Getting the hang of making time for business development

This week, I’m taking Monday afternoon off, and all day Friday. The client wins because we can spread the hours over more time, and I win because I can invest in building more capabilities. In the future, I may limit myself to working at most 32 hours a week on any particular engagement, and maybe even dropping down to 24 hours a week if the rhythm works out well.

It’s easy to fall into the more familiar patterns of a 40-hour work-week – maybe even up to 44 hours if I invest the extra four hours in the client relationship by working for free. But it’s also valuable to spend time thinking about business, and it’s good to keep myself honest about what fits into the time that I have for work.

I think I’m going to love having the ability to manage my time like this. I schedule my breaks around the clients’ needs, of course, but my time isn’t constrained by vacation policies. As I get better at managing the schedule and as I build more flexible streams of income, I’ll have even more control of and responsibility for my time.

These chunks of time are challenging because they’re self-directed. No one tells me what to do or what to focus on. It’s easy to spend time reacting to people’s requests, but the real value comes from choosing what’s important to work on and making it happen.

What are some of the things I could work on?

  • I can learn new skills or improve the ones I have. I’m particularly interested in drawing, writing, and designing.
  • I can work on building QuantifiedAwesome’s possibilities by reaching out to people, offering help, and improving the system.
  • I can read books, share my notes, and draw more visual summaries.
  • I can follow up on leads or flesh ideas out into opportunities.
  • I can meet people and help others out.
  • I can brainstorm and plan.

There’s a lot I can do, and it’s well worth making the time to do so.