On Time

I tend to kvetch about how little time I actually get to do any game work outside of my day job. I usually tell people that I’m able to get anywhere from 4 – 8 hours of work in each week, but that number has always been based more on a feeling than anything else.

So I just did what any good geek would do: I made a spreadsheet and did the math.

Some notes about what I’m about to show you: The data only goes back to the last week of June 2010. I started there because I didn’t do any work for the two months leading up to that week, instead spending that time getting our condo ready to sell.

Any averages are going to be pulled down a bit by two things. First, there’s a two week stretch in September in which I didn’t do any work because I was on vacation. Second, the data includes the current week of 11 October, in which I still have many, many potential hours I have yet work.

First chart: The sums of hours per week (I chose Monday as the first day of the week):

So from this, we can conclude that I manage more than 10 hours of work on weeks when I’m really on fire, and 5 or 6 when I’m either busy with other non-day job stuff like meetings in Philly or doctor appointments, or when I’m just not feeling into it.

Interestingly, the week of 16 August was one in which I spent most of my free time in a dentist’s chair getting a molar out, and yet I pulled off 10.5 hours of work that week. This, however, is because the procedure left me in so much pain that I had to take a sick day on Thurdsay, which, according to the chart, bought me 8 extra hours of work time.

It’s hard to figure out much of a trend from this, though, so let’s look at means, medians, and modes:

Now that is much more interesting.

Right off the bat, we can see that my worst day for getting work done is Wednesday. This doesn’t surprise me, as most nights when I have a meeting in the city are Wednesdays.

Monday is interesting, too. I average 1.81 hours per week, but my median time worked is only 0.75 hours. That tells me that I have a lot of bad Mondays that drag my average down. Again, not very surprising, because I have a lot of weeks in which I want to get ahead on day job hours so I can flex out early later in the week.

Tuesday and Thursday appear to be my more reliable days. On Tuesdays, I average 2 hours of work, with a median of 2.5, indicating that I have occasional on-fire Tuesdays that help pull my average up.

Then we have Thursday, which seems to be, hands down, my single most consistent work day, with an average 2.82 hours and a median of 2.5. It’s also the only day that has a non-zero mode: My most frequent workload on Thursday is 2.5, same as the median. It seems no matter how rough a week I’m having, I can count on Thursday for at least some work time.

In total, my average work week consists of 7.45 hours of work, with a median of 7.25 and a standard deviation of 4.35. So it looks like my typical ballpark estimate of between 4 and 8 hours is actually a little pessimistic. It’d actually be more accurate to say I get around 6 to 10 hours of work in each week. I had no idea I was working so hard! Ah! Data!

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