Testing a theory that you don’t have to die at your desk 3

A lot of people say they are a workaholic but they actually work for half an hour, check Facebook for half an hour, work for another half-hour, fix themselves a snack, and so on. Their 12- 14 hour work day is more like a 6 or 7 hours of actual work.  I’m the opposite of those people. 

Because I spent years working as first an industrial engineer and then a statistical consultant, I track hours by habit.  When people ask how I get so much work done, the answer is, I average less than two hours a week watching TV/ video, while the typical American watches over five hours A DAY. I don’t even have a Netflix account or DVR. I spend an average of 60 minutes a day on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter combined.

So, where does the time go?

I tracked it for several weeks and here is what I found:

  • 18 hours on administration/management including interviewing potential employees, writing contracts, getting everything notarized (this is Chile), having three different forms of documentation for every expense to be reimbursed (again, this is Chile), completing required reports for the U.S. and Chilean government for grants and contracts, emailing back and forth 7 Generation Games team about what needs to be done, developers’ meeting, marketing meeting, Strong Mind Studios team meeting
  • 29 hours on marketing – emailing potential and current customers, meeting with potential customers, making slide decks for presentations, practicing presentations (my Spanish presentations take me 4 times as long because it’s my second language), calling customers, updating our website with information for customers
  • 11 hours on game development, including debugging, testing and writing new game levels/ activities
Math or death

If you’re good at math, you quickly noted that’s 58 hours in a week. If you didn’t get that quickly and you have a Windows or Mac computer, check out Spirit Lake. It helps with multiplication and division. For the addition skills, you’re on your own. 

I really suggest you try tracking your time yourself for several weeks. You might be surprised. I was. For one thing, I thought I worked more hours than that but 7 hours a week were taken up with social media and another half-hour or so just socializing with colleagues, so I was only working 58, not the 70 that I thought, but that’s still a lot considering I’ve been working full-time since I was 15 years old and  turned 60 last week. My first decision was to start working 50 hours a week and when I got to 50 hours to just stop. I decided that after 45 years, I should have built up enough skills and knowledge that I could be sufficiently productive in 50 hours. 

The result of implementing that decision is that I now take every Saturday off. I start working on Sunday and by Friday afternoon I have always hit 50 hours. One immediate effect was that I had an entire day free to do whatever I wanted, which was something I hadn’t had since middle school. I’ve started hiking almost every Saturday, and since I get a lot of the errands and housework done on Saturday, I usually go at least one or two other days in the week.

Hiking a trail that had orange tape across it. Don’t try this at home. 

It’s been a month now that I’ve been taking every Saturday off. I thought it was longer but I just checked. I track that, too. In that month we’ve released two new games, I’ve made it to the finals of a pitch competition, met with the Center for Innovation of the Ministry of Education, signed 10 pilot schools and signed a contract with a Chilean distributor.

Signing distribution contract with RAQN

You want to know how I became more efficient while doing less work? You’ll have to read part 2 tomorrow because I’m not supposed to be working today.

While you’re waiting, check out Making Camp Premium – 55 educational activities for under two bucks. 

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3 thoughts on “Testing a theory that you don’t have to die at your desk

  • Elaine

    I never thought about tracking my hours until I read this. Thank you ! I am now tracking mine.

    What is interesting, on taking Saturdays off, you can actually say you are honoring the fourth commandment, which is honor the sabbath, to keep it holy, (Exodus 20:8-11,NKJB) If anyone dares give you grief, you can totally have fun with that. While still enjoying your Sunday services.

    So its win/win, for you, to be lazy on Saturdays!

    Keep up the good work! I just bought the Making Camp Premium, and it installed great! Looking forward to your next blog.