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No time card, no order sheet, how do you keep track of job time in retirement?

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  • No time card, no order sheet, how do you keep track of job time in retirement?

    Maybe you will all smile. Since retiring ,closing my business, gaining a new wife, new home and organising a new workshop I have totally given up being concerned or worried about how long a particular job or project will or has taken.
    However, I do have a simple way of assessing how long I have taken.----- I keep a mental count of how many cups of tea I drank while doing the job ! This seems to work well for projects which take just a day or two, but I lose track if they take much longer.
    Have any of you any similar methods or hints of how to unwind after a lifetime of time cards and order sheets, especially if you have been self employed.
    Regards to all David Powell.

  • #2
    I don’t keep time, it’s a hobby for me. When I feel like a break, I take a break. It takes me 10 times longer than what would be expected in a job shop

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    • #3
      I retired twice. First time it took me about six month to adapt. Second time, less than a day.

      Eventually you will learn just to enjoy the tea, and not count the cups. For me that works with beer too...

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      • #4
        My ever-lovely 'better half' will tell me if a job is taking too long!

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        • #5
          I'm not retired, and I don't keep track. I make money and it is what it is. At least I'm not paying anyone.
          Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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          • #6
            When I retired the first time, I had a terrible time getting used to it. It took me four or five hours to get the hang of it.

            Sarge41

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            • #7
              Why do you need to keep time?
              If it takes an hour fine, if it takes a month...or six for that matter who cares.
              You can't quantify enjoyment. If you do you're not enjoying yourself. Let it go and just have fun in the shop.
              I don't need or have a clock in the shop and don't wear a watch, I'll know when it's time to leave.

              My whole life has revolved around schedules and time slots to fill at just the right time.
              Every day for over 40 years my life consisted of my determining and promising to be at a predetermined location at an agreed upon time. The yoke is off!

              Get rid of the clocks, watches, and turn the phone off. If the wife is in town and might need to contact you that's different, so is a call that you are expecting. Let the answering machine handle the rest while the ringer is off while you're "busy" doing what you want or need to do.
              Having spent a lifetime of being regimented, this won't be a switch you can turn off overnight , weaning yourself away from all of this will take time and a concerted effort.

              In the mean time remember that time is a gift, learn to appreciate and enjoy what little is left of that valuable and abstract essence.
              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

              Location: British Columbia

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              • #8
                I built an ingenious device that I call a "Negative Nap Counter".

                If someone wants me to perform a task I simply charge them a fixed amount of money per missed nap, this can add up quickly.

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                • #9
                  I can't imagine keeping track of time spent in the shop but, if you must do it, one way might be to plug an electric clock into the shop light circuit so it only runs when the lights are on.
                  Regards, Marv

                  Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things
                  http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

                  Location: LA, CA, USA

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                  • #10
                    David,
                    YOU make me laugh. I am new to this forum, been with the magazine almost since it's inception but never found time to join this forum, here I am... I do participate in a couple other forums and post articles, maybe I'll spread my wings and post some of my builds here.
                    Retirement, hmmm. Supposedly, I retired 10 years ago, not really, I started my own business. I left the management position of a local mining repair facility only when my customer's found out I'd hung out my own shingle I got buried in work...
                    Now I'm staring retirement in the face with an exit strategy. Don't ask how that's going to work, it's home grown and a long story. My plan is to still show up and work on my personal projects during regular hours rather than the after and late hours. Which brings us to the OP's original subject - when my curiosity of how long a job takes I have to sit down, take the time to look at a calendar and determine when I started the project in question. Then I figure that I worked at least three evenings a week on it, usually five hours each evening, at least four hours each day of the weekend unless there was an event somewhere then that time is easily removed. Now I have a fair estimate for what I have in the week, I just have to do a better job of remembering when I started things... For the retirement plan, I have a white board next to the coffee pot, maybe a structured chart with a marker attached to the board (so I can't walk off with it) when I fill up my cup I can make my mark and then it's just a tally at the end of the project... No excuses either because that's the first place I go in the morning and the last place in the evening.
                    The next thing I'd like to address, is why keep track of time on a project? Several of the projects I do, others have an interest in doing the same so when they ask how long I like to be realistic. They figure out quickly I'm a liar if I tell them 3-4 hours should be all it takes... and some of the students in my night class really give me the look if I tell them it's only a ten hour project. Here's a picture of what I'm talking about - only a 2 hour project?
                    Greg
                    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.

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                    • #11
                      Working in my shop is sheer joy. I completely lose track of time. My wife has to come out and get me when dinner is ready. The longer it takes, the happier I am. I suffer a form of post-partum depression when a job is completed. I may take a cup of coffee out with me, but I find it half empty and cold a day or two later.
                      It's all mind over matter.
                      If you don't mind, it don't matter.

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                      • #12
                        Don't gauge it by cups of tea but by how much beer you drink,,, and don't gauge it by cans or bottles, use guides like " I still should be able to pay the electric bill IF I don't have to burn up that extra hundred bucks on brewskie's .. works for me.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MrWhoopee View Post
                          Working in my shop is sheer joy. I completely lose track of time. My wife has to come out and get me when dinner is ready. The longer it takes, the happier I am. I suffer a form of post-partum depression when a job is completed. I may take a cup of coffee out with me, but I find it half empty and cold a day or two later.
                          Glad to hear it's not just me.
                          Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                          • #14
                            I am more careful nowadays, I once collected no fewer than 7 cups, most with a bit of tea left in them, a couple looking like science experiments, from my shop.
                            As for the tea going cold, I have an old coffeemaker in the shop and, provided I do not get distracted , my tea lives on the warming plate.
                            If I do not take a swig often enough I get a layer of what wife would call " GOO" on top of the tea. A quick swipe with an oily finger soon fixes that.
                            I do not drink alcohol and work in the shop, still have the reminders not to do that firmly and permanently in my right hand. 40 yrs later.
                            Regards David Powell.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by David Powell View Post
                              Maybe you will all smile. Since retiring ,closing my business, gaining a new wife, new home and organising a new workshop I have totally given up being concerned or worried about how long a particular job or project will or has taken.
                              However, I do have a simple way of assessing how long I have taken.----- I keep a mental count of how many cups of tea I drank while doing the job ! This seems to work well for projects which take just a day or two, but I lose track if they take much longer.
                              Have any of you any similar methods or hints of how to unwind after a lifetime of time cards and order sheets, especially if you have been self employed.
                              Regards to all David Powell.
                              Been retired for about 7 years now, and love it. No hound dogs breathing down my neck.

                              When I am in the shop and want to keep track of time of a certain project I will keep a clip board with lined paper on it with that project. I might have three clip boards active at a time. . Ill write a date and time for start on each day and for end on each day. I like to see productivity that way for some projects..

                              Problem is I always manage to "log in" but about half the times I forget to "log off" when done for the day. JR

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