Timesheets… Ugh!

Let me ask you this,

Well, I can guess even before publishing this post that most will say no.  It’s one more thing you have to do in addition to your zillion other tasks each week.  I forgot, I didn’t have the time, yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all.


I’ve been in this business for over 20 years and it’s never changed.  Although the need to collect the data still exists today as it did then and for different reasons, billing, payroll, project costing, tax credits and estimating, and perhaps even for time management.  Nevertheless, people dislike doing the task or just don’t make it a priority, so how can we entice people to complete the task on time?  I would like to share with you what I’ve learned on the subject in the hope that maybe I can make your task a little less daunting.


  • If at all possible, make certain the list of tasks for each project is limited to three tasks.  Make generic broad categories that people can relate to for each project like Collaboration would encompass everything from meetings to off-line discussions, e-mails, telephone.  When time is entered, users can type in a description if they want to capture more details.
  • Ensure people know the importance and the reasons why they need to track time.  When people have a better understanding of the reasons why something is done, they will be more inclined to doing it.
  • If it is not in their habit to provide time information, see if there is something you can do to motivate them to change the way they work to include this task, like setting up a notification in the Timesheet job scheduler as a reminder.  If you are able to incorporate it in a person’s daily or weekly habit, they will  more inclined to remember to do it each day or week, however you prefer.
  • Give them several alternatives to enter time using their computer, a phone or tablet for instance.  Essentially, whatever gets the job done, with the technology we have today, it’s possible.
  • Track your time as well, even if you don’t need to.  You will understand what works and doesn’t.  Teach by example 🙂
  • Ask people to give you their feedback so that you know how to make things easier for them.  Engaging people in a decision that you’ve made will make them more likely to embrace it.




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