How long does it take you to complete a project? When you bid for 1 hour of work, does that actually comprise 1 hours of head's-down labor, or one hour of total focus on the project? Do you go home at the end of the day and stop working, or do the wheels keep turning long after you've punched out for the day? Everyone's different, and these questions cover very different ground - but the answer to each is important.
For instance, I usually bid on projects based on actual, head's-down labor time. One hour of billed time means I was producing something for a client for a solid hour. In reality, one hour of billed time works out to about 2 and a half hours of work time. I spend additional time planning the project and getting ready to start. I also spend some time after the project making sure my output is "acceptable" according to my own personal quality standards.
Also, I'm a bit of a workaholic. When I go home, I usually move smoothly from one project to another. My mornings are spent at work (I consider my employer to be just a full-time client), I take a short break to hit the gym, then I come home and start working on either personal projects or work for other clients. Typically, I'll shut things down for the day when it starts getting late enough that I question how much sleep I'll get before work in the morning. :-) I don't leave very much downtime for myself during the week at all.
Weekends, though, are very different.
Saturdays are "me" days. Unless I have an unusually high workload, I block out time for personal projects and ignore client work. This can be anything from writing code for my blog, writing a fiction story, working in the garden, or going out to find another geocache.
Sundays are "no work" days. I consider Sundays to be my official day off. I get up, make a big breakfast, and take the day at a leisurely pace. After church, I might do some laundry, go to a movie, or read a book. But whatever I do, I make sure it doesn't feel like work. The hard part is finding something productive to do that's not also work. When I'm too idle, I start to think about unfinished projects ... that can lead to working on the projects, and that's a bad endgame for everyone involved.
Ultimately, though, I leave very little time on the table. My weeks are filled with work. My weekends with rest and recuperation. I still watch TV, but usually just because it's on in the background while I'm working. Do I leave enough time on the table? In reality, there are times when I feel I've left too much. So how much time do you leave on the table? How much downtime do you have in your week?