Friday, March 13, 2009

Apologies for not having more time for family, friends and clients lately!

I've gotten very busy these last few months. Apologies to those of you I haven't been spent as much time with as you would like! I feel a little silly putting down so much detail, but I'm getting a lot of disbelief that I don't have more time, so...

You would have to be away from home working 20 hours a day if you only worked weekdays from an office to get the same amount of work done as I do, assuming:

  • 40 minutes of round-trip drive time to and from work, eating breakfast in the car
  • Two meetings/week
  • Getting ready each morning (I'm at the computer within 30 seconds most mornings)
  • Standard breaks
  • 30 minutes for dinner
As it is, I pretty consistently get about 12.5 hours of work done every day, seven days a week regardless of holidays. Again, that doesn't mean I work a "12 1/2 hour day." More like a 14-hour day the way most folks mean it. I almost always keep working while talking on the phone, and each week I use a variety of methods to automate what I do more and more. I'm working from home, and my wife Sarah takes care of all errands and meals so I can keep working.

Frustratingly, most of the people I have outsourced to haven't worked out, from coders to virtual assistants. 

Nevertheless, some family and friends still figure I must take breaks or spend time on miscellaneous stuff; basically that I have more free time than I realize. Actually, no, I don't. Here are the non-work things I do each week, using time-tracking software to indicate about how much time these take me each week:
  • I don't own a TV, but once a week I do watch one show over the internet or go out to see a movie (1.5 hours).
  • A little more than every other week Sarah and I go out for something else, sometimes just me going on errands with her, or to visit family (2 hours).
  • I browse the internet for miscellaneous stuff or general news headlines about 20 minutes a day, much, much, much less than I used to (2.5 hours).
  • I do a small number of miscellaneous things a month—like this blog post (1.75 hours). 
  • I exercise about 20 minutes/day away from the computer (2.5 hours) and some at the computer. I eat one meal a day away from the computer with Sarah so we can talk more (4.5 hours). 
  • Sarah and I also talk a very little bit during the day about non-work things (2.5 hours).
  • I do tech support for family and clients a few times a week. (1.25 hours).
  • Appointments outside home  (2).
  • Contemplation breaks (3 hours).
  • I sleep about 8 hours, but spend an additional few minutes falling asleep and another 45 minutes reading or talking in bed most evenings (63 hours).
I have someone screen all my calls and emails and a lot of my internet messages so I don't get interrupted much, and each week I organize or automate a little more for Sarah or a virtual assistant to do for me.

Since I run a 24-hour news service 7 days a week, it's hard to outsource things to people who aren't responsive on a hourly basis, which few can be. But I'm just reaching the point where automation will allow me to hire more folks to do some of my work. This means I can put more attention onto some longer-term projects.

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