How Much Is One "Effective" Freelance Working Hour Worth in 9-to-5 World?
It was one of those weekends reserved for my non-remote friends. My friends are regular 9-to-5 guys. They aren't in the mood to socialize from Monday to Friday. I understand. I don't mind. While we wait for a pizza delivery guy, I like to place a bid or two. They understand. They don't mind.
We talk about this and that, but mostly about our work. They complain about their horrible bosses. I complain about some of my horrible clients. This is how it works for us. One of my friends made sure the last weekend was a bit different.
Sorry Buddy, You Have No One To Blame, Not All Working Hours Are The Same
I consider myself to be a cool guy. You really have to give your best shot, if you want to rub me the wrong way. As I said, we complain, but this whining ritual has its limits. A friend of mine just couldn't let it go. The most terrible working week he has had in years. What happened?
He didn't have to stay after work. He didn't even have to grow an extra pair of hands to get the job done. He just worked more than usual.
I can tell you first-hand that the "usual" in my friend's life means to stretch a 30 minutes launch break into 90 minutes. Then, to pay a daily visit to some of your colleagues that are scattered all over the building. Finally, to be gone with the wind exactly at 5 pm.
The last week was totally different for him. He could barely find 15 minutes to grab something to eat. He was stuck behind his desk both literally and figuratively. At 5 pm he was totally exhausted.
I was the only one not to feel sorry for him.
Welcome To My Freelance World!
So, I said that all of my working weeks and days were like this. When I need to go to the bathroom, I hit the pause button. When I need to eat something, I hit the stop button. I quickly made my point. **One effective freelance working hour is worth two or three regular 9-to-5 working hours. **
For my friends that wasn't a nice thing to say. One of them said, I'm giving my 100% when I work. That was a laughing matter to me. On average, I give around 85%. How do I know? Well, I work on goLance. I'm using a time-tracking tool called goMeter. After each working session, I can check my activity percentage. That's why when someone mentions the 100%, I give him that look - Seriously?
I can have the 100% activity for an hour. I can even have it for two or three hours. Each time I feel I'm not giving my very best, I hit the pause or stop button. What you get as a result are three hours in your freelance work diary and around five hours in the real time. It does sound great, doesn't it?
No Job Is Perfect, I Just Want Some Respect
What happened after all of us rested our cases? Well, we agreed to disagree. Hey, we don't get paid for the time we spend traveling back and forth every single day. I just couldn't argue with that. Some of my friends spend two or three hours just to get to work. However, I just couldn't accept that my situation is better because I don't have to travel to work. I mean, I do, but that's from one room to another. In the worst case scenario, to the nearest cafe.
Eventually, we came up with a compromising solution. It wasn't a win-win, but it was close. I accepted that the 9-to-5 guys have their "effective" working hours too. They agreed that freelance and 9-to-5 working hours aren't the same. We called it a day.
Don't Do The Math - Do The Work
It seems that all of us realized it's pointless trying to measure the weight of your working hours. If you don't love your work then one hour can be the whole day long. If you like what you're doing then an hour can be gone in a blink of an eye. The five hours we spent together that evening seemed like five minutes.
It's all in your head my freelance or 9-to-5 friend. Right?