I’m off to the Financial Bloggers conference today (I’m writing this on the bus – the Megabus, actually!), and I’m trying to get at least a few hours of productive time in today while I travel to Chicago. That got me thinking: how much time do I actually spending working on projects outside of my job?
Today, my question for you is: how many hours a week do YOU spend on work, not counting a job? This could be anything from freelancing, writing, blogging, consulting, or other side work, etc. If you don’t have a job, simply include all the work you do in a normal week. If you don’t know, challenge yourself to track it next week.
I don’t usually know the exact number of hours, but I’m going to guess it’s about 12 hours a week, depending on how much I can fit it on weekends. I’m going to track this myself for the next week or two and see if I’m spending the amount of time on it that I think I am.
The second part of my question: how much time do you wish you were spending on this work?
Even with a job that I’m at for 40 hours a week, 12 extra hours a week doesn’t sound like a lot. There’s roughly 6 hours a weekday when I’m neither working nor sleeping. On the weekends, there’s about 32 free hours total. That adds up to a whopping 62 hours of non-working, non-sleeping time each week. It’s extremely unrealistic to assume I’m going to get work done and be productive for all that time (hey, I have to eat, enjoy a beer, and watch football sometime!) Plus, it’s easy to get distracted and find other things to occupy my time.
Here’s what I think I can realistically do in a typical week:
9 hours of work on weeknights (Monday-Thursday)
6 hours total on the weekend (assuming I’m not traveling)
Total = 15 hours.
I can do more if I need to meet a deadline or just have something that I’m really motivated and excited to work on, but I want to avoid burnout by trying to squeeze in too much. Plus, I can get a lot accomplished in 15 hours if I really do solid, productive work. The actual quantity of time doesn’t mean a thing if you’re just goofing off when you’re supposed to be doing work. But I think the number of hours that you’re attempting to be productive is a good starting point for how effective you’re actually being.
Next week, I’m going to shoot for 15 hours of solid side-work and do my best to track it with my accountability journal. If I can earn roughly $25 per hour (which is what the minimum I think my time is worth) during these 15 hours, that would be an extra $375 a week that I can bank for meeting my $10k savings goal. I haven’t hit this mark yet, but I think the potential is definitely there if I work at it.
Again, here are my questions for you:
1) How many hours of work (or anything described as a business) do you do a week, not counting a job or other employment?
2) Are you satisfied with this amount? Or do you wish you could fit in more or get away with less?
Have a great weekend, and see some of you at FINCON!
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photo by: Dee Adams