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Freelancing is a great way to break into the business world, but it can also be challenging if you don't know how to manage your time effectively.
It's critical that you not only understand the significance of tracking your time spent on each job, but that you also have tools in place to help you measure and improve your productivity levels.

In this post, we'll explain what a timesheet is and why it's essential for freelancers. Then we'll go over the top five things every freelancer needs to succeed.

What exactly is a timesheet?
A timesheet is a modern term for what was previously known as a time book. A timesheet is a physical or virtual tool that allows you to record and track the time you spend working.
As an employer, you will be able to see exactly how many hours each employee has worked.

It is used to track and control employee working hours. This, in turn, can be used for payroll purposes as well as to assess a company's productivity levels.
As an employer, you'll know exactly how long each employee takes to complete their tasks, and if they're underperforming, you'll be able to address it with them right away or take appropriate action!

Timesheet History
The A.B.A. created the first modern timesheet in an effort to increase profits for lawyers (seriously!) by requiring them to start tracking their hours spent on each job and then billing accordingly.
This was done to ensure that they remained competitive with other law firms in the area at the time.

Timesheets are more common nowadays than they were back then, and most businesses use them to track the hours worked by their employees in order to determine whether or not they are meeting productivity standards.
This is accomplished by analyzing how long it takes each individual employee on average to complete a specific task, which can range from writing to cleaning.

What are timesheets used for?
Timesheets are the cheapest and simplest way to keep track of how many hours you work. It eliminates any doubts about what was worked on, when it occurred (and for how long), and who did it all in accordance with their role within a project.
Timesheets are used in many businesses that have employees or freelancers working for them on a contract basis. It is best known for its accurate payroll calculation and reporting.

Timesheets are an excellent tool for project management teams that must work with a variety of employees or contractors on a regular basis.
They can be used to identify issues in time management, task distribution, communication, and other areas by tracking the number of hours spent on each project throughout its life cycle.

How can timesheets help your business?

Timesheets can help both employees and employers in a variety of ways. It's a great way to keep track of how much work is completed, who completes it, when they complete it (and for how long), and how communication levels within the business can be significantly improved.
As an employer, you'll always know where your money is going. You'll be able to see which areas of your company receive the most (or least) attention and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Managers can also use timesheets to identify trends, such as whether employees spend too much time on social media sites during work hours. These "distractions" will then be addressed with the individual in question.

What is the purpose of a timesheet?
Timesheets can be used in one of two ways: as a physical tool or as online software. Physical timesheets are typically made of pre-printed paper with grids on it that employees fill out on a daily basis with their work time and activities.
This is then added to the archive for review at any time by company managers or HR representatives.

A digital timesheet, which is an online tool that helps employees and managers track their time, is also available.
The distinction between the two types of timesheets is equally straightforward: physical tools are more expensive than software, but they are better for the environment and will not run out of battery life!

Timesheets of various types
Businesses use five different types of timesheets to track the hours worked by their employees.

  1. Timesheet for each day
    This type is used in businesses where employees are paid by the hour and must log their working hours every day before leaving for the day.
    This can be done on paper or with technology tools like a computer or mobile device.
  2. Timesheet for the week
    This type of recording is used in businesses where employees work full-time and their hours are recorded at the end of each week by completing an online form indicating how many hours they worked on each day.
  3. Biweekly timesheets are used in businesses where employees work full-time and their hours are recorded at the end of every two weeks by filling out an online form that shows how many hours they worked on each day.
  4. Monthly timesheets This type is used in businesses where employees work full-time and their hours are recorded at the end of each month by filling out an online form that shows how many hours they worked on each day.
  5. Timesheets every two months
    This type is used in businesses where employees work full-time and their hours are recorded twice a month by completing an online form that shows how many hours they worked on each day.
    A timesheet example
    Employees at company X are required to fill out their timesheets on a weekly basis. They can do this by logging into the company portal with their unique log-in information and then entering how many hours they worked that week across all of their projects or tasks assigned to them during that time period.
    The first row is for Monday through Sunday, while the second row is for the minutes.
    The third and fourth rows are used to document their hours, with each task or project having its own line, so managers can see exactly how much time was spent on a specific day of the week, which is extremely useful when delegating tasks.
    What are the benefits of using a timesheet?
  6. Simpler Billing Cycle
    Timesheets allow you to easily bill your clients for the time spent on their projects by documenting your work effort.
    This will be extremely simple because everything is already documented in one place and you won't have to track everything down or remember how long each task took you! It also helps avoid the penalty for filing taxes late.
  7. Correct Estimates
    Timesheets enable freelancers to precisely estimate how long a task will take from start to finish.
    This is extremely important for freelancers because it allows us to estimate our profit margins before we even begin working on something!
  8. Boost Productivity
    You'll have a clear picture of how much time is spent on each task if everything is documented in one place.
    That means you won't have to spend a lot of time figuring out how to increase your productivity levels, such as by outsourcing work or delegating tasks to other team members so they can gain more experience and learn from their mistakes.
  9. Evaluation
    Managers can use timesheets to determine which projects and tasks are most important to their employees. This enables them to prioritise work based on what is most relevant to the company's goals and objectives.
    For example, if a manager notices that an employee is working late into the evenings or on weekends on something specific, they may make that task a priority and provide more funding or resources to ensure that the project is completed on time.
  10. Appreciation
    Every time someone looks over your timesheet, there's a chance it'll come up in conversation, which is an opportunity for managers or coworkers to recognise and appreciate you!
    You can use this to request raises when they are due. It also assists you in advocating for yourself when you are underpaid.

    Timesheets are critical for tracking the time spent on projects and tasks. Timesheets can help you make more accurate estimates when working with clients when you're freelancing because they make it much easier to document your work effort in one place.
    This allows you to spend less time at the end of each month calculating your profit margins. You can use this time to market yourself more effectively through various channels, which will help you expand your client base.
    All of these advantages make timesheets indispensable for any freelancer or small business owner! If you aren't already using them in your organisation, now is the time to start so you can reap all of their benefits!
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