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Tracking Your Time

I've been tracking my time over the last month or so. Someone mentioned Timesheets MTS Software which is a free program that allows you to set up projects and track how much time you're spending on each. I worked with the free program for a couple of weeks and went ahead and spent $29.95 to upgrade because I liked the interface better.

It's turned out to be valuable for me - and not just because I can track a writing project that's billable by the hour. The program does this extremely well and will generate a report I can use for accurate invoicing.

Not Just Hourly Billing

Timesheets Lite has taught me some things. For example, I do projects like this site which have potential pay.  I didn't have a clear idea of how much time I'm spending - now I do and I'm grossly underpaid. I knew that, but only in a vague way. Now I have the specifics.

There have been some surprises too. I do search engine optimization for a friend; I get paid, but it's boring work and I thought I was being horribly underpaid. Turns out I'm earning close to what I consider my minimum fee - not nearly as bad as I had guessed.

I was delighted to find out that a flat fee project I had turned out to be right on the money - I actually got paid the same amount I would have if I'd billed them hourly.

Timing More Than Writing

I got sort of obsessed with the program and began timing all sorts of things. First, I discovered that it takes me about 20 minutes to do my dishes and clean up the counters - close to what I had expected.

I also found out it takes my almost exactly twice as long to shower and dress! That really surprised me, although I don't know why - I'd had a sense of rushing for eons. It's amazing how good it feels to allow enough time.

Out of Vagueness

The real advantage of all this timing for me is I'm getting out of vagueness. My tendency is to think I have an infinite amount of time available. Sure, if you'd asked me I would have told you I have the same 24 hours each day that you do, but that's not how I felt.

I spend about 60 days timing everything in sight - I've relaxed a bit now, and time mostly various writing projects. I'm mostly out of time vagueness and it sure feels good.

Write well and often,




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Email Anne: Anne@AboutFreelanceWriting.com

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