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I hate doing timesheets

22 replies

imneveralone · 22/12/2021 20:51

I have to do timesheets for my job. A lot of it is billable, some non-billable. I really struggle with it, and it's my least favourite part of the job.

The minimum amount we can bill is 15 minutes, but the thing is sometimes time just gets spent on lots of little things, and I don't know what to put it as on my timesheet. For example, 9-9:20ish I usually am reading and replying to random emails, I put it down as 'admin and emails' but got told it has to go on a billable job code, but it's 2 minutes of emails for client A, 2 minutes for client B, etc.

I try and keep track of my time as I go, but on Fridays I'm often trawling through my group chats looking at the time I sent work across to know how much time I've spent on things.

Sometimes I do the timesheets as I go, but I find there are still pockets adding up to around 1 hour everyday where I'm not really sure what I was doing? A mixture of replying to random emails and messages usually.

Does anyone have any advice on doing timesheets?

OP posts:
BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz · 22/12/2021 20:56

How often do you have to submit?

I'd keep a blank sheet of paper and coloured pens next to you. Each colour is a client. During the day, scribble down times as you go.

Anything that's admin, jot it in biro. At the end of the week, split all admin time across all the clients whose colours you've used that week.

Myadhdusername · 22/12/2021 20:58

Honestly this is me every Monday! I put it off to the Monday and then regret it and I do exactly the same as you looking through my emails to try and work out what I did the previous week.

I started using a diary so on a good day I write it all down as I go but 90% of the time I am just guessing it.

Horrible horrible things to have to do.

You should be able to post some admin time though surely!

CSJobseeker · 22/12/2021 21:03

This was the thing I hated most about working in consultancy. I don't miss it at all!

I'm surprised you can't bill less than 15 minutes though - ours could go down to 0.1 of an hour.

Allmadeoflego · 22/12/2021 21:09

Do you not have time tracking software?

FreeButtonBee · 22/12/2021 21:11

This is why I left law. Fucking hell. In house has many problems but timesheets ain’t one of them!

RedRobin100 · 22/12/2021 21:13

Absolutely hated it.
Recently left private practice to go in house and not having to time record is an absolute dream!

SickAndTiredAgain · 22/12/2021 21:21

This sounds exactly like my time sheet set up at work. And yeah, I hate it as well.
I have a spreadsheet which I use as a to do list, and a time sheet record (to be transferred into my actual time sheet at the end of the day).
So if there are things that I know I’ll need to do that day, I write them down, and then other things that come in I either add to do later, or do immediately and add them with a “done” flag and a time. Items already in my to do list get a “done” mark and a time as I do them. So if I spent 15 mins doing some emails like you describe, I’d just pick one client and put 15 mins and mark as done. I try to be vaguely aware of this so I’m not putting 15 mins to the same client all the time when it’s actually time spend across multiple clients.

HeyArnoldHey · 22/12/2021 21:32

I absolutely despised this. All my work was non-billable but they still made us do it . Just to micromanage really . I have left and it was the one of the biggest things I couldn't wait to escape!

itwasntaparty · 22/12/2021 21:35

Many moons ago I was a legal sec and had to do timesheets for the partners. Their time was in 6 minute blocks it really was a complete ball ache.

zurala · 22/12/2021 22:07

I have multiple roles and have you track my time in all of them in order to invoice. I use the free app Toggl which you can set up with all your clients and projects, whether billable or not, then just press a button on your phone each time you start something. When you need to do your timesheets it's all there for you.

transformandriseup · 22/12/2021 22:10

Timesheets are the devil. I had to do them as an apprentice but a lot of my time was spent on non-billable things which then had to be added onto billable jobs which I then got pulled up on because I was apparently spending too long on each job. I decided private practice wasn't for me Grin

imneveralone · 22/12/2021 22:18

I'm glad I'm not the only one! They are such a small part of my job yet I really hate doing them. I always put it off and on Friday often spend 2 hours catching up and trying to remember how much time I spend on things.

I put something on an outdated job code and have to get it changed and it's a complete pain as I already have the rest of my timesheet approved so I can't just add it on. I have to fill in a form and get them to manually transfer the time. I feel really embarrassed about it as I figure people must find timesheets so simple, so I'm relieved that others out there hate them as much as me!

OP posts:
SilverHairedCat · 22/12/2021 22:26

This is a huge part of why I left my last job in the Civil Service. Every 6mins had to be accounted for - so every hour split into 1, and all the 0.1s had to add up to your working week.

Except, the time spent pissing about with time sheets had to be billed to an account, I never got a straight answer about recording time spent peeing, making a cup of tea or chatting to a colleague for a few minutes.

So in the end, I made most of it up and frequently got in the shit for over billing against admin time compared with every one else. Fuck it. So glad I don't do it anymore!

RedRobin100 · 23/12/2021 05:59

I got told last year I wasnt considered for promotion because my time recording had been slow. The rule was to do it every day / max within 3 days.
Grim. As I said above not having to do it now is such a relief

Allmadeoflego · 23/12/2021 07:37

Use Toggle! You can set up all of your projects and then it’s just a click to work on each one. Really easy to use

TheCraicDealer · 23/12/2021 10:05

We do this, but the smallest denomination is 0.1 (or 6 minutes). It's second nature now and I just fill out my time sheet after each task and keep saving, but given the emails we get reminding
us to submit timesheets daily there must be staff who struggle as you do. My boss did once say that we shouldn't have entries of less than 0.2 for anything but no one listened.

In your shoes for the bitty emails/tasks you describe, I would generally put "Review email from x, consider content and tactics/recommendations, reply to same and update diary" in the narrative. Someone reviewing that timesheet would reasonably expect all that to take around 15 minutes.

Blanketpolicy · 30/12/2021 13:01

My time is costed to projects. We have a new global function head who wants to get rid of all the non value admin tasks we do.

They have decided to automatically bill based on estimates to save all the admin work around it. So 10% of my time on project A, 30% on project B etc. The systems now automatically approve holidays and we dont need to enter anything for TOIL, WFH, time off for appointments etc.

I'm sure there will be problems at some point when someone abuses it, but for now it is bliss!

Oblomov21 · 30/12/2021 21:05

This is what I hated about accountancy practice. Hated it with a Passion.

plantastic · 02/01/2022 10:09

The thing that made me lose the will to live was the timesheet code for 'filling in timesheets'. Only about 30% of my work was billable as well but I had to do them for everything.

tigger1001 · 02/01/2022 10:20

I hate timesheets! I promise myself each week that it will be up to date and mostly fail!

WinterSpringSummerorFall · 02/01/2022 10:21

I feel for the clients paying for random admin time... surely there must be a better way.

footcushion · 02/01/2022 12:56

Some of our team use the ATracker App to record their time before putting it into their timesheets. The team works on several different jobs at the same time - no option other than to assign their time spent to each client. Nobody likes doing it but it's a necessary part of the job.

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