Episode #13 – Managing Personal and Professional time as a Contractor

One of the keys to living a healthy and beautiful life is managing your personal and professional time. Especially when it comes to being a contractor or working in the construction industry, having a balanced personal/work life is a key to maintaining your sanity.

Episode #13 of The Construction Life sheds light on the importance of managing time, difficulties in managing time as a constructor, and some ways to do it the right way. There is always a bump on this road when it comes to the life of a contractor. Managing time is very difficult given the responsibilities of a contractor.

Three 8s

Three 8’s to manage time are

8 hours of work

8 hours personal time

8-hour sleep

In the hypothetical world, this is a perfect mix to live a balanced life. But in the real world with constraints, work, traffic, and problems, this formula might not be viable. However, what we can do is, that we try to reach the nearest we can to the three 8s. This will at least make us near to a balanced time.

Have a Morning Routine

Having a morning routine can make or break your day. If you wake up earlier, you can get your tools ready, get diesel/gas in your vehicle, have a good breakfast, workout, manage your Instagram posts. Start your day, get your tools ready, and get to work early. Being a businessperson doesn’t mean you can go late to your worksite. You have to get there on time, this will give your workers motivation too, set an example.

Optimize your Personal Time and Weekends

Even if you can’t get time out on weekdays, which is quite common if you are working as a tradesperson, you have to optimize your weekends. We are technology slaves. Shutting down on the weekend can help you prioritize your family and personal time. You can clearly tell your clients to not contact you on the weekends unless it’s an emergency. You can go on a mini-vacation, spend a day out, have long drives, dine out, work out, make this time worthwhile. Optimize your weekends for you, your family and good friends.

Assess your Week

Set weekly targets and weekly schedules. On Fridays think of your weekly progress, how far you are from your targets, how much have you achieved. This will help you assess your performance, where you lack in managing time, and will also help you devise the schedule/targets for the next week.

40 hours a week

Remember, if you cannot make enough money for yourself in 40 hours/week, you might not be doing it the right way. 8 hours per day should be enough for your job site, you might sometimes stay a little more for cleaning the job site or to meet the clients, but try to work only 40 hr/week.

Having Wi-fi at Work

A perfect solution presented by Manny to save and manage time is having Wi-Fi on all your job sites. No matter how you manage this, it can save you a lot of trouble and time. Sometimes clients are busy on the weekdays or during the day but they can spare 15-20 minutes to keep a track of the work. Having Wi-Fi can help you stay active on social media, post regularly, managed during your breaks and downtime during the day and have virtual meetings with your clients during work hours. It can be potential clients and existing clients but it can save a lot of traveling and you can also show the clients the work progress.

Vacation is a Basic Need

Getting away from your routine, the stress, and the hectic work is what your body and soul deserve. Either you do it twice a year, or once a year, but make sure to visit places that are on your bucket list, before your knees refuse to climb. A quality vacation with your family helps you restart and reboot your energy levels, so make sure to relax down your nerves. A 5 day, or 7 day, or two week vacation is everything you need to get going with your work!

Maintain Efficiency

If you don’t organize, it will become a snowball of mismanagement. It will grow and grow and will engulf your peace in it. To have a work/life balance, you have to maintain your efficiency every passing day. Be strict on your website, don’t allow the three common things people love to do when they are at the job site, texting, social media, and games. You must make your team realize that you are paying them for the quality work they are providing. Give them ample time to enjoy their lunch, and coffee breaks, but don’t let them distract in the time they should work. This will help you complete your daily targets and cleanliness by 3 to 5 pm. Find good people, and retain them, so you can delegate your work efficiently.

If you are working with a partner, you can divide responsibilities, and trust each other to manage time. Don’t go to every potential client meeting together, instead divide the number of meetings they have to do in order to save time.

Avoid “Time Wasters”

You can always arrange a call first to check the seriousness level of the client. Ask them the right questions and decide whether you should meet them or not. Proudly said No more than Yes to your clients. Avoid “time-wasters,” who are not willing to spend money, or want cheap work, this can save you a lot of time. Work with only serious buyers who are willing to spend on their homes. Schedule meetings with agendas, topics that must be addressed, confirm everyone that should be attending these meetings is there and on time, outline a minute-by-minute meeting so your clients understand how valuable everyone’s time is.

Maintaining personal and professional time is important for a quality life. Make sure to find some time to work out, even if you do it late at night. Love yourself, love your work, love your family, love the construction industry, and try to divide your time sensibly. This might be hard but not impossible!