I Tracked Every Minute of My Work Week, Here’s What I Learned

I Tracked Every Minute of My Work Week, Here’s What I Learned

Dustin Lien
February 26, 2019

I don’t think most of us realize how little we actually work. Actually, I know most of us don’t.

I’m not talking about physically being at your desk or at the office—just being present doesn’t qualify as “work”. For example, when I was at my last job before starting Jump, I remember playing this game of seeing how much water I could drink in a day because it was a good excuse to take 5-minute bathroom breaks every hour. Or what about those people who are more interested in talking with co-workers about last night’s episode of The Bachelor than they are actually, you know, working (if you’re not sure who the office gossiper is, it’s definitely you).

Jump has been growing rapidly the past month, and as I’ve been hiring more help, I was curious how many hours of help I would need, and how long some of the repeated tasks I was doing every day or every week were actually taking.

So, in typical fashion, I decided to track everything for a week, categorize the results, and use that as my basis for how much help to hire.

I learned a TON more than expected.

Here are the results, and my takeaways

Note: I initially tracked everything, even non-work related stuff, but found it too difficult to maintain, so deleted that stuff. This is only focused work activity. If I went pee, or took a break, or took a personal phone call, etc., I stopped the timer.

Tracking time results 1
tracking time results 2


1. Focused work is less common that we realize. I felt confused at first, seeing that it could take me being at the office for 10-12 hours just to clock 8 focused work hours. I Googled it, and apparently the average estimated amount of productive work done in a day by the average worker is 2 hours 53 minutes…I averaged just about 7 hours/day of focused work.

2. I found how much I actually have been stepping in to do client work, and I need to rely on and trust hired help more. Finding time to work on sales was very difficult, though I was able to carve out about 10 hours, and the result was 3 meetings set up for this coming week with potential to close sales or upsells to all of them. Win!

3. My days are very scattered. Need to work on getting into better work patterns/routines to make things feel more predictable day-to-day, and less chaotic.

4. Setting my schedule for the day first thing in the morning is critical for focused productivity. Spending too much time “deciding what to work on” in the middle of the day. Prioritize, and stick to the plan.

5. I have a tendency to micromanage. I actually don’t think that’s always a bad thing, but as others on the team are getting more used to the standards, I need to back off and let them take ownership.

6. Hiring great people is a priority. Having the wrong person ends up taking more time and money than having never hired at all. Live and learn though.

7. Prioritizing and working on the right things matters way more than just total time working. Not all work is worth doing, and even some work worth doing isn’t worth doing at the detriment of more important work.

Hope this was helpful to see the takeaways! If you’ve never don’t this, or haven’t done it in a while, it’s really fascinating and will 100% increase productivity for you and your work. Highly encourage you to do it, and if you do, let me know your takeaways :)