For three weeks, I kept track of everything I did. Well, at least everything related to work. I did it to the half-hour time increment, so some of the values are off, but its pretty close. It wasn’t that hard, really. The biggest issue was remembering to make entries, and sometimes I found myself looking at the spreadsheet and trying to remember what I did the previous day. Eventually I just had the spreadsheet open all the time in the background, a constant reminder to make an entry. I could stand doing this for three weeks.
It turns out that I am spending ~7 hours a week on tasks related to editing. This includes not only time in the GEMS system processing papers but also editor-in-chief tasks, which for this stretch of time was mostly answering emails. This is a little more than the “hour per work day” value that Bob Lysak told me, but it’s within the margin of error, especially at this early stage in my tenure as EiC when I am still ramping up to full efficiency.
I also found out that I am spending about 3 hours per week on this blog (and the related Facebook and Twitter accounts). While this is more than I thought I was spending, or told myself that I would spend, there is a reason for the big number. I did the time-tracking exercise in the midst of my series on Journal Impact Factors, which included several hours of fact-finding research and background reading. If you take this out, then I am probably spending between one and two hours a week on the blog, which seems like a more reasonable number to me.
I am not complaining about these extra 10 hours a week of work that I didn’t have a few months ago. That said, though, I don’t think I increased my hours-per-week work life by 10, so this represents a cut into other work activities. Overall, it’s what I expected and what I am getting used to doing for this role.
Perhaps I’ll do this work-time tracking exercise again in a year or so and compare. I have the spreadsheet developed already.