As the new year rolls around, I've been taking stock of how I've spent 2021. Lots of reading, a bit of travelling, a good amount of bonding with a new puppy and new friends.
525,600 minutes. Or so the song goes.
But 124,800 those minutes, for a typical 40-hour/week job, are designated work. When people hear that I work as a UX writer, they assume that all 40 of those hours are spent clacking away at my keyboard, but the reality is pretty different.
I looked over my schedule, spread out over the past year or so, to see how I typically spend that time. The results?
12 hours: Meetings. Could be planning with designers, new guidelines from management, editing sessions, etc.
8 hours: Research. UX Writing requires a lot of information. Whether checking competitors, standard terminology, or the company's own documentation, getting all the ducks in a row isn't a quick thing. 8 hours: Localization. Code needs to be translated, sent off to the right person; bugs need to be fixed, and context explained.
5 hours: Writing & Refining. At the end of the day, the actual writing doesn't take all that much time. Once you figure the hierarchy's right, it's just a matter of writing down the words and returning later to make sure they're polished.
3 hours: QA. Did what I wrote actually make it into the code? Does everything fit like it's supposed to?
2 hours: Documentation. I need to make sure that I'm recording all my decisions, so that it's easy for the next person, as well as those working alongside me, to follow along with the plan. Saves a ton of time in the future.
2 hours: Socialization. As sad as this was to my little introvert heart, UX is a social job. Luckily I work with some great teams, but still, you have to devote time to grabbing a coffee, shooting a friendly Slack message, and just enjoying the company.
Conclusion: every day is different; time management is key; and it's a privilege to watch an idea go from thought to reality.