Toggl: 5 Months of Time Tracking

In which I find out what I do all the time...

Since we have just passed the midpoint of the year and I have had a Toggl account for just over 6 months* I thought it was time I tried to analyse how I spend my time at work. In this post I'm going to be looking at overall working hours and travel.

I have 20 weeks of full data (though I was on holiday for one week). Below, Fig. 1, is a chart of the hours per week (un-adjusted raw data) and the mean daily hours I worked in each week (adjusted for the number of days worked in a given week). 

Hours Worked and Daily Hours for 20 Weeks

Figure 1: Total hours worked and hours per day for the last 20 weeks. The light grey bars show the raw number of hours worked in a week while the dark grey bars show the number of hours worked per day (taking days off into account). The mean hours worked per work day over the 20 week period was 9 hours 31 minutes. Standard week numbers are used.

Table 1 below shows the mean hours worked per day. On average I work for 2 hours more than my contracted 7h 30m but this is nearly all down to the increase in hours when I travel. As seen in Fig. 2 I traveled extensively on half of the weeks analysed. For the purposes of this I have counted travel as part of the work day which does skew the data. I can anecdotally tell you, however, that travel is tiring so I think it is fair to do so. 

When I am back in the office doing my normal day job† I only average 18 minutes over my contracted hours each day. While it is true that work is getting a bit more out of me than they expect I am happy to work a little late when needed and it helps me miss the majority of the traffic on the drive home. I plan to dig further into the makeup of my average day in a subsequent post.

Mean Work Hour / Days
Overall 9h 31m
Not Traveling 7h 48m
Traveling 11h 37m

Table 1: Mean hours per work day overall, at head office and while travelling. I work nearly 4 hours more per day when travelling. I am contracted to work 7h 30m a day under normal circumstances. 

Based on my experience Fig. 2 is not particularly surprising. My business trips are either long haul flights or fairly long drives into Europe so the fact that it is alternating between the two as the majority of my traveling hours is to be expected. Week 22 is anomalous with taxi journeys being in the majority. This is mostly due to a 3 hour taxi ride across China and the fact I only flew across to Japan at the end of the week.‡

Weekly Travel Hours By Type

Figure 2: Hours spent traveling over the last 20 weeks are shown in grey. Of those hours time spent flying, in a taxi or driving are shown in green, brown and red respectively. In a week with travel the mean time spent travelling was 19 hours. A quick comparison with Fig. 1 shows that, in general, weeks involving traveling have more overall work hours. Standard week numbers are used.

Figure 3 agrees with my experience as mentioned previously. The majority of my travel is split fairly evenly between long flights or long drives with some taxi travel between airports and hotels. The 'Other' category is for anything else and includes trains, trams, buses, maglevs and even a jet ferry.

While I don't have the data from previous years (without diving through my Google Maps timeline) I wouldn't be surprised if this is the first time flying has overtaken driving. Especially as last year had several round trips to Berlin which were 'over 12 hours long and not at all fun.§

Percentage Travel By Type

Figure 3: Percentage travel by type during travel weeks. Flights constitute 43.24% of all travel, driving 34.16% and taxis 12.15%. Other is any any type of transport I use less regularly.

Table 2 shows the mean hours spent traveling by mode of transport if the percentages in Fig. 3 are extrapolated out to the average travel week. The fact that I spend roughly 2.5 standard work days traveling in each travel week explains why I often feel so tired and don't get much time to myself when I'm on a trip.

If this were to be averaged out over the entire 20 weeks I do the equivalent of 4 hours flying per week which is quite staggering when I stop to think about it.

Mean Travel Hours / Week
Flying 8h 13m
Driving 6h 29m
Taxi 2h 18m
Other 1h 59m
Total 19h 00m

Table 2: Mean travel hours per travel week by mode of transport. Both flying and driving are often for longer distances so it is not surprising that they are the lion's share of the travel. 'Other' covers anything from ferries to maglevs.

On a final note I do 42% of my tracking via the mobile app and the rest through the web interface (usually on my work laptop but sometimes on my phone if the app crashes).

I will definitely be looking further into this data over the next week. Even if it is just to see how much time I spend on email... 

Tom Out!

*I signed up in December 2016 but failed to use it when I went back to work in the New Year until I was reminded by the Cortex podcast.

†Mostly coding and fielding support queries. I'll dig into this more next time.

‡The flight out to China was on a Sunday so was lumped into the week prior.

§Well the Autobahn was a bit fun when I took my own car.