Does anyone have any tips for staying focused enough to bill consistently every day? It seems that I’m only able to bill the requisite 8-10 hours daily when I’m overwhelmed, not when I have a decent amount of work to do but no pressing deadlines. I made my hours last year but it’s been an absolute struggle trying to stay on track. I’m already down 170 hours from where I need to be at this point and unless I get my shit together, there’s no way I can hit hours. Ugh.

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I could write a novel on this. (1) work someplace where you won’t be distracted. (2) know you’re triggers. e.g. All my work is done on my work laptop, I don’t do work on my personal laptop or cell. I don’t browse on my work laptop, only on my personal devices. Therefore, if I open my personal laptop or pick up my cell I’m not going to get any work done.
(3) if it’s your job to eat a frog every day, do it first thing in the morning; if it’s your job to eat 2 frogs, start with the bigger one. In the morning start first with the tasks you don’t want to do, that’s when your drive is strongest. Rely on the tasks you like to carry you through in the afternoon. (4) if you can’t work 8 hrs straight set designated timed breaks. You need to bifurcate work time from play time and not let them bleed, because then you’ve spent 12 hrs, haven’t gotten what you need done, nor have you gotten to unwind and it’s the worst of both worlds.

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This is amazing advice. I also put my email behind my other windows instead of up on a separate screen when I need to deep focus so I sometimes won’t check for 2 hrs or so. But I’m also senior so would build in more frequent email checks if I were more junior. I just get pinged too much that I would spend all day in Outlook if I kept it open and answered every email as it came in.

I need a billable hour accountability partner

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I keep track of all of my work on a calendar - I put in the day I plan to do the work, the day the work is due to whoever is reviewing, the day it’s due to the client, the day it’s due to the agency/court/whatever, and any other deadlines that need to be noted. That way I can immediately see when I’m either overwhelming myself or in need of more to do, and on days when I’m not feeling it I have to physically go to the calendar to move the assignment, which forces me to either move other work/deadlines, or to realize that if I don’t get it done today I’m going to set off a cascade of screwed up deadlines and extension requests, and that’s usually enough to get me to finish what I wanted to for the day even if I technically have more time.

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It’s cheesy and low-tech, but I make a calendar in Word. It has the most flexibility in terms of text and it doesn’t do the annoying thing of cutting off the cell/entry like in Outlook or Excel or fancier programs. I’ve used paper calendars in the past as well, but I’ve gone paperless since WFH so now it’s a Word document.

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I just thank god every day I don’t have a billable hour requirement to meet 😂 but seriously try to find a job that doesn’t have one

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