I know that I seem to be harping on about this, but it has become a serious issue in my life. After making my decision the other day, I am pleased to announce that I managed to get to my x and y yesterday, but not my z. However, I have billed ‘extra’ for the client crisis that could have been avoided had the client, firstly, listened to what I told them to do in the first place, and secondly. had the client reacted sooner to the problem instead of waiting until the last possible moment. It felt really good to empower myself in this way. Today, however, has been an altogether different story!
Today, despite being up and at it since 02.15 (I am an insomniac remember), it is now 13.23pm and I am only getting to write this article now – it is usually done by at least 08.00 am! What have I done for the day – well the z of yesterday was extremely urgent so that has been done, but the a, b, and c for today have not even been looked at. I have done some admin, sent out several e-mails that had to go out, looked at the e-mails that have come in and prioritized them and dealt with what needed to be dealt with, made the calls that I was supposed to, and received a bunch more that I then had to deal with. So once again I have been running around – clearly “intent” is not enough I now have to get down and tackle the nitty-gritty.
What I have realized though is that my time and focus are constantly being interrupted by phone calls, people arriving without prior appointments, urgent e-mails, and the like. For many of these, I am not charging and the question now is – why not!
The first thing that I have to ascertain is – how much is my time actually worth and clearly this cannot be a ‘thumb suck’ type of question.
Now the ‘how to’ go about this needs a little more attention – firstly, from tomorrow I am going to write down every little thing that I do and the time that it takes me to do it (oh dear, this is going to be interesting). Not only do I have to write this down, but it also needs to be allocated to one of four different headings which will show me exactly how much time I spend on doing client work, how much is spent on Networking and building relationships, how much is spent on administration and how much is spent as personal time (again this is going to be really interesting). I am going to do this for a period of at least a month so that I have monitored every single aspect of the kind of work that I do. Once this is established I will be able to work out exactly what my time is worth and can start charging appropriately.
In this way, I will be able to start charging people appropriately for the work that I do for them and I am also quite sure that it will enable me to get rid of the people who waste my time because of course they will also be charged.
In all probability I am going to get the shock of my life when I see just how much time I spend on others without charging them – as I said, this is going to be an interesting exercise!
Now, where did I put my notebook – actually there is no better time to start than the present because after all, my time is one of my most precious commodities, simply because it is so scarce.
Yip – an interesting time indeed!