episode 43

Setting Intentional Work Hours for Web Designers

More time does not always equal more money. When doing a time audit in your business, you might find that you’re working more hours than you need to and you could get away with working less by working more efficiently and doing the tasks that actually matter.

Today Sam & Karyn share the possibility of cutting your work hours in half and still meeting the financial goals in your business an mindset shifts to help you be okay with working less.

Show Notes:

Breaking out of the corporate mindset that you have to work 40+ hours a week to be successful.
Using time tracking data to understand how much of your time is spent on what tasks.
Finding satisfaction when your work is done instead of always finding more to do.
Rethinking your prices, structure, or priorities in order to hit your goals in less time spent.

Episode Transcript:

Karyn Paige, Sam Munoz

Sam Munoz 00:00
It’s like what you’re spending the time on is so important. It’s not the quantity, it is truly the quality of like the time spent. And I think that sometimes we just like, sit at our desks. And if we don’t have like a plan or like some overarching structure for the business or the goals, right, we haven’t like figured out the goals, and then reverse engineer to how to get there. And you know how many clients and how much money we need to make per day or per month or per client or whatever, then it’s just like, Well, I’m here for eight hours. So I’m going to do this. And it’s so interesting, because we just like especially if you’ve ever had like a nine to five job or you know, a quote unquote, regular job, you kind of just like take that in to your business, and then just apply it right. But it doesn’t always fit and certainly does not have to correlate to how much money is possible for you to make. Welcome to Making website magic where we empower women to step boldly into their web design, businesses follow their intuition and claim the success they’re worthy of. I’m Sam Munoz.

Karyn Paige 01:02
And I’m Karen Page, where the Tech Wizards behind Sam Linnaeus consulting and the making website Magic School of Business. Were two women here to talk about what it actually takes to run a web design business that’s aligned with your vision.

Sam Munoz 01:15
Spoiler alert, it probably isn’t what you think it is ready to hear about everything from refining your business vision, networking with intention and creating a magical client experience.

Karyn Paige 01:24
Let’s do it.

Sam Munoz 01:31
Well, hello, hello, Karen.

Karyn Paige 01:33
Hey, Sam, welcome back to the podcast.

Sam Munoz 01:37
Welcome to the podcast. Oh, my, this is going to be a really fun topic. We actually don’t even have a title for it yet. Because we just have an idea. And we’re going to go with it. Yeah, we’re going to be talking about working hours for web designers. That’s kind of our working title over here. And we’ve got lots of things that we want to talk about. There’s just like so many layers to this. It’s like a giant onion. I think it really, you know, came from the last podcast episode about how you’re spending your time. And we just want to kind of go a little bit deeper into like, the actual time, the hours, the effort, etc.

Karyn Paige 02:12
But first, we want to invite our listeners to join our new free community. It’s the making website Magic community on mighty networks.

Sam Munoz 02:24
So excited about this space, it is like a place to go deeper about the podcast connect with other women, web designers and developers and people in this kind of space. So if you’re listening to this, and you’re like, I’m actually a copywriter, also a great place for you to hang out to to meet other women to connect with to collaborate with to expand your referral network. You know, we talk about this all the time on the podcast, that idea of like, it’s relationship building. And if we’re thinking about a place to make relationships with other people in our industry, what better place then they making website Magic community. So we’ll be going deeper into the podcast, we’re going to be sharing some private podcast there every now and then. So you know, the stuff that doesn’t quite make it into the show. And then also something we do on social media, or we were doing on social media were these things called Magic minutes, which are kind of like mini versions of the podcast. And we’re going to start doing those in the community. So we would love to see you in there making website magic.com/community. Or you can go to the shownotes and find the link for it there. But that’s where you’ll find us. And that’s where we’re going to be chatting about the episodes.

Karyn Paige 03:25
Alright, so speaking of episodes, let’s get into today’s topic, right? So just to kind of circle back right in the last episode, where we talked about how you could be spending your day as a web designer, at the end of that was kind of like, oh, by the way, did you know that you probably don’t have to work as many hours in a day as you think. And then we just dropped the mic ended the episode. And we’re like by so very, that very cliffhanger. Now I wanted to circle back and have a little bit more depth to that conversation, because I have a feeling that a lot of people listening, are not aware of this option, or what that can look like for you as a listener in your web design business.

