This week I have got back into the habit of tracking my time for the vast majority of my working day. I find having a timer ticking on my screen helps improve my focus, increases the amount of time billed to clients, and helps me improve the accuracy of my quotes. I thought it might be interesting to share how a freelancer spends their time during an average week.
Business Tasks – 10%
Business tasks covers all sorts of un-billed business related tasks – for example task schedule planning, replying to emails, invoicing, accounts, pre-sales and other administration tasks. This is probably slightly lower than what I would usually expect.
Support – 21%
This covers both formal web support agreements, as well as providing support on an adhoc basis to customers (either billed or un-billed).
Since my first website, I have been offering customers web support packages. These provide me with a regular income, and provide the customer with fast and reliable support (the other key benefit is that as time is pre-paid for, there is no minimum charge). For a few customers, I also support the users of their websites, and at this time of year, this can be up to 30-40 support tickets a week.
Minor Work – 17%
This covers minor(usually) chargeable work, such as website alterations, email templates or new modules. These are usually billed by the hour.
Large Projects – 45%
These are projects where I have given a quoted price for an entire project – something like a new website development or app.
Personal Projects – 2%
I have a number of personal projects on the go at the moment, and I find this share of my time depressing low (especially compared to…)
Social Media – 3%
This is time spent on social media sites and generally browsing the web (to be fair including Google Reader) and nothing else.
I have no problem spending this amount of time “socialising” though – when you work on your own and, in my case, in a small village, sites like Twitter and Facebook make up for the absence of work colleagues. This time is also not just “social” but includes reading industry related posts, sharing ideas and networking (the business justification of Twitter is probably a good topic for another blog post in the future).
Personal – 1%
Non-work related activities, like researching a birthday present, or viewing the latest trailer for Civilisation 5!
How do you spend your time?