At a sales training seminar a couple weeks ago, the presenter spoke on the topic of separating pay time from no pay time. I was very familiar with this concept, but not in quite the way he put it. All of us recognize the importance of tracking billable versus non-billable hours, but "pay time" doesn't necessarily mean billable hours.
Think of it this way. A billable hour is an hour of your time for which you can directly bill a client. At the same time, some of your client work might translate to non-billable hours. Think of proposal creation and new client meetings. Most consultants provide this time as a free service.
Pay time is a different concept all together. If you double the amount of pay time involved in your job, you double the amount of pay coming in the door. On the same note, if you double your no pay time, your wallet doesn't seem any heavier.
If you were to double the amount of time you spend in new client meetings, you will increase your bottom line (more new business meetings = more new business in most industries). But many of us ignore this simple fact so we can focus on optimizing our billable time. When you think of these non-billable hours as pay time, though, it changes the dynamic drastically.
How many hours do you commit to each week? How many are billable? How much of that is pay time? Is your focus in the right place?