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:
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!