Sam Munoz 04:11
Yes, absolutely. I think it’s really interesting, because this is kind of an exploration that we have done you and I, you know, seeing how much time we spend working what we’re spending our time on. And so it’s very in alignment to talk about it on the podcast, too. We can share our experiences and some of the things that we uncovered. And then also, yeah, that idea of how are you spending your time and this conversation being like, how much time are you spending on your business? And do you really need to be spending 40 5060 hours on your business? Or could we get away with like doing less, more efficiently, and doing tasks that actually matter? And then like taking a break. We have an entire episode all about like self care and burnout. Those are two different episodes. We’ll link them in the show notes, but it’s because it’s reality. And when we start doing this thing where we’re like working 80 hours a week, and we’re just like, what are we even working on? I think it gets a little complicated. So I’m really excited to talk about this and just let it be an open discussion about working hours. And you know, we have like a loose outline, but kind of just talking from experience and sharing. I don’t know our thoughts on all of it.

Karyn Paige 05:19
Yeah. And so it’s really kind of expanding on this idea that you might be working more hours and you really need to, and are you okay? With working less? Because that’s a big part of it, too.

Sam Munoz 05:33
Oh, so big. Isn’t that weird that you might be not okay with working less. And I mean, it makes sense, right? It’s like deeply rooted in things like capitalism and productivity and hustle culture, that there is something to working less isn’t there like a book called like, The Four Hour Workweek, eight hour workweek,

Karyn Paige 05:52
is some about four hours as a four hours a day for hours week, I don’t know, I haven’t read the book, you know, how I feel about reading a lot of different ideas and stuff. I like to be very discerning, but I think that’s a thing. My idea of why I wanted to have this conversation today is really rooted in like mindset and unlearning this idea that the more you work, the more you get paid. If you work harder, you’re a better person, right? Like our identities are so tightly wound up with our work and what we’re able to produce, right. So it’s really kind of like a logical conclusion for someone that they would say, Well, if I work eight hours a day, or if I work 10 hours a day, I’m a really good person, and I am a hard worker, and that is my identity, my narrative. And I get to be, like, rewarded with some invisible badge, because of how much effort I put in. And I’m like, okay, but like, is your bank account telling you that you’re a really good person? Is your bank account rewarding? You?

Sam Munoz 06:58
Yeah, it’s kind of reminded me of the conversation from last week, where it’s like, you could be sitting at your desk for eight hours, but like, how are you actually spending that time? Are you doing things like busy work? Are you doing things that you think quote, unquote, should be doing, you know, making the email list etc, or, okay, so like, that’s option one is like spending eight hours, you’re making like $100 a month, right? Because you’re doing like things that you make an affiliate sale, okay, great. Like that has nothing to do with your business model. Or maybe you spend like three hours working a day, four hours working a day, and you’re having a couple discovery calls, you’re working on your client work, you are sending out a proposal, and you’re making like five grand a month, it’s possible. And I just, it’s like, what you’re spending the time on is so important. It’s not the quantity, it is truly the quality of like the time spent. And I think that sometimes we just like, sit at our desks. And if we don’t have like a plan, or like some overarching structure for the business or the goals, right, we haven’t like figured out the goals and then reverse engineer to how to get there. And you know, how many clients and how much money we need to make per day or per month, or per client or whatever, then it’s just like, Well, I’m here for eight hours. So I’m going to do this. And it’s so interesting, because we just like especially if you’ve ever had like a nine to five job or you know, a quote unquote, regular job, you kind of just like take that in to your business, and then just apply it right. But it doesn’t always fit and certainly does not have to correlate to how much money is possible for you to make. And it’s almost like this episode is if you’ve never seen that, if you’ve never realized, like, Oh, I could actually work less and make more, or at the very least, I could work less and make as much as I was making working twice as much. I think that that’s kind of the point of this episode, too, is just to show you that it’s possible to not work 50 hours a week and still make the money that you want to be making in your business.

Karyn Paige 08:53
Okay, I want to take a very Sam Munoz approach to this and start with the data. Okay, so it starts with time tracking, right? You sit down to work, right, and you set that toggle timer, whatever device you choose. And when you’re done, and you just stop when the work is done, you stop, you might find that you’ve only been working for five hours. Right? And, and there’s nothing wrong with that. And then you keep tracking your time and you’re like, Oh, look at this, on average, on average, when I actually focus on the work. I’m not distracted by my phone. I’m not like trying to, you know, fast forward on a podcast or whatever. When I’m focused on the work, I can complete my tasks for the day in like, five hours. Wow, mind blown, because guess what, my whole life since I was a little kid at school, too, when I had a traditional job. I thought that a whole day equals eight hours or 10 hours and though, like, this is where we talk about personal experience, right? Like when when I started diligently tracking my time, I felt guilt. I felt shock, I felt I was like, I am not working 40 hours, I’m not working 50 hours, I’m not working 70 hours, but I’ve completed my work. I’m not okay with that.

