealous.

1. Race against yourself

Using a timer as a motivational tool is very powerful, especially if you’re a competitive person. Even if you don’t have external pressure to finish specific tasks, you can set mini-deadlines and use a time tracker to track the interval you’d like to stick to.

Parkinson’s law states that any task expands to fill the time we allow it. Most of us don’t even schedule our work, and wishful thinking won’t get things done. Strive to do quality work in the shortest time possible and you’ll surely enter a deep state of focus.

2. Leverage peer pressure

Most of us have an innate desire to please people, so we may as well use it to our advantage. Just like accountability partners and workout buddies can help us reach goals outside work, we can mimic the same peer pressure inside our office environment. If you hate working alone, spend time with a like-minded colleague who values efficiency and productivity.

Want to take social pressure to the next level? Tell your boss, manager, or coworker your plans to finish a certain project by the end of the day. Afraid this approach will get you into trouble? Good. You’ll work extra hard just to avoid embarrassing yourself in front of others.

3. Listen to focus-inducing music

If you’re working in an open space, you’re probably aware of this magical device called noise-canceling headphones. They might make you look a little silly, but they’re a good defense against that coworker who wants to hang out by the coffee machine for the millionth time. Unlike him, you might actually get some stuff done.

But since you’re already shutting out the outside world, why not go a step further and feed your brain some hypnotic waves? Binaural beats are proven to increase cognitive function, improve memory and strengthen neural connections. You can choose from plenty of playlists on YouTube and Spotify and feel your mind enter its zone of genius.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash  

  

4. Schedule uninterrupted time

The single biggest enemy of focus is interruption. Interruptions can come from your team, your phone or e-mail, and even yourself. Distractions and unforeseen situations will never stop occurring, but it’s in your power to make yourself unavailable.

Block uninterrupted time in your schedule and let your coworkers and even superiors know that you’ll be unable to respond during that specific time unless it’s a true emergency. Place your phone on airplane mode and out of sight. Shut your e-mail and notifications off. This might seem scary or selfish at first, but you’ll get a lot of work done, and you’ll barely be missed.

5. Use apps to block distractions

Okay, so you’ve taken care of other people distracting you. Now, you need to take care of your own interrupting behavior because, when it comes to focusing, even mindlessly clicking online for a few moments can ruin your state of flow.

Breaking deeply ingrained habits like picking up your phone or scrolling on social media to soothe yourself when you’re stressed or uncomfortable isn’t an easy thing to do. That’s why using apps that block those specific sites can be so beneficial. You can try FreedomFocusMe, or SelfControl, just to name a few.

Apps are an integral part of our life today. As your work gets more focused, you’ll want to have all your efforts on record. Our Time Tracker for Salesforce is a great way to keep track of the work that you’ve done.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a habit of efficiency. The longer you procrastinate on work, the less time you’ll have to truly disconnect, engage in meaningful conversations or even leave home early. Not to mention that you’ll feel so proud of everything you accomplished. Try these ideas for yourself, and may the “focus” be with you! 🙂

6 Reasons Why Time Tracking Is Important For Your Business

6 Reasons Why Time Tracking Is Important For Your Business

Let’s face it – time tracking isn’t easy. It doesn’t come naturally for most people, and you may be afraid that your employees won’t be open to the idea. But even if it looks tedious at first, it’s a habit that, once enforced, will bring tremendous benefits for your business.

Time tracking is more than just checking on individual employees – it creates a complex picture of how your projects are doing, and it even helps you determine whether you’re charging what your business is worth.

Here are 6 reasons why adopting time tracking is important in most lines of work:

1. Time tracking helps spot productivity issues.

Tracking your employees’ time is the best way to track their behavior and spot potential problems. With the help of a simple product like the  Time Tracker, you can identify who’s late, who’s going on breaks more than they should, or taking too many sick days.

Going into the specifics, you can easily check how much time your employees spend on their assigned tasks and make sure that they’re actually doing something productive.

Which leads us to our next point: measuring time is just the first step – it’s how your employees spend that time that matters.

2. Time tracking helps management find employees who are open to new tasks.

So your employees have come into the office, they’ve punched their virtual cards – but are they really there to do the work? It’s easy to waste time and hide behind easy tasks instead of tackling challenging projects.

This is where your task management skills come in. It’s your job to discover those employees with light workloads, and time tracking software will allow you to see what your workers are doing. With one glance, you can get an idea of who is working on essential tasks and who isn’t and reprioritize to fit your new goals.

3. Time tracking ensures fair payroll.

When handling payroll, you have to be careful about many things: overtime, paid leave, paid or unpaid breaks, etc. Nobody likes to be exploited, and without time tracking in place, it’s nearly impossible to pay your employees fairly: either them or your business will suffer.

Time tracking software takes a lot of the guesswork out of payroll and streamlines many management and HR processes.

4. With time tracking in place, you can bill clients accurately.

Is your business strategy based on “guesstimations”? When charging their clients, many business owners scratch their heads and estimate a value that would be good for the company and satisfactory for the client.

But is this number based on actual data?

With time tracking, you’ll have a detailed record of your work. Based on this record, you can accurately bill your client with an invoice that reflects your efforts. Should any arguments arise, you can show your client the actual work that went into the project.

5. Time tracking helps you make better estimates for future projects.

Estimating how much time and effort should go into specific projects is a tricky business. Even if you have solid work experience, you might still end up overloading your team with extra work and exceeding the costs and hours assigned for a project.

Clients change their minds, and unexpected problems derail projects all the time. However, you can still significantly improve your project estimates and learn from your mistakes by tracking the time spent on specific tasks and projects and making adjustments for future similar work.

6. Time tracking will enable you to quote fair prices.

Once you go through all the steps above and analyze your company’s budget and expenses, you may realize that you’re charging far too little for your company’s products or services.

That may sting at first – but it’s for the best. Your employees’ time is costing you, so why not have better rates that reflect your company’s efforts? With time tracking, you’ll find that charging more is evidence-based, rather than just covering black holes intuitively.

More profit and happy employees? Yes, please.

Conclusion 

At the end of the day, time tracking is all about creating new opportunities. When areas that need improvement are staring you right in the face, it’s easy to take steps for better productivity.

Enabling your employees to log their time may need some troubleshooting at first, but rest assured that you can always make the necessary adjustments inside our Time Tracker for when workers forget to log in or enter the wrong data. So embrace the process, and watch how time tracking transforms your business.