168 Hours Time Tracking Challenge Day 2

Welcome to day 2 of the time tracking challenge! Did you stick with it? If not, it's relatively easy at this point to get back on track. Just try to fill in, broadly, what you did over the past 24 hours. If you can't remember an hour or two, that's fine. Seeing it through to the end of the week is more important than any particular smaller chunk of time.

Here's how my life has gone since my last check in around 7 p.m. last night.

7 - 8 p.m. -- read on the porch. I'm still working through Olmsted's Cotton Kingdom. It's long and a bit tiring at places though still fascinating. As I only have about 3 hours to go (per the Kindle counter) I think I'll stick with it to the end.

8-8:30 - G left, but the 2-year-old was not down. So I tried reading him another story, rocking him, and then decided to let him cry it out. My nerves were pretty on edge from the screaming.

8:30 - 9 - While the big kids watched TV, I hid myself in the basement and recorded a "mini-sode" of the podcast with Sarah. She was still marooned in N.C. at the time so our sound quality won't be what it was with her at-home equipment, but we wanted to share her evacuation story with listeners. The episode will be released next Tuesday (episode 6, on creating great weekends, went live today). My 2-year-old kept screaming up until 8:45.

9-9:30 - Got other kids in bed, or at least in their rooms. My 10-year-old had his nightly chat with me, then wanted me to call my husband (who was in Chicago). He proceeded to leave him a 3.5 minute voice mail describing his entire day.

9:30-10:30 - read, with a pause to turn the big boys' lights off and move the 2-year-old into his crib (from the spot where he'd fallen asleep on the floor in front of the door).

10:30-5:30 - slept

5:30 - woke to screams of "Mommy! Open my door!" Often I try to ignore him, but he wasn't getting quieter, so I got the 2-year-old and brought him to my bed. I couldn't sleep but at least I didn't have to get up.

6:00-7:45 - read, drank coffee, ate breakfast while the 2-year-old amused himself with YouTube videos of Thomas the Train. I got the big kids' breakfasts when they woke up, and changed into my running clothes. G arrived at 7:45.

7:45-8 - treadmill! Got my 1.1 miles in. That's it. It was going to be a BTN day ("better than nothing")

8-8:30 - showered, dressed in nice clothing, did hair and make-up.

8:30 - 8:40 - realized 7-year-old was playing the Wii U and was STILL IN HIS CLOTHES FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE. Hurriedly got him dressed and the other kids into their shoes, etc. Had a discussion about how there were not to be any electronics until people were dressed and had brushed their teeth. As you can imagine, this discussion was only had in the calmest, most rational tones. Supervised the bus stop (all 7 kids made it on time again).

8:40-9:15 - finished getting ready, packed up, and drove to church.

9:15-11:15 - spoke to my church's women's group on time management. Everyone was very nice! I listened to the Best of Both Worlds podcast on weekends going there and back.

11:15-2:45 - worked in home office. Mostly on Off the Clock. I rewrote big chunks of chapter 1. It was hard mental labor. I ate a salad in here somewhere and said hello to the 2-year-old who came in for lunch, and then nap.

2:45-3:15 - drove to a local client.

3:15-5:30 - met with client and then gave second speech of the day on time management. Everyone was very nice! One of the questions was on transition times, and understanding exactly how long certain things take. I may explore this concept a bit more (e.g. where can a 45-minute activity fit into a schedule, where can a 2-hour activity fit in, etc.)

5:30-5:57 - drove to pick up my daughter at gymnastics (G had dropped her off after dropping the boys at swim, then she needed to go pick the boys back up at 5:30). Some heavy traffic, but I thought I was on time to pick her up at 6:00. It turns out her 5:00 gymnastics class is actually done at 5:50-ish. There were tears. "I thought you were going to leave me there forever!"

6-6:30 - drove home. Again, heavy traffic. Chatted with daughter.

6:30 -6:50 - G had dinner on the table, bless her. Ate with her and kids.

6:50 - piano teacher showed up to teach 7-year-old and 5-year-old, who is just starting lessons (the 10-year-old decided to switch to viola). Now I am writing this, and will hit post. I plan to answer some of my emails and then relax, with a target of being in bed at 10:15 vs. 10:30. With the early wake-ups, those 15 minutes really do make a difference.

How was your day?

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15 Responses to 168 Hours Time Tracking Challenge Day 2


  1. Gary says:

    It was my youngest daughters 10th birthday so not a normal weekday. I’m doing a 15 minute timesheet and already I am finding that I do not focus on any one thing for longer than 1 hour. Sometimes I will get 2 continuous hours of work done but as I work from home there is always someone or something else to deal with. What I’m really struggling with is fitting time in to work on my new business which is still at idea stage. I did choose to watch my team on tv in the evening though so it could have been done then. Ideally my actual job and working on my own thing would all be done during the day but it’s so difficult to switch between them.