Sam Munoz 10:21
Yeah, that’s so interesting. What I also

Karyn Paige 10:25
noticed was okay, but I stepped into my office at 8am. And I left my office at 4pm. So that was an eight hour day, but my work was done in five hours.

Sam Munoz 10:35
That is the piece that I noticed, when we did the time tracking experiment was it was like, I’m getting all of my stuff done. The stuff that really, really matters in four, five, sometimes like three hours, just like cranking through it, there is something to the time going in the background, knowing that it’s tracking my time and like just being hyper focused, knowing exactly what I wanted to do that day, right. And then it was like, I just was constantly finding more things to do. Because there’s like that expression of business, right? There’s always something else to do. I just like I refuse to believe and to endorse that idea. You know, what, sometimes the works just done. And it’s okay to stop, which again, the guilt, it’s like, well, then I shouldn’t be allowed to make $5,000 on this project, because I spent this much time. I’m sorry, were we in the business of swapping time for money? And I forgot

Karyn Paige 11:30
No, no, oh, I’m so glad you brought up that expression. Because when we work in traditional spaces, where we’re an employee, this idea comes up that well, you’re trading your time for money, right? But here’s the thing, you’re not trading your time for money, you are trading your time, for the ability to not go out and make more money somewhere else. They’re saying, I want you here for eight hours a day focusing only on our organization, you don’t have a life outside of this, you don’t have any opportunities to like, multitask on the money generating stuff, you focus on us. And we tell you what to do,

Sam Munoz 12:05
which is not why we started these businesses to just be boxed in, right.

Karyn Paige 12:08
So but we’re still sometimes bringing that in, right. So like that was just kind of like a side note that you’re really not trading your time for money or trading your time for not being able to live the life the way you want to live your life.

Sam Munoz 12:20
And we could be pulling those into our business 100. But we are running. Yeah. And just keeping ourselves stuck at the desk. The conversations that we have had over and over again, with people in our mentorship and just beyond is this idea that we are not desiring to be stuck to this desk. I don’t want a laptop lifestyle at all, no part of me wants that. I think we talked about this, like on an episode, I think it was the dreaming episode. It was like I want to leave my laptop. And I want to go live my life. That’s what I want. I don’t want to like, take it with me and just like always be working and always be focused. I mean, I’m a mom like that is just not in alignment with the way that I want to live my life anyway. But this idea of like, what if we just closed it and walk away, and we’re done. And we’re still making the same amount of money. And to me that comes back to efficiency. And just like spending time on the tasks that actually matter and not on the busy work stuff.

Karyn Paige 13:15
Yeah. And to me, it comes back to your mindset, the way you feel about it. And actually, like the boundaries that you’ve set for yourself, right, because the conversations we’ve had with women, women who are currently in our mentorship or have been, there’s a through line, there’s a theme where it’s like, I don’t want to be tied to my desk all day, I actually want to work four days a week or two days a week, I want to have a flexible schedule so that I can take my kids to school or take them to their practices and you know, go to their games, whatever, like that kind of flexibility and freedom, right? Which is not quote unquote laptop life, because laptop life is taking your laptop with you everywhere working everywhere. location independent, right? So it’s this idea of, we’re running these businesses so that we can have more time to do more living, right. And so you have to be okay with the idea of I close my laptop when I’m done with the work because I set a boundary for myself that I don’t work eight hours a day anymore, I get to work five. And so that is the boundary that you actually have to hold yourself accountable to, but you also have to believe that it’s okay for you to do that. And you’re not going to be less worthy. You’re not going to be lazy, which is a four letter word in my house. I mean, honey, no, no, laziness doesn’t exist, right? You’re not that you’re not a bad person.

