Hi there!

My name is Patrick, and I’ll be your PlanArty advisor if you’re a freelancer.

Not so long ago, my daily routine was something like:

  • Wake up at around 8
  • Make coffee and sit down at the computer
  • Work until late afternoon
- Yesss, my work day is done! Let’s check if I accomplished all I had for today.

And here comes the big surprise: after working all day, not even half of the planned work is done. And this was happening on a good day. In a bad one, I had no idea what I did all day long.

So, forget the free afternoon, and I've worked until my eyes were burning - ok, outside it's dark already. Go out with some friends or watch a movie...no, too tired. Just get in bed, tomorrow will be better. But, of course, the next day...the same story.

At this point, I realized that I use to work all day long but, on a good day, I do half of my work. Therefore, also half of my planned income. Not to mention the bad days, when, at the end of the day, I have no idea what I've been doing all day long. The obvious problem was: no work done, no income!

I realized I need help. Since my main concern was the fact that I was losing time without knowing exactly what on, I started using PlanArty . I recorded on PlanArty everything I was doing during the day and, after one week, I checked the results... BIG SURPRISE there :)

An average day looked like:
From - Until
(no. of minutes)
Activity
From - Until (no. of minutes) / Activity
08:00 - 09:07 (67 min.)
make coffee, check social media for news, read all those nice posts posted during my sleep
09:07 - 09:30 (27 min.)
check my emails
09:30 - 10:48 (78 min.)
solve some issues described in emails from my clients
10:48 - 11:36 (48 min.)
work on today's project
11:36 - 11:57 (21 min.)
One of my clients wrote to me on Skype about a small issue. It's my mistake, so I help him out immediately by solving the problem
11:57 - 12:05 (8 min.)
If I was interrupted anyway, let's check social media :)
12:05 - 12:36 (31 min.)
work on today's project
12:36 - 13:30 (54 min.)
One of my clients wrote to me on Skype an urgent issue. It's my mistake, and it's very urgent, so I help him out immediately by solving the problem
13:30 - 14:37 (67 min.)
eat, and meantime, of course, see what’s new on the social media, check my emails, watch 1-2 short YouTube clips
14:37 - 15:05 (67 min.)
work on today's project
15:05 - 15:20 (15 min.)
skype meeting with a client
15:20 - 15:40 (20 min.)
work on today's project
15:40 - 16:02 (22 min.)
A small break, just check Facebook if I have some new message. But meantime, of course, I read 3, 4 posts as well
16:02 - 17:00 (58 min.)
work on today’s project
17:00 - 17:36 (36 min.)
OK, I finished half of what I've planned for today...just a short break, chat a little with my friends on Messenger, read some unimportant posts, and I continue to work
17:36 - 18:23 (47 min.)
work on today’s project
18:23 - 18:36 (13 min.)
an email from a client to make him an estimate on a future project
18:36 - 19:05 (29 min.)
work on today's project
19:05 - 19:35 (30 min.)
One of my clients wrote to me on Skype about a small issue. It's my mistake, so I help him out immediately by solving the problem
19:23 - 20:03 (28 min.)
my friend just arrived in his holidays, and he describes me the hotel
20:03 - 21:00 (57 min.)
work on today's project

And the BIG RESULT of time tracking...

Billable time = ONLY 357 minutes from 780.

But, if I consider that each time I returned to work on today’s project, I had to spend 5 minutes figuring out where I was and which was the next step I had been thinking about, those 357 minutes were actually only 317 minutes, 5:28 hours!

Wasted time

Time spent on social media = 161 minutes, 2.6 hours!

Time spent on different activities that could have been done much faster if they were well organized: 305 minutes = 6 hours

patrick working

So, from all of those 13 working hours, I only have around 4.6 hours spent on the project that I had actually planned for today. And, if I also consider the productivity factor...well let's be honest. After 12 hours of sitting in front of the computer, the work that I've been done between 20:03 and 21:00, under normal circumstances, would have been easily done within 20 minutes. And, most likely, with a lot fewer errors.

And this was a "normal" day :(

If instead of 3 clients, there were 5-6 who wrote me regarding an issue, at the end of the 14 hours work program I had 2-3 hours of billable time, at best.

And I was so proud of myself about how serious I am, and how much I work…

In fact, I was losing a lot of my time on social media, and some more on correcting the errors that I made because of my disorganized working style. During the time I spent on the actual billable projects, my productivity was a disaster, to put it mildly.

patrick working
Start using your time wisely now!

Thanks to PlanArty , by recording my time and seeing the outcome on the reports, I realized that I drastically have to change something! This, if I wanted to be productive and make more money. And yes, I wanted!

So, here is what I did with my time tracking

Better planning by better analyzing and prioritizing things. Learned from PlanArty !

  1. No more social media and email reading during the morning coffee!
    1. I plan my next day at the end of each day: what I must accomplish, and what I do exactly from this hour to that hour
    2. And voila! Already have 1.5 hours gained
  2. No immediate answer on Skype, messenger, yahoo messenger, …
  3. During the time I use for the planned work, no phone ringing, no online messenger. Just a clean desk, and my work

My usual day now looks something like:

08:00 - 13:00 - work on today's project

13:00 - 14:00 - lunch break, read some news, social media or take a short walk

14:00 - 16:00 - work on today's project

16:00 - 17:30 - solve the issues reported yesterday by email, messenger, …

17:30 - 18:00 - read my emails, read my social media for my clients messages. Plan the things to do for the next day

The result?

Well, it’s astonishing!

  • I have 7 hours of billable time each day. I even raised my hourly rate, because my productivity became so much higher. I work on my projects the first part of the day without interruptions.
  • My clients are happier because my work contains fewer errors. And there are any, I’ve got those fixed in 24 hours.
  • Before that, OK, I answered them as they wrote and started to repair immediately. But, in the same way, if something else comes up, I would leave this aside and take on the new task that appeared. For the interrupting and jumping from one task to another, the correction usually arrived at my client in a lot longer than 24 hours, usually after they reminded me at least once again.
  • Even from the error correction, I can bill a certain part. Most of the errors, now that I work according to a plan, are not my mistakes. Only small changes to the original logic
  • I’m done at 18:00. 10 hours of work, from which 7-8 hours billable at higher rates, and happy clients!

Thank you PlanArty