I’ve always had a good work ethic, which I credit to growing up on a farm, where there are real consequences for shirking your work: living plants and creatures within your care will die. Freelancing kind of puts me back into that “dire consequences” mode again. In most jobs, you can have an “off” day here and there and still get your paycheck at the end of the week. In freelancing, I constantly must decide whether having an “off day” is worth missing that day’s pay. Despite perks (which are nice, don’t get me wrong) like technically being able to sleep in in the morning and work in your pajamas, the consequences of not working as a freelancer are also dire and immediate: no work = no money.
In order to make sure I was working enough — and hopefully not overworking — I started setting daily monetary goals instead of daily hours-logged goals, because the ultimate goal is to exchange actual finished products for money, not to exchange time for money. Usually I meet my daily monetary goals in 8 – 9 hours, which is reasonable. Some days are worse, like yesterday. Yesterday was one of those days where, although nothing went terribly wrong, everything took a little longer than I expected it to — making the monetary return on my time investment pretty low. I had to work 10 hours to make my goal. But today I was granted an exciting reprive — I made my goal in less than six hours, which I think is a new record. I realize that when I average the two days out, I essentially worked two 8-hour days, but that takes the edge off my feeling of good fortune. So, I did with that extra time what I told myself I’d do if I ever met my monetary goals for a day in less than eight hours: I finally pursued a couple clients I’ve been planning to court for months. I put some worthwhile time and effort into my current submission project, and I even found the time to speculate about whether God really cares all that much about sex.