A key part of logging time is figuring out how many hours I work. And the answer — at least with my current set-up — is surprisingly consistent. The last week of September and first week of October were quite different for me. In one, I was mostly working in the home office, and did a full half-day of work on Saturday while my husband took the kids. In the other, I traveled to San Francisco for 2 days, and spent the weekend camping, thus taking work off the table for much of the time. I’m not sure either would count as typical, though the first would be more typical than the second.
And yet I wound up logging the exact same number of “billable” hours. Not just similar. Exactly the same. As in 49 hours and 50 minutes the same.
This seems utterly improbable. Perhaps somebody else might have calculated the weeks differently — perhaps counting time in the car driving somewhere for work to be work, or time at a work-related reception to be work (I elected not to count that as work in one case, because I felt off the clock. In the other, I was gathering leads, so I did count it). That might have made the weeks come out differently. But I erred on the side of not counting things, and came up with 49 hours and 50 minutes both times.
I suspect that, sub-consciously, 50 hours feels like what I can put in. In week one, I was off more during the day, because of running, and some things at the kids’ schools. So I made up the time at night and, when I sensed I hadn’t completely made it up, I asked my husband to take the kids on the weekend. In week 2, I put in some seriously long days due to travel. I worked 5 hours on the plane to San Francisco, then worked much of the day there, making Tuesday close to a 14-hour day. But by Thursday I was fragged. Coming off the red-eye, I took a nap, worked in the afternoon, then puttered around at night. My total for that day was a mere 6 hours and 15 minutes. A 6-hour day and a 14-hour day average out at 10. And 5 10-hour days is 50 hours.
I think this is good to know. Whatever I want to do each week, professionally, I’ve got 50 hours to do it. If I work 47 weeks per year, that gives me 2350 hours. I see from my time logs that I have less ability to stretch this than I think I do. There is a work limit, and now that I know what that is, I can try to optimize the time within it.
What’s your work limit?
In other news: Wandering Scientist writes about her work limit in this post.
Photo courtesy flickr user stebulus