8 REASONS FOR ROUNDING-UP YOUR TIME
This might be controversial.
I think architects should round-up their time.
I also think that you should complete and submit your timesheet daily. If you aren’t completing your timesheet daily, then this idea won't interest you because you are already fudging your time entries.
This is why rounding-up isn’t fudging.
If you are keeping your time as accurately as feasible, you need to round-up your entries because you are still missing project-related stuff all the time. Everybody draws the line differently between what is project work and what isn’t. Even when there is a company policy, interpretations vary.
That idea ties into how large the rounding-up should be. I think it should reflect your policy on what is project work and what isn’t. On one extreme you might only treat work that is 'directly completing the deliverables' of the project as project work. On the other extreme you might treat 'everything you wouldn’t be doing if you didn’t have the project' as project work - even completing project time entries on your timesheet.
I don’t recommend either extreme. But it gets fuzzy when you settle for something in the middle, and that is where rounding-up starts to make sense.
I used to tackle dozens of tasks every day. Only when I carved out a day or two to write a spec for a project would my timesheet be easy to complete. No, I didn’t go to my timesheet dozens of times a day. Just once, before leaving the office. So you need some tricks. Mine were:
When you are re-creating your time expenditures rounding-up comes into play. I used to count each email and phone call as 0.1 hour (six minutes). For larger blocks of project time I did my best to get to the nearest 1/10th of an hour. So my rounding-up was 0.1 hour.
Some people use 0.25 hour, 0.5 hour or even 1.0 hour. The larger the rounding, the harder it is to justify. The legal profession has spent endless time on this issue and that’s what it boils down to.
I think 1/10 hr or 1/4 hr is fairly easy to ‘justify’. (3)
And this is why…
8 REASONS FOR ROUNDING UP YOUR TIME
(1) Even though we were a small office, we used Google’s Chat app to avoid interruptions.
(2) We used to bill for postage, in-house copies, prints, plots. It took a lot of time. Eventually we did a study and determined that these things generally were 2.5% of the fee. We phased out the separate invoicing, and included it in the fee or added a lump sum amount to contracts.
(3) The name of the 2018 Triple Crown winner
(4) I once was told by my client that he was sorry to keep me waiting, but he was on the phone with and attorney who charges three times my rate.