Part IV: The 30 Hour Work Week
Our brains are not designed to recall every detail, minute and task performed in a day. This is especially true when working in knowledge based fields and having to juggle work and home life. So why do so many of us think we can accurately recall every min we spent on a project for a client? It not only wastes time recalling all the hours spent on a project, but 9 times out of 10 you will under bill the client because the recall function in your brain is overloaded with information.
To maximize a 30 hour work week you need to be accurate with billable hours. To do this, we use a time tracking tool. A simple one will do. Currently, End Grain Industries uses toggl, but I encourage you to shop around to determine which time tracking tool works best for you and your work process.
There were many times when we were getting used to the routine of time tracking that we forgot to start the timer, but once we got into the routine, we no longer needed to recall every detail of every day to write an invoice. You just need to remember to hit the start button on a timer (and stop button for that matter). This frees up valuable time for more billable hours or the piles of admin work that come along with running any small business. The reports generated from the time tracking systems are also a great addition to your invoice that show the client the time spent on their work and keeps things as transparent as possible.
We don’t track everything we do on a daily basis. That is just too much. We limit our time tracking to only billable hours to ensure we are not cutting ourselves short when invoicing.
Using time efficiently is a key attribute of our work week and tracking the billable hours of that time allows clarity, transparency and alleviates our mental load just a bit.