productivity | social life & social media
Laurie Dillon-Schalk is a twin and because of that she has always had a control sample. Laurie works in advertising and tracks all of her billable hours. In this talk, she discusses how she uses her billable hours data to gain better understanding of her work-life balance and build a strategy around that.
I will explain my three words, I am a twin so I’ve always had a control sample. And I’ve always been compared to something else. I’ve always had a source of data for myself and a source of data for my identical twin.
I am in advertising, which means I track all of my billable hours about and you will find this quite interesting is how I use that information to sort of chartered my own work-life balance, and then of course, the strategy and thinking around that.
I also learn by doing, which is why I put myself up on here.
So work-life balance, I went from one agency to another, same salary, lateral move, but I negotiated four days instead of five, so technically that actually (unclear 01:02), right.
And so what was important to me because I had two kids, too adorable children. It’s really important for me to understand the cost of what my time is. So if I’m going to give a day up, and potentially is easy because I moved with the same salary to the new place the cost wasn’t huge. But what is that the cost of going to the fifth day, so that was what I was examining.
I had about eight months of data at my new company that Alex and I work at, so new agency. And we have to report all of our billable hours. So I have a lot more data than I need, I have you know how I spend my time, the patterns through the week etc. but really, all I needed to know the bulk time compared to what I was being paid.
So I managed to export all my billable information to myself, which is interesting. Having been to SXSW and attended a lot of analytic conferences, most people come down to Excel, which is a stats program and found interesting because I’m always exporting to Excel.
So in Excel I sort of just tried it out, and my greatest visualization was my yellow highlighter. I can be a lot more sophisticated than that. But that was, I was only really presenting to myself. So then I had to analyze the insets.
So, to step back and sort of talk about what I do during the day, my day job is as a digital strategist. So I am constantly helping clients understand how to make sense of data or how to monetize their site or how to optimize their conversions and stuff like that.
So, Alex and I are sort of really in the throes of big data, which really is just such a name for structured stuff, and it’s really not quantitative, it’s really qualitative. But the point I’m trying to make or eventually get to is I find it interesting when you have a lot of data, and you have to really control yourself at how close you consider that it right. So I really needed to wait 6 to 8 months or else I was going to be too close to my data and I would see the patterns. So by pulling back, I could see the patterns.
So what did I learn? I learned that in the four days I was working 50 hours. I learned that I wasn’t being paid for 20 hours a week because four days a week is roughly 32 hours. I learned that I worked so hard on Monday to Thursday to protect my Friday, that there was sort of like – it was really imbalanced. So my work-life balance actually went reverse.
I also realized that when I spend time with my kids on the Friday, although I enjoy it’s also working basically right. So I substituted one form of work for another form of work. So I was working 50 hours a week and working like eight hours and that was really long hours and not getting paid for it, so it was cool.
Of course, when I re-negotiated my contract I transferred the same salary. I also negotiated that I was paid on the four-day and not on the five-day. It was a little small (contract? 04:46) that I did before accepting and because if you work for days a week (unclear 04:55).
So I moved to 5 and I also have this clause in my contract that says if it doesn’t work for me. I have a months notice to give them, and if it doesn’t work for the company they have a months notice to give to me. So, for it I figure that out before I signed the contract.
So I ended up going five days a week and I work five days a week now and I work less and paid for more. So there is you know how I use my data for little personal experiences for Quantified Self.