How much time do I spend on my actual web developer job?

Pie chart of my working hours

Pie charts of my working hours

I’ve spent the last three months picking random normal working days and noting the amount of time I would spend on different tasks.

Why did I do this?

I wasn’t always getting as much as I wanted out of my working days and I wanted to find out if I was doing something especially wrong.
As it turns out I need to optimise my time spent on communicating with clients.

What did I get out of this?

Although these numbers are not accurate since I timed myself and scribbled the results here and there on any piece of paper I could find on my desk, it still gave me a vague idea on the time consuming tasks. Those areas are the ones where I need more efficiency.

Results of the study *

Over three months I picked 10 days and took note of the time spent on recurrent tasks.

  • 59% Web development
    This includes coding, creating graphics, layouts, wireframes, etc.
  • 24% Emails and phone calls with clients
  • 9% Reading web stuff and tech news
  • 5% Training
  • 3% Accounting

I realise all these tasks are essential to what I do and I can already think of cutting down to 2% the accounting since the more familiar I will get with those procedures, the faster I will be. But that won’t make a huge impact on my daily workload.

I definitely need to find a more efficient way to communicate with my clients.
Delivering quotes and explaining projects in detail is where I am wasting most of my time. It’s also where I get the chance to give clients the attention they need though.

Not replying emails is not an option, I can picture the phone call a week later:
Client: “Are you dead?”
Me: “Yes, but I’ll be back next Monday.”

An assistant is not an option, can’t afford it. Plus I’m not sure I would go there before I feel I have optimise my way of working, don’t really want to pass on my bad habits and then blame them for the mess! I want to be the good boss when it comes to it.

Write and speak faster… Joking.

I can reserve only certain times of the day to the communication bit and reduce disruptions to the web development work to a minimum.
Yes, that’s probably what I will be doing.

Suggestions? Please leave a comment!

*This is not a scientific nor serious statistic study, it was only made by myself for myself and I doubt it has any scientific value at all, so draw your own conclusions.