How do you rate the project hours

Home office adventure

Last update: August 22nd, 2019

I lovingly dedusted and enriched this article in August 2019.

In terms of content, it had lost none of its topicality, only that a few experiences were added. You can now also listen to it in the podcast ...

Have fun reading or listening!

Planning helps.

But how are you going to estimate the amount of time you will spend, make a plan, or set a deadline if you don't even know how long it will take you to get on a new assignment or project?

It's like asking yourself to go to Vienna - and you don't know where you are right now and what routes there are!

And this is exactly the question I have been asked several times in the past few weeks.

In concrete terms: "I want to do a video course - how long do you need on average for one of your 52 times faster videos?“ *)

It doesn't help you or the questioner if I answer: "Between 2 and 2.5 hours, depending on the situation.

Because: depending on what?

  • It depends on whether I still have to familiarize myself with the topic and try something out.
  • It depends on whether I have to prepare a PowerPoint presentation for it.
  • I also provide written instructions for this - depending on the length and complexity, it takes differently.
  • It depends on whether I have to add additional elements to the video.
  • And then of course it depends on how often I mess up - and therefore have to cut a lot or a little.

So every answer from me is a bad answer, isn't it?


Tip 1: estimate time expenditure through tracking

My grandmother always said: "Can believe ‘in church ...„.

If you don't know something, you have to try it. Otherwise it's not planning, it's a guessing game, at best an optimistic estimate.

Therefore: write down auf for a while how long you need what for, add ‘a little bit of buffer and then you have a basis with which you can plan.

Sounds easy, and yet I did a few things wrong at the beginning.

Creating a video means going through certain steps. For me it was - in the case of the mentioned video series:

  • Prepare video content
  • to record a video
  • Create graphic
  • Cut video (intro and outro in)
  • Upload video to Youtube
  • Upload graphic as thumbnail on Youtube
  • Finish the tags and description on Youtube
  • Prepare blog post for it
  • Create instructions as PDF
  • Upload instructions to Dropbox
  • Share the Dropbox link and save it in PhraseExpress
  • Put everything online
  • Link the video and instruction link in the archive
  • Email the video and instruction link to the subscribers
  • Plan marketing

A lot to do ... every time.

And I did that wrong:

I carried out these individual steps of the video production several times in a row and wrote down the time that I needed for each one.

After 5-6 rounds, I was sure that I was pretty quick - and I still consumed about 3-4 hours per serving.

Just too much!

Tip 2: do like Henry Ford

Think what you like about Henry Ford. But the idea of ​​structuring work processes and breaking them down into individual steps so that one and the same maneuver is often carried out one after the other was ingenious at the time - and it still is.

Only through these production lines was it possible to produce cars so cheaply that they were mass-produced.

For the first time when creating the content for my online program Home-sweet-Office 2.0, I absolutely ran into my time limits and had to think about something.

Instead of always completing one unit after the other, I set up production lines. Of course in Trello, where else ;-)

The secret is - not only with such a series - to group the same activities into blocks.

The experiment proved me right:

  • First make 5 graphics
  • Then prepare 5 videos
  • Then turn off 5 videos
  • Finally cut 5 videos
  • And finish 5 videos on Youtube

Overall, takes significantly (approx. 30%) less long than before!

Why it is like that?

Take a look at the following drawing - do you notice anything?

Starting is always the hardest - even if you can already do what you are starting! Let alone when it is always an effort to do it because you are insecure.

This means that every time in between (with the drawn-in arcs) you not only lose time, but also strength and energy - and you will definitely notice that on your time account.

In a nutshell:

  • Think about the individual steps that you have to carry out each time (not too detailed)
  • Go through these individual steps in a block !! 5-10 times (depending on the project)
  • Track the time you need for it
  • Work out the average
  • Add a little buffer time.

Now you can plan the next project with real values!

Tip 3: time recording made easy

Since I am too lazy or arithmetic to always work out the times by hand, I have - once again - developed an Excel sheet with which I track large projects (in which I want to know how many hours I have invested in total) .

The nifty thing about it: the project columns contain a formula that assigns the time to the correct project if you enter the project no. in the F column. This means that you always have a precise overview of how much you have already invested in total.

Little warning: Please do not exaggerate when tracking. In this way, you really only track large projects, otherwise you will need more time to enter than to work effectively!

Do you like to try this out?

Then click on the graphic and download the Excel sheet. Yes, without an email address, just like that!

Time recording made even easier

In the meantime (2019) I no longer work with this Excel sheet, but instead use an online tool, namely PrimaERP, which I described in detail in the article "Timetracking with PrimaERP - so that you can keep track of things".

Maybe that makes it even easier for you?

Additional tip

This principle can be applied to many areas in your home office.

I am thinking, for example, of the (mostly) unpopular bookkeeping. Or the processing of emails. Or the preparation of posts for social media.

It's always easier when you bundle these tasks - and therefore only have to get going once!

What tasks do you already bundle?

*) I started the video series 52 times faster on the PC in 2015. In the meantime, the videos are pretty out of date and that's why I'm going to start over with them in autumn 2019!

P.S. And stay ‘curious!