    • @Gary – it can be really tough to work on a new business, especially when you’re kicking around ideas and so don’t have too much tangible to look at and work with. While in theory evening TV time could have work time, I find it’s really hard to do heavy mental lifting then. Could you get up a little earlier and do it in the AM instead? Or go to a coffee shop and work and go to your day job just slightly later?

      • Gary says:

        Yes I think that has to be the option. I can get away with starting at 10AM so should be able to make time for a morning routine and some hours on my business. Just need to stick to it!

    • Lisa says:

      Can you leave home or work a little early and stop somewhere for a while to work? When I was working on a big project, I was sometimes able to leave extra-early for work and stop at a coffee shop to get some writing done. I have 45-50 minute commute, so I’d drive most of the way and then do it. It felt like extra time because if I’d been at home I wouldn’t have been able to focus, and if I’d been at work I would have been interrupted. Other days, I’d leave work a little early and stop somewhere to work with a cup of coffee for 30-45 minutes before kid pick-ups needed to start. Combined, these extra writing hours only occurred 4-6 times/month, but made a huge difference over the course of several months.

  2. Omdg says:

    Does your nanny work 13 hours most days? Was Monday an anomaly?

    • Linda M says:

      I was wondering that too. How does her schedule work? Does she get a lunch hour?

    • @OMDG – the schedule has been in flux lately. What we had last year was M-Thurs 8-8 (so 48 hours/week), and then had another person on Fridays. The older kids are in school, and the 2-year-old generally naps for 2-3 hours in the middle of the day (per Linda’s question), so those nap hours are more low-key.

      • omdg says:

        Yeah that makes sense. We once calculated that if we hired a nanny, we’d need about 13-14h of care per day because of our very early mornings. That’s a lot! It’s also how we ended up with au pair plus daycare. That decision probably saved us 30K per year.

        • @omdg – very smart. I think anyone who needs over 50 hours of care should strongly consider hiring multiple caregivers. Or, yes, doing daycare plus a caregiver. That way you have a back-up and you’re not burning any one person out.

      • Laura says:

        During nap hours, does G do laundry or prep meals or clean the house (although I know you’ve mentioned having a cleaning service)? Or is that complete downtime for her? I don’t see laundry and those other types of household tasks in your time tracking. I’m very interested in what can be outsourced and where services could be combined to one person vs contracting out to different people for all different needs.

  3. Meghan says:

    Nothing like starting the day with a little adrenaline (realizing your kid isn’t ready for school and it’s time to go NOW) 🙂 Sounds like you had a super-productive day, though!
    I had kids home again — on Sunday they made the call to cancel school Mon/Tues because of the storm, but we did not get much. I did let them watch a movie while I tried to work, but day 2 just wasn’t great. I got the bare minimum done on my work project, but wasn’t very focused! I did throw the boys outside to play with friends in the afternoon when the sun came out and ran 3.1 miles around (and around) the block (our street is horseshoe-shaped, with a big common area in the middle of the horseshoe, so they can play there and I — and all my neighbors — can keep an eye on them). It’s the first time I’ve done that, but it definitely is a keeper plan!

  4. Cindy Olsavsky says:

    Thanks for the facebook live chat! I loved your question “is something bothering you” about tracking your time. I am actually feeling kind of anxious when I write things down in my tracker. I’m totally tearing it apart 1/2 hour by 1/2 hour as opposed to waiting until I see the bigger picture at the end of the day / week / month. I really like the suggestion of considering the thing that you want to make sure happens. Also love “BTN” Better Than Nothing – let’s celebrate the things we are getting into our schedules 🙂

    • @Cindy- thanks for joining! Yes, this week is featuring a lot of BTN running. But at least, because of the streak, I’m endeavoring to do it. I probably would have just not done it without the streak, and I do think that running 10-15 minutes is better than not running at all.

  5. Phil says:

    Thanks for doing the FB livecast today…it sucked me into Facebook when I was trying to stay away, but the info was worth it…especially the idea of making a # when you find yourself off task 🙂 This whole thing is more fun than I thought it might be. I am assessing as i go and see with a few tweaks, I will be more pleased with my results. One thing that has thrown me off is the bad weather so far this week. I usually run early, but Irma has nixed that and I don’t have a good plan B. I have gotten runs in, but it has thrown my schedule off…but I am more resilient than I thought. Looking forward to see my sheet in a week!

    • @Phil- ha, yes, I know people’s productivity was probably not helped by luring them onto FB today! Oh well, hopefully it was for a good cause…

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