Monday, November 24, 2014

midlife monday: time in motion - time and motion

the daily pussy: bathtime
having the cat clean the bath helps with the chores
Time just vanishes.
I look back at my day and wonder why I didn't achieve more. Where did the productivity go, and how much did I earn? Why don't I feel more accomplished? What do I have to show for my day?

Today I kept a record - time, motion, tasks, much Facebook?

In terms of hours billable = 115 minutes
In terms of non-billable work = 120 minutes (though some of this will eventually convert)
In terms of tasks completed = 4
In terms of dollars earned = almost on track for my daily rate
But in terms of hours available = 7.5

But if I look at what I did do today, it might not be so bad.
In addition to almost earning my target daily rate, I also baked bread, managed about 30 minutes of volunteer work (mostly social media sharing), put out the recycling, presudaded the Neato/Roomba to wheeze around the house without getting lost, tackled some homework, checked in with the Realtor, popped in to the local bike shop to order panniers and rack for my own bike, and a widget or whatever for the Wee Guy's, caught up on correspondence, arranged a furnace service, restocked groceries, completed preliminary reading for three projects and browsed through some more science news, picked up the Wee Guy from school, baked muffins, made dinner and watched an episode of Dr. Who with the boys.

Keeping an eye on tasks done through the day, I noticed the following:
  • Around lunchtime I'm at my least creative and most likely to drift off into the blogosphere (where I read science news, catch up with friends, find interesting things to share ...). Although I tend to get the automatic jobs done first thing, maybe it would be better to tackle these during the midday slump.
  • Would assigning a dollar value to the non-billables like research, preliminary reading motivate me more? 
  • Domestic tasks tend to scatter throughout my working day - they are disruptive, and I should corral them into a defined day/hour. This is a danger of working from home I guess. Would it be better for me to step outside, work somewhere else if I feel too distracted?
One freelancer I heard presenting at a conference warned not to expect to bill for every single available hour - it was more likely to be half, and therefore adjust your rates accordingly.
If that's true, then today I was right on track.
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