Introduction Day – July 14

The opening line of the 168 Hours intro is “Tuesday, July 14, 2009, was a good day.”

I go on to describe how I spent that day exactly one year ago, and what made the day “good.” The answer? I spent a high proportion of my hours on the things that bring the most meaning to my life: writing about things that matter to me (in this case, the book), playing with my then-2-year-old son, talking with my husband, exercising, and thinking about the big picture for my choir.

Over the past year, I have tried to really invest my 168 hours — “our only real wealth” as Geoff Colvin put it — in these categories. It’s an ongoing process.

Adding a new baby to the mix has changed things and added new stresses, though watching my two sons play nicely together (when they’re willing to do that) has certainly been a joy.

Writing 168 Hours has opened up lots of professional possibilities to me, even if I also find myself spending a lot of time on the marketing part (which is probably not among my core competencies).

I ran a marathon in April. I thought that would inspire me to keep doing long runs but it hasn’t. My longest run since then has been 5 miles. Oh well.

My choir has had a great year. We set new attendance records at our December concert and we were invited to sing at the 2011 ACDA conference, which is a big honor. I’m now transitioning out of the day-to-day choir management and am building up an advisory board.

One thing I didn’t think, re-reading the intro? “Where did the year go?” Partly that’s because it has to seem like a long time ago — I had yet to meet baby Sam at that point, and now he is such a big part of my life it’s hard to picture how I spent my time without him around!



2 Responses to Introduction Day – July 14


  1. Ah yes…kids are a game-changer for sure. I always advise never trusting the advice of success, productivity or time management “gurus” who don’t have kids. It’s easy to be productive when you don’t have the huge responsibility of children. But show me a go-getter with kids, and I’m impressed. Just read your book, and honestly think it’s one of the best “get more done in life” books I’ve ever read. Your insights into the data gleaned from time-use records is particularly illuminating, and really takes away the “but I just don’t have enough time” excuse from a lot of folks.

  2. Thanks Jeff- so glad you liked the book! Having children has definitely made me better about managing my time. Having slightly restricted hours for any task makes you focus on what is most important (to a point, of course). And I appreciate that you write a “go-getter with kids” — non-gender specific! How fathers use their time is one of the great unwritten stories out there…