Technology

Contracting to Improve Productivity

Nothing like some contract work to force priorities around a bit. When I mentioned a few days ago that interesting opportunities were cropping up rapidly, I had no idea that this dilemma was about to grow. A former employer of mine contacted me out of the blue today, and asked if I’d be interested in putting in some work-from-home time as supplemental development help on a project they’re working on. By the end of the day, we’d agreed on a fair rate, and the info I needed started to roll in. After work, I met with someone who wants me to be their main technical resource on a company they want to launch. The app is fairly simple, and the market is ripe for the picking – if they can get the app out the door in time. And have I mentioned that all of this is outside of the day job, which is interesting work in database optimization (details/tips forthcoming), with co-workers I actually enjoy seeing away from the office.

It’s one thing to talk about how time is such a precious resource, it’s still easy to waste it. It’s quite another thing when any time you waste is time you could be billing. Suddenly, just vegetating and watching some show I don’t care about seems a lot more wasteful. Time spent on the other side tasks I’m working on is more intentional – if I’m going to spend time on a project that will pay off later rather than now, I want to make sure that time is focused, not interrupted by surfing Slashdot, reading game reviews, etc. It’s not about chasing money – rather the ability to switch tasks and bill time whenever I want in the evenings means that whatever I do, I’m more intentional about it. If I’m going to spend time relaxing, I’m going to really relax instead of just vegetating. Quality time with the wife means focusing on her instead of just being near her. It’s an unexpected extra load on my time, but it’s amazing how it is actually helping me use my leisure and extracurricular-work time more efficiently. Good work if you can find it.

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One thought on “Contracting to Improve Productivity

  1. I’m running into the exact same thing.

    Two months ago, I’d have 1-2 projects running at a time with little overlap otherwise. In the past month, I *literally* get a call every other day, the hits on my site are growing by 10-20% daily, I am booked through April, had to hire someone parttime, and will have to incorporate shortly.

    There are worse problems to have, but it’s nearly ridiculous.

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