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unfortunately time has always been the clock we most judge others and ourselves by. as a young plumber it was seldom said good job as a business owner its now become how much can i get done and how fast can i do it, and the sad fact is iam very much aware of the mental and physical damage its doing, but its very hard to reprogram so many years of doing what you know, but iam trying, life is so limited by time which will eventually grab us all! some sooner than others.
Sometimes I let time get to me, get done with a job and give it that last look over and say WHAT TOOK ME SO FRIIGGIN LONG TO DO THAT! II am not a production guy, just a one man gig. As long as I'm happy with the job that's all that matters. I'll admit I spend alot of time thinking a job through, I like things pleasing to the eye. Even a nonplumber can tell if something does not look right. I don't really care if it is being covered up. I will adjust my billing if I feel I've spent to much time " thinking about it" I'd never make it as an employee these days
I have been working in a flat-rate model for years, so 'clock-watching' hasn't been much of any issue at all. I just try to get it done, so I can get paid.
the only days that I really worry about time, is when I have a lot of appointments scheduled in one day. I find myself frantically watching the clock, hoping I am not excessively late for my other appointments.
On a week of back to back 10 to 12 hour days, my truck gets messy, it's unavoidable.
The trick is keeping my tools & stock where I know to find them, regardless how much a rush I'm in to get to the next job, five minutes to organize will save an hour rummaging for a simple fitting or tool I need to finish any given job.
Money vs time.
When I get the impression I'm being price shopped on a job thats too small, I often overbid to get off the phone. The mental image of racing against the clock to make crap for money reminds me that there is a difference between manual labor and a skilled trade. I'll let the guy thats willing to work for food take that job.
I am fortunate that we do mostly industrial work. Our customers are surprised if we are there less than 8 hours. My boss tells me, you have to get 40 hours on signed T&M invoices. My concern is usually strectching my jobs out.