168 Hours Time Tracking Challenge Day 1

Evening is upon us, so I will go ahead and post my time log of this day so far. As mentioned in the previous post, I was up for the third time at 6 a.m. this morning, but then got to sleep until a little after 7. I think the disrupted sleep contributed to my feeling less than productive. I had a day with no scheduled phone calls, so I could have spent the whole day writing! Yet I feel like I got very little done. Sigh.

7:10-7:30 - showered, dressed.

7:30 - 8 - had breakfast with various kids, plus figured out logistics of dismissal notes.

8-8:30 - kids got ready. Practiced audition lines with 10-year-old, then discovered 10-year-old desperately needed specific school supplies for math class.

8:30-8:40 - went to bus stop with 7 kids (my older 3 + 4 neighbors)

8:40 - 12:30 - mostly worked. Not terribly productive in the sense that I was doing a lot of wading through emails, scheduling, paying bills.

12:30 - 12:45 - 2-year-old came home, we planted some random object he found in the backyard, I sat at table while he ate lunch.

12:45- 1:15 - more work.

1:15 - 2 - got ready, then ran 3 miles outside (OK, map my run says 2.99)

2- 4:30 - mostly work. Again, not very efficient. I'm revising my book, which is important work, but it's hard to get into sometimes. Other things in here included paging through the O magazine that just arrived - because my advice was featured in their cover time management package! I primped a little bit, and said hello to the kids when they came home. (G took 5-year-old to karate, with 2-year-old in tow).

4:30 - 5:45 - got ready, then drove two boys to the local theater where the 10-year-old was auditioning for a musical. I read (Friday Night Lights) during the audition; the 7-year-old watched my phone. Drove home.

5:45 -6 - played Thomas the train with 2-year-old in basement (quick email check before this). G got dinner ready.

6-6:20 - ate dinner with G and kids (spinach and steak quesadillas plus broccoli for the adults; cheese quesadillas + fruits and veggies for kids).

6:20 - 6:30 - built Lego towers (all the way to the ceiling!) with the 2-year-old.

6:30 - 7 - mostly work again, getting caught up on things. However, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to get all that much done, so I'll head out to the back porch to squeeze in a bit of leisure time (reading!) before I'm full-on with kid bedtime.

How has Day 1 of the Time Tracking Challenge gone for you so far? If you'd like to sign up for daily emails, you can do so here.

Photo: October O magazine

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14 Responses to 168 Hours Time Tracking Challenge Day 1


  1. Kathleen says:

    If you enjoy Friday Night Lights (which I did)). you should read Prayer for a City. Reminding me of this author prompted me to look him up and I realize he has another book which I had not read. Thank you.

    • @Kathleen – I’ll report back on how it goes! So far so good, and I tend to like sports writing.

  2. Maureen says:

    The O magazine piece was great! I enjoyed reading it!

  3. Nancy says:

    Day 1 is like a honeymoon or dating…one is on best behavior. So the first day seemed extremely well planned, balanced and productive because I know I was being “watched.” I am loving the 15 min sheet, easier to track time, but realizing how fragmented/disjointed my day is.

    • @Nancy – very true. Though apparently I still couldn’t get my act together to do much more than email yesterday!

    • Barbara says:

      I also like recording on the sheet with 15-minute increments.

  4. Meghan says:

    Doing admin work in the morning always leaves me feeling unproductive for the rest of the day, even if it needs to be done. You did a lot of things in some of those 15-min blocks!

    I read the Oprah piece this weekend — it was great!

    • @Meghan – thanks! I really need to not do admin work in the morning but…it happened.

    • ARC says:

      YES! I just figured this out in the last couple of weeks. I’ve been shuffling my schedule during my precious kid-free 3 hours to do the high priority stuff first (currently exercise, making sure we have a solid plan for lunch & dinner, and scrapbooking) and then getting to the ‘errand/admin’ stuff. I’ve also been thinking harder about “can I do this with kids around” and saving the stuff that I can, for when they’re home.

      • Meghan says:

        @ARC I love your priority list! It’s SO hard to figure out how to best use the kid-free time when it’s only 3 hours (that’s more or less my average, too). Since our kiddos are the same age, one thing I do that might help you is to do the same sorts of stuff they’re doing — that can mean giving them new chores, or doing yours alongside their existing ones. Like doing desk admin (depositing checks, answering mail, etc) while they do homework, prepping dinner while they pack lunches, tidying up together, etc.

  5. Ledys says:

    I’m trying really hard to be super accurate this time during the challenge, because I always get the feeling that I “waste” a lot of time on waiting and transitions from activity to activity. I wonder why this is! Anyway, thank you for the challenge, Laura, and for such great content all the time. I love your blog and all your books!

    • @Ledys – thanks so much! Transitions are tough. Definitely something I intend to explore more.

    • Meghan says:

      Ledys, I also struggle with transitions! I can easily spend 15 minutes just moving from one task to another — maybe because there are so many distracting things we think of as “breaks” (checking instagram and email and blogs, for me, or miscellaneous housework). One thing that helps (though I haven’t done it this week) is to plan my breaks — I write a list of the things I can/need to do during the break and set a timer. Of course, I have to not let myself ignore the timer 🙂

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