Monday, January 24, 2011

Strange things are happening...

Three years into this whole small business thing, and a slew of supporting side jobs later, I've started to understand something... the challenge of being your own boss is that you actually have to be the boss... and that this isn't as freeing as it sounds.

For the past 3 weeks or so I've been following the advice of a book I've been reading, that said to stop every  30 minutes to log down what you just did. I've been doing that. It's been a little disheartening, because there were days when I forgot to do it, or days that I've been home in the middle of yet another snowstorm. But tonight I transcribed some of what I had logged down, and broke down just how much work I've actually been getting done while I'm in the shop.

Even on days when I've been actively doing something for a solid 9 hour day, it looks like I'm generally able to focus solidly on the job at hand for about 50% of the hours that I'm putting in on some days. Some of the rest of that time is going to organizational stuff like coming up with a checklist of what to do next, do I don't have to think while I'm at the table saw. (I find that trying to simultaneously plan and execute a project leads to a diminished ability to do either one well.) But there are other times where I spin off completely and feel the need to do on the spot maintenance, repair, or refinement of a machine or process, or construction of a jig that I need to do whatever it is...  and almost immediately I lose anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half.

Typically, times like these are when a good boss is needed, to grab you by the collar, call you something unprintable, and tell you to get the F!!! back to work. But since I'm self employed, I need to be my own boss. And after a few weeks of charting where my time goes, I'm pretty sure that my employee needs to be grabbed by the collar a little more often.

It's an evolving process, but I felt the need to share.

No comments: