Margaret Kavanagh

3 Easy Ways to Track Your Work Time

YES! The project is finally complete. After working on it for a month, in-between dinner, cleaning, writing, and playing with babies … the project is done! Now all I need to do is plug in the numbers for supplies, overhead, hourly cost …
Oh no, how long did it actually take?
I know I've wondered, more than once, how long it actually took to finish a project I had to put down often. Life moves. No matter how much we'd like to slow it down or get a project done in one sitting, it's not always possible because life calls.

What to Do?

granny square timeLuckily there are few ways to figure out how much time was spent on a project to make it easier to calculate the actual cost of creating. Now, I'm no expert, I'm a maker like you, but the tips I'm going to share have worked well for me.
First, I'm not talking about a hat that only takes an hour or a scarf that goes the length of a movie. What I'm talking about is that afghan that took you four months or the top that needed to be frogged twice before you got the hang of what to do.

Count as You Go

No, not your stitches, unless of course, you need to (like me). What I mean is how long it takes to complete a full row, or square, or section of a project.
If you're making an afghan, for example, time how long it takes to complete one row. Don't rush, just set a timer or counter and take your normal time working on the row. When you're done, stop the timer and record the amount of time it took to finish that row. if your project is repetitive, chances are, it will take you about the same amount of time to complete each row.
Just multiply the number of rows by your recorded time and voilà you have a pretty good indicator of how long it will take to complete that project. (Disclaimer: There are times this won't work. For instance, if you're making a piece that grows from the middle out, each row will take longer. That's where the next suggestion comes in handy.)

Count Each Row

Oh no, again, I don't mean it literally, but if you're working on a project that grows all the way around with each row (like a huge granny square), then each time you sit down, you'll need to time the rows. But, what'll happen is you'll soon see a pattern that lets you know how much longer each row took.
Genius, right? Then all you have to do is count all the rows at the end and calculate using the incremental numbers you've gotten.
stopwatch hourglass timeI know it sounds confusing, but here's a small example: Let's say your first round took 5 minutes, your second round took 7 minutes, your third round took 9 minutes … do you see the pattern? Since you can easily say it's taking you two minutes more each row, when you get to row 20 you'll know that it may take you about 43 minutes to get all the way around. I'm no math whiz, but that sounds about right to me (give or take a few).
Try it and see how it works.  And finally …

Set an Hour

You can probably tell that all this has a lot to do with counting the minutes as you go. Now, let's say the project is a top. It may be hard to count rows because there's shaping, assembly, and other things involved. This is where I say, set aside an hour (or two if you can), and do some focused work on the project. Once you've done that hour, take a look at where you are.
Did you complete 1/3 of the project? 1/2? Take notes, because that's what you'll need to figure out your full time on the project. Don't get hung up on being exact with the amount of time you worked on a project. If it's almost an hour, round up.
It's easier to have whole numbers than to parse the numbers and there's no way to know exactly the amount of time spent unless you do it all in one sitting with no breaks. I wouldn't recommend that because it sounds a lot like a sweatshop to me and I'm sure that's not what you want to create for yourself.
It's important to get paid fairly for your time and efforts, so make sure you're paying attention as you work. Just a little timer (or your smartphone app) can make a huge difference, because you may start to see that you're underpaying yourself by under calculating your time.

How do you currently track your time? Let us know in the comments.

We'd love to hear how you keep track of your work. Do you have a trick you use to make it easier? How about an app? How do you keep your time organized so you get your fair share when selling your goods? Please scroll down and tell us! Inquiring minds want to know!


A few words about us

This article by Sedruola Maruska was originally published in an issue of Happily Hooked Magazine. If you aren’t a subscriber, you’re missing out! Visit our main website to learn more! The support in our Facebook group is phenomenal! There’s nothing like it anywhere else.

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Author Info

Blog Manager & Columnist Coordinator at Happily Hooked | + posts

I've been crocheting since my mother taught me as a little girl. I'm lucky to be working with Happily Hooked and I can't wait to share everything yarny and hooky with you! Yarn over, peeps! Yarn over!

Margaret Kavanagh

I've been crocheting since my mother taught me as a little girl. I'm lucky to be working with Happily Hooked and I can't wait to share everything yarny and hooky with you! Yarn over, peeps! Yarn over!

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