17

I don't worry about it much to be honest. I concentrate on deadlines not every minute of my day. I choose to work to live, not live to work. I do not focus on billable and non-billable hours. That's too much like a 9 to 5 job. I know I need to make $XXXX this month. If I have 1 project which does that, that's all I need. If I have 4, then I have to complete ...


10

There's a few things that can really help with keeping up-to-date with the world from a programmer's point of view. Follow tech blogs for your entire stack If you (for example) have a stack using PHP, nginx, mysql and redis (and a server company)... follow their blogs. Follow them, and keep up-to-date with improvements, new features, quality-of-life ...


10

I'm a software developer who has been practicing the pomodoro technique for the last few months, in part to show me how long I actually spend performing tasks, but also to find out how much productive time I actually spend during a day. Even on a day that I have a well defined task to work on and no distractions (Skype and email are switched off, etc), when ...


8

I'm not sure where the 6 hours have come from but with my corporate team leader head on, I use velocity to measure estimates against actual work. My team (heavily supporting users as well as coding) estimates hours for tasks. I then have a monitored velocity where I see that in 37.5 hours of actual 'work' people can squeeze in between 15 and 25 hours of ...


8

Irrespective of whether you are following Agile practices, if you do not involve the client from the outset, or someone else who can make decisions about project deliverables on behalf of the client (a Business Stakeholder in Agile parlance), then the odds are stacked very heavily against you actually delivering a product that the client wants and can use. ...


5

There's a lot to be said for working with others to gain skills. While I've honed my skills working for a company, I've also gained a lot by following and answering questions on Stack Overflow. As a coder with a job, you know loosely what types of things you need to focus on to be successful. So focus your time on answering questions about stuff that ...


5

What you have there is a very important question... One which I asked myself many years ago... Unlike Scott, I DO worry about it to be honest. However like others, I didn't want my answer to be so long but then once I started typing, I couldn't stop... There are mainly two types of freelancers. Part time Full time The main source of income for Part time ...


4

does anyone know the causes or potential solutions that have worked? Maybe you feel guilty for making money more easily than your partner. Perhaps you know she would be jealous or disturbed by knowing that you make way more than her in your spare time while she's slaving in the office. And/or you could be afraid that if you give her your time she will ...


3

Following on from the other responses about online communities, something that I've found gets me feeling more involved is finding one you don't get lost in because they've grown so big: I work with WordPress so made a bit of an effort to break into contributing there, but didn't really feel engaged until I found a small open source project that only has a ...


3

Principle Although I do like to have a routine, I tend to operate more on priorities rather than a routine. Dr. Stephen Covey authored a book called "The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People" wherein he explains the Time Management Matrix (pictured below). Basically, I try to operate within this grid. I have some set priorities in each quadrant and as ...


3

Distraction occurs in normal job as well as while freelancing. The difference is that in freelancing you get less money so I'd say you're more motivated in freelancing to be as productive as possible. For the best works to plan for every day what I do. My plan is fixed and looks like this: wake up 7.30 drink coffee by the computer reading news and ...


2

I want to second Scott's answer regarding "not worrying about it". When I take freelance jobs, I schedule a delivery date for the finished product and that's pretty much it. During a project I'll occasionally schedule meetings with the client to clarify or obtain needed materials or feedback. But that's as close as I get to a time clock or a calendar. I ...


2

As an organization development professional, I take the view that scrum agile is a project management tool that is very lightweight and flexible for small teams. For a freelancer, the use of planning poker, concept of story points, and daily stand ups with the product owner are essential tools in the communication of expected functions and features within ...


2

Weckar, I think it is wise that you have these self-imposed time and space limits. I have a similar issue. Most of the year, I have free run of the house, but, in the summer, there is someone else - who isn't working - to consider. I do something similar myself. I work in one room from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm (or 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm)...


2

8 hours seems like a reasonable number to me but this will mean different things to different people and freelancers and clients will need to agree on a more detailed definition so that a fair rate can be calculated. For example, 8 hours of continuous uninterrupted work could take 10 or 12 hours to complete once breaks are added. Alternatively, 8 hours work ...


1

I also had an idea that I work 8-10 hours a day but I was surprised when I worked for some clients on elance using the elance tracker. What I noticed is that, for starters, I couldn't work 8 hours in a day. The maximum I managed to do is about 6-7 hours. I'm talking about actual work involving programming, without counting breaks. With those I worked from 8 ...


1

It's an old thread but an age old problem! The other answers here are great for the sources of information and activities to keep yourself up to speed: Subscribe to blogs Read Twitter Build side projects Take part in communities etc. But I would add that the most important thing is to integrate this learning practice into your daily routine. You must set ...


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