Sam Munoz 14:42
And you’re not like limiting your opportunities to have a successful business by working less. That’s another belief shift to you know, it’s like, it’s not just about how much time you put into it. It is truly about what you’re spending your time on and making that count. Because I will tell you that from like a time perspective, this is just like pulling back the curtain. I mean, I am a single mom, I don’t have like hours and hours and hours to work on the business. But it’s really just about like, what is the highest priority, what is going to make me money today and then spending the time and energy on that. And then going and focusing on the other priorities in life. And that might be you know, if you’re listening to this episode, and you’re like, I actually only I do, I only have three hours a day to work. And I’ve been stressing myself out about this, because I feel so bad. And I feel like I can’t get to where I want to go, because I only have the three hours a day, I want to tell you that that’s not true, you can get to the goals that you have. Maybe that means charging more per project. Maybe that means taking on different types of projects, like ongoing stuff. So you don’t have to constantly be acquiring a new client and onboarding them, right. So it’s truly about like auditing your time. That’s why the data is so important. How are you spending your time if you’re spending two hours a day on social media, and you only have three hours a day, there could be some adjustments to make the time work in your favor, instead of just having to add more time to it. I hope that makes sense. That concept of like we don’t have to increase the amount of time, we just have to be more intentional about how we spend it to begin with.

Karyn Paige 16:16
Yeah, I just want to sit there with that for a second. I’ve used this example, in previous episodes, I think it was about like burnout, right? And trading time for money. But I want to say it again, because it bears repeating. And I know that we have listeners who are like, I like to hear things more than once, so it can really sink in. We all have personal experiences that we can draw upon, where somebody worked really, really hard and a lot of hours and was dead tired every day and wasn’t being compensated like they’re not a millionaire. More Time does not equal more money in many scenarios. And so that’s like a thing that can be an untrue statement. And this idea that it is so simple, it is actually very simple. You have to get comfortable with that, too. If you charge more, you can work less because you don’t have to acquire as many clients, which is time consuming to meet your goals. But you have to get okay with wanting to charge more.

Sam Munoz 17:15
And you have to know what your goals are. We talked about this in the beginning of the podcast, like when we started the podcast. That’s why we started there. That’s why we start there. And the mentorship is like, what do you want for your business? What is your vision? What is your dream, if you don’t know what that is, it is very hard to then go back out and say, This is how many clients I need. This is how much money I need to make. Right. So if you haven’t done that work of thinking about what you want for your business, really, every episode of this podcast is irrelevant until you know that because everything is about aligning your business to your own arrow.

Karyn Paige 17:52
Here’s a great example of that. Let’s say that you had a lot of time working, you know, for other people, right? And so now you’re starting your business, you get to decide all the rules. Maybe for you, you are used to making you know, $45,000 a year. And you’re like that’s really good, I was uncomfortable, I was able to like buy food at Trader Joe’s get a full set of acrylic nails, like put gas in my tank, go to fancy restaurants with and fancy mean sushi in, you know, definitely go on three day weekend, every once in a while I loved that that’s enough, I’m good. But you know what I want, I want to be able to do that. But now work, like 40 hours not have to commute to do it or to be able to, you know, just say today I want to work 10 hours. And for the next two days, I want to work one, whatever, you know, whatever. So that’s where you’re like, Okay, what it sounds like is you want to live the lifestyle you were you’re used to living, but just not be putting in as many hours to get to that level. That’s totally available to you. So now you got to just decide, okay, well, how do we get there?

Sam Munoz 19:04
Right? Like, what path do you want to take to get there. And it does not have to look like working that full time job like you did before. To me, all of these things are very connected, right? It’s like knowing the vision, knowing where you want to go, knowing how you want to get there, and then just committing to that. And definitely, like you’ve mentioned several times, that might be a mindset shift for you to be okay with it being different than what it was before. So instead of it being 40 hours now it’s 20 hours and how does that make you feel? And are you okay with that? And really honoring that boundary and like shutting the laptop and walking away can it can be hard like I want to acknowledge that too that like I will raise my hand and say that I’m fully guilty of just sitting here putting in more time quote unquote, when it’s like I’m done working. Why am I still here is the work at this This is something that like in terms of my a mindset shift that I’ve been trying to think about is like, Okay, I did all my priority tasks, right? For some reason, I’m still sitting at my desk. And it’s just like pausing. And, you know, doing a little Sam to Sam chat and saying, Hey, is what you’re doing right now helping you make more money or something like why? Why are we still sitting here? Is it freeing up time for tomorrow, because like in all of this, you still get to choose like, you can change this whenever you want. You can decide today, you know, I do want to work 20 hours a week, that’s what I’m going to do. And then in two months from now, you could say, You know what, I like the work, I actually want to be working a little bit more, you can fully decide all of that you can work 80 hours a week, in the nicest way possible. We don’t care what you do. The thing is, it’s about what you actually want. And then doing that, if that makes sense.

Karyn Paige 20:48
Yes, yes, that’s a huge distinction. That’s a huge distinction. Because what you said was, if you like to work more, please, by all means, go do it. Why not? But if it’s not working for you, and you can tell it’s not working, because you’re sitting here and the money’s not coming in, that’s a sign that it’s not working, then let’s sit back and assess.

