Monitoring Your Effectiveness: Methods and Benefits

Today, most of us do our work on a laptop or computer. It is especially important to be able to measure your effectiveness, especially if you do not have the normal nine to five work hours. Measuring your effectiveness gives you a clear picture of whether you are using your time in a productive manner that leaves room for other activities, or whether you are overwhelming yourself with work, which can threaten to take over your life and make you feel like all you do is work.

Below, we have analyzed several benefits of monitoring your effectiveness, as well as methods on how to monitor your effectiveness best.

Make a plan

Before monitoring your effectiveness, you will need to make a few decisions. First off, you need to decide how you are going to monitor your effectiveness, and whether you need to use a special software. One of the most basic ways of monitoring your productivity is using a simple spreadsheet where you will input the time you started working, the time you spent researching, and so on, including breaks for coffee, lunch or breaks of other nature. As such, monitoring your effectiveness this way can be a bit difficult, demanding and time consuming, despite the relatively short time you will need to input the information. This is where software comes into play.
Another thing you need to decide is whether you will include idle internet surfing, chatting and researching into your effectiveness periods. Ideally, you would need to exclude these from your total effective amount, because they can have a great impact on your overall productivity in a negative way.

Time tracking software

You can download time tracking software, which you can use to track your effectiveness. All you need to do is turn on and off the program, and you’re all set. This method is very good in showing you just how much you work, and how much time you have accomplished in that period. In addition, you can use this software even if you do not work on your laptop at the time. The positive thing is that you can do your work elsewhere – on a notebook, or a whiteboard – and the program will still record your time. This way, you will discover how much time you need in order to develop your ideas, project plans, and other responsibilities, in order to maximize on the time you need to work on realizing those ideas on your laptop or otherwise. With time tracking software, you can develop the ideal workday schedule.

System tracking software

Another effective way of monitoring your performance and effectiveness is by tracking your system. Ideally, when you’re at the peak of your effectiveness in your work, your system will show it through your system activity in real time. One of the best system tracking software for Mac is the atMonitor tracking tool.
The atMonitor tracking tool is a Mac OS X System Monitor, and Process Explorer tool. With it, you will get to see your system activity in real-time and use the information to determine when you’re most effective and doing the most work. With atMonitor, you can quickly access the state of your computer. It’s a highly advanced monitoring tool, because not only does it have the features of the basic Mac Activity Monitor, it also has many other utilities and features. Some of the most notable extensions to the basic monitoring tools are the possibilities to interact with your processes, set up logging, triggers of over usage of your CPU and RAM, and other tools.
For your effectiveness monitoring purposes, the atMonitor tracking tool’s best feature is the logging. You will get a normal spreadsheet of the usage and effectiveness of your system, and through that, you would be able to determine the hour, or when you are most effective, as well as for how long you can keep up the peak of your effectiveness.

Watching and setting up alarms

Another method of measuring your effectiveness is by using a stopwatch (which is basically how the time tracking method works), or setting up alarms on every hour, or more, to determine how quickly you can complete your tasks and responsibilities.
This is a very good method of measuring effectiveness if you don’t spend a lot of your working time on your computer. Many people plan their projects and sketch out their designs on whiteboards, and some have even turned whole walls into whiteboards using this dry erase paint recommendation. Today, with the invention of smart watches, you can measure your effectiveness using time tracking and system tracking software specially designed for smart watches, or you can use your smartphone or iPhone, and use software like atPeek, and others.

Organizing and planning a workday

The optimal time for measuring your productivity is in the course of a week, or even two. What is important to note is that you need to have projects to fill your time during the two weeks, and this way, you will get a sense of how much of your time is spent effectively and productively. Then, you can use the information to develop the ideal working day. for example, if you are most productive in the afternoon, but lag behind during the morning, you can develop a working schedule where you will work in the afternoon, but not work in the morning. This way, you will ensure that you do not struggle working in the morning, and plan other activities during this period, so that when you get to work in the afternoon, you will be both rested and at the peak of your productivity. If your most productive period is during the hours before noon, then you can develop working days where you will complete all of your tasks before noon, and have the rest of the day to focus on other things.
Some people prefer to work and be effective for only a few hours at a time. A very common misconception is that you cannot be fully productive if you need to take a break every two hours. This can be a source of stress for many people. However, if you monitor your effectiveness, you can discover the exact time periods in the day when you are being effective, and plan your work day in those segments. Remember, at the end of the day, it’s important to complete your tasks and take care of your responsibilities when you’re most effective, because that’s when you will finish your project fastest, and produce better results.