What do you actually DO, Verity?
Always a good question. Where does all my time go?
Throughout the month of May I kept a timesheet and noted down what I was doing every hour of the day and categorised it into areas like programming or audience research or funding applications. Then at the end of May I counted up all the hours in each category and put it into a lovely chart:
So what does this tell me? Some I already know - like I spend most of my time on marketing. Some of it is more surprising - like how little there is on volunteer management. Given how reliant we are on volunteers… shouldn’t I devote more time to them?
What else? Lots of time on funding applications. At first I thought well that’s because it’s May and in May I do the annual Lottery Project Funding application for the Arts Council so it’s a one-off… but then I remembered that in other months I do the local council multi-annual arts grant and in another the tourism grant application and sometimes a one-off application for a new website or some equipment or… so it’s not really that unusual to spend so much time on funding applications. And without the funding…
What really strikes me is how little time is spent here on programming and audience research - less than 10%. How can we hope to improve our understanding of our audiences and deliver what they want and how they want it without more time spent on them?
And look at poor heritage - less than 1% of my time. But how can I justify devoting any time to heritage activities if there’s no funding towards them or income from them?
Overall in May, on average, I worked 46 hours per week. I’m paid for 37.5. I’m not asking for sympathy - I chose to work in the arts and I choose to give extra hours because I want Portico to succeed. You’ll also see I spend time training myself too - to ‘work smarter’ - which of course takes up more time…
Maybe I simply have to accept that there’s too much to do and not enough time to do it?