Sam Munoz 21:12
Absolutely this, this whole conversation is really like, audit, evaluate how close it is, or far it is from your actual goal, in terms of how much time you want to be spending and how much money you want to be making, and then just adjust and working on that mindset of like, Am I okay with the adjustment? Am I okay with this? How do I get okay with it?

Karyn Paige 21:35
Yeah. And there’s the thing that happens, right? When maybe you decide, okay, instead of 40 hours, I’m going down to 20 hours, that’s going to be a big shift, it’s going to be uncomfortable. But hey, guess what, you’ll get there incrementally. So it might look like instead of 40 hours, now we’re down to 38. Now we’re down to 35. Now we’re down to 30. Okay, we had a spike and we’re at 45. That’s okay, we’re gonna acknowledge that be kind to ourselves, have grace, and remind ourselves that we’re trying to get to a goal of 20. Right. And so that requires a bit of self awareness, a bit of self accountability. And again, grace, not beating yourself up. If you didn’t do the thing you said you wanted to do, knowing that you’re capable of doing it, and you’re gonna get up and you’re gonna try again.

Sam Munoz 22:20
Oh, I love that you said that. That’s like a theme that I really want to pull more into the podcast is this idea of like incremental movement towards the things that we want, because we talk a lot on the podcast about aspirational things, right, maybe we want to work 20 hours, maybe we want to make $5,000 a month, whatever goal it might be. And typically, we don’t it life is not like an on off switch. We don’t just like flick it on. And all of a sudden, we are there at the goal at the final destination, right? It’s a journey, it’s a process. And it can get really frustrating and demoralizing when we focus so much on like the final outcome instead of like the little incremental steps to get there. So yes, a movement from if your goal is to work 20 hours a week, a movement from 40, to 38 to 30 is monumental growth, and can be celebrated and also can feel a little bit more motivating when it’s like we don’t have to get all the way to 20 hours tomorrow, it can be a goal for a few months from now, when we get used to it, we figure out you know how we make that happen. That is just like great solid life advice in terms of you know, we’re never just at the end. At the goal. There’s always those little like sub goals to get there. You don’t set a goal to read 50 books a year. And then you just read 50 books, right? You read like for a month,

Karyn Paige 23:38
you read a page a day you read, you read daily, you read daily, and that’s how you get there. Right. It’s very is very that is. And it’s okay, also to acknowledge that like, again, the idea of seasons in business, right? There ebbs and flows from month to month, like launch weeks might just be busier. And that’s okay. And then the next week after the site is launched, you get to breathe, maybe you take two days off for like a post launch restoration celebration, you build that in, right? What I’m getting at is take the time before you need it. So it’s like okay, if I know that this is just going to be a really busy week, I’m prepared for that. It might be a 70 hour work week this week. And hey, but you know what, next week is going to be a 15 hour work week. And I just got to ride this wave. And then I can relax.

Sam Munoz 24:28
Absolutely. This honestly I’m feeling like this whole conversation is about creating intentional working hours for your business. And so and again, if we can leave you with something actionable to walk away with and go think about and go try, definitely track your time if you haven’t just see right you can’t really make change unless you know where you’re at. You know, you can’t assess the gap assess where you you know how far you are from where you want to go unless you know where you are now. So definitely track your time if you haven’t just to see observe without judgment right Like, maybe this week you did work 50 hours. And that makes you feel weird. And then I think step two, after you kind of get some of the data is just notice how it makes you feel. And where you want to go from there and just set some maybe set a goal. And again, be okay with the incremental growth. And I would be remiss to not mention that this is the kind of stuff that we go through in the mentorship, we have a an entire class all about setting your goal packages and pricing and all of that. And in this spreadsheet, we actually list out like, how much do you want to be working, because it’s not just about the money, it’s also about your time, and how that connects to your life and all of the vision that you have for your business. And so if you’re looking for more support, as you’re going through all of this, and you’re like, I actually want to be working less but making more the mentorship honestly might be a good fit for you. So you can go to what is it making website magic.com/mentorship Fill out your info, and we can be in touch and talk with you about it. But I couldn’t not say that because this is the kind of work that we do. And the accountability and the mindset stuff that we talked about in the mentorship.

Karyn Paige 26:06
Yeah. And I’m smiling right now because I’m wearing like, imagine how many naps you could take. And how many episodes of reality TV you could watch skill free with three extra hours a day

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