How Many Projects Can One Person Handle

Subject: How Many Projects Can One Person Handle
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- AXIONET -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 1997 18:50:09 -0500

Barbara Ridley <BRidley -at- USCCMAIL -dot- USCC -dot- BMS -dot- COM> wrote:

>I was trying to give myself some kind of benchmark. Since I >am fairly new to the technical writing field, I wanted to know >if the amount of projects I am trying to juggle is comparable >to what other competent writers are able to accommodate.

Barbara:

Might as well factor me into your average.

On Christmas Eve, I lucked into a full-time present position. It was
totally unexpected, and I had taken on several small contracts expecting
to live on those.

A couple of weeks ago, here's what I was doing:
--a full-time contract
--a half-time contract with another developer
--a flier for a book promotion
--a small (30 page) manual for another company

I have now cut my work load down to the first two (and I'm enjoying a
breather this week while developers with whom I have the half time
contract finish their code).

I figure that, with the four contracts together, I did a couple of weeks
of 80+ hours. That's too much, especially if you have any other concerns
and don't want to present a letter of introduction each time you happen
across your family members.

More recently, I've worked 60+ hours. Again, I don't think anyone should
try this load for any length of time--especially if you want to do a
first-rate job. I have standards for my work, and I won't go below them,
and at times I feel as though I've settled for simply adequate work on
the half-time contract.

Still, I could be wrong. It may be that, in another month, I'll look
back at the work I did for the half-time contract and find that it's no
worse than the rest of my work--that does sometimes happen.

I also think that, when you're contracting, the fear of being unemployed
can lead you to over-commit.
--
Bruce Byfield (bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com)
Technical Writer
Burnaby, BC, Canada
(604) 421-7189

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