Heather asked me to give her the monthly time logs for invoices today, so I took the opportunity to run my brand new script that shows how I've spent my time over the entire year.

I averaged:

13.7 hours a week on directly billable work

7.6 hours a week on maintaining the company, phone systems, servers and any time spent at our rental house

1.1 hours a week on LifeType

8.1 hours a week checking facebook and blogs and also email (lots of which is work related, but I don't differentiate between work and personal email, and I don't get paid for anyway)

I think I've been spending more time on blogs and facebook lately, so I was interested in those numbers specifically - each of those categories come in around an hour and a half per week.

I've had a lot of directly billable work this year, and our income reflects that.  I am not sure if all of that income will continue into next year.  29% of that billable income came from individuals, and another 10% came from companies that had more one-time projects in nature than on-going projects.

I am pretty happy with the "maintenance" number; it shows that I can keep the company going with 13 hours or work a week (counting all email time as "work").  And the directly billable percentage (45%) is great!

Posted by Jon Daley on December 23, 2010, 11:40 am | Read 4283 times
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This is interesting, and I appreciate that you posted it. I'm surprised that the billable fraction can be so low -- I worked in IT in college, and they wanted us to have at least 40 billable hours each week. Administrative time was on top of that -- you and I have talked salary before, and the regulars at that firm made a comparable amount to what you make (though they had benefits, etc, covered). The moral seems to be that you could get by with much less as an individual.

I've been thinking a lot about hours and compensation lately. I know the statistics for MontCo, and adjusted for my education and work schedule, I probably make a little more than half of the median income here (that's ~ median * 0.5). That has the potential to jump a bit if/when I land a faculty job, but I don't think the actual number of hours will go down, which would be the real goal.

And then the other part of me makes me think that I should be content in all situations and not worry about it so much. At least for me, it's hard to determine which desires are good and which are simply motivated by greed.

Posted by Nick Fitzkee on December 24, 2010, 8:25 am

That is interesting about wanting 40 billable hours. When I talk to sales people, they say 25 to 30 percent is a good number. I wonder if the hourly rate is different in these circumstances. My hourly rate now is 2 to 2.5 times what I made when I worked full time.

As far as my income, it has changed significantly since we last talked I think. This year, though we'll still just squeeze under the limit (as long as they count the yet to be born baby) for free health care for the kids (since PA thinks we are poor...) our income is much higher than last year. It is still less than when I was at my full time job - I haven't finished my taxes quite yet, but we'll be around 60K this year.

But yes, your final comment trumps all - it is hard where you are living, both geographical and the culture; you probably need to print out a verse on material things or contentedness or something and post it some place in your house, so you can continually reminded of it, to help counter the messages you hear all over the place.

As for hours, yes it is nice to work less hours, and though some extra money would make some things easier (we're trying to find a new minivan right now...) having more time for all sorts of other things is great. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to go back to a full-time job - that would be really hard. (and thus, this is why I said to my Wednesday morning guys - I feel too comfortable - my biggest struggles right now are hoping I don'thave to work a full-time job and deciding about which car to purchase...)

Posted by jondaley on December 24, 2010, 9:14 am

By the way, Jon just talked with me this morning, basically saying he realized that while he has lots of time, he wonders if I am "working like a maniac". So we discussed a bit what he and I can do about that. (:

Posted by joyful on December 24, 2010, 11:42 am

Another thing I realized while thinking about this some more is that while it is generally a good thing that my hours are pretty sporadic, there is also a downside, where I am on call 24 hours a day all year long, and so sometimes I work in the middle of the night, which probably some people would think the whole thing not worth it.

Posted by jondaley on December 24, 2010, 1:11 pm

Good, work, Jon. ;) (Referring in particular to Heather's comment.)

Flexible hours but on call all the time is a relatively modern phenomenon for men, I think, and still rare, though it's a pretty good description of life as a mother/homemaker.

Posted by SursumCorda on December 26, 2010, 1:25 pm
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