As a work from home professional, I strive for about 12-15 hours of billable work a week minimum to meet my financial goals. This is usually not a problem during the school year, but during the summer when my kids are home from school, I struggle with where to squeeze it all in.
In the summer, my day no longer has a routine structure to it. Summer days are peppered with chauffeuring kids to camp, summer practices, softball games and a handful of doctor appointments (stuff that doesn't fit well during our school schedule). I cram work in and around these calendared events, but I am constantly concerned that I am not getting enough billable time in. I track the time in quickbooks, so I know where I stand at the end of the day, but I'd like to find a balanced way to spread out the work instead of going through my NA list and find at the end of the week that I can't bill for any of it.
So my question is this... where should I put billable time? Should it go on my calendar - like time box it somehow so I know that I have planned and force everyone and everything (including me) to stick to that rigid schedule or should it have it's own context maybe?
I've tried scheduling it, but that makes it hard to know what is real and not real on my schedule sometimes. Especially when I'm trying to schedule my kids' dental exams and the appt. times are limited by the dentist's availability so I am forced to choose between the options they present to me and not pick my own time slot. I have to pause and think whether the appointment time they are offering my is conflicting with a time block I set for myself or a real work appointment like a scheduled client phone call.
Another dilemma with time boxing is that I may block off 2 hours for project X, but find out 30 minutes into it that I need further direction from the client before continuing. That really throws off the planning for the day.
Anyone have any ideas on managing billable time?