2018 Time-Tracking Challenge: Day 2

Today, like yesterday, brought weather-related logistical changes. Last night after posting I read stories to the 2-year-old for a while, put him down around 8 p.m., then got other kids ready for bed. The 2-year-old had not actually gone to sleep, so I had to re-do the story process around 8:45. Then he did go down. I had a chat with the 10-year-old, and watched the Alabama/Georgia game, sort of, while reading a book I was thinking of writing about. My husband came home at 11 p.m. I said hello, briefly, and went to bed because he decided to settle in to watch the rest of the game. Here's how today went:

3:50 a.m. - brief wake-up with 6-year-old, who had a bad dream.

6:45 - up, heard 2-year-old, gave him to husband. Back to bed.

7:15 - 8:15 up, checked email, discovered 2-hour delay. Slowly started moving. The kids were all up by 8, though, so we got breakfast going. The 10-year-old helped make his own French toast.

8:15 - 9 - various things with kids

9-9:15 - started some work stuff, realized I should probably get my run in.

9:15 - 9:45 - got ready, ran on treadmill (2.5 miles). Listened to Best of Both Worlds while running.

9:45- 10 - helped 10-year-old edit his story for a local young author contest. I thought it was pretty original. We will see what the judges think!

10- 10:30 - got dressed, helped kids get out door to bus.

10:30 - 11:30 - got ice off car, drove to library to drop off contest entry, went to local salon to get hair cut, drove home.

11:30- 11:45 - wrote/posted blog post on podcast.

11:45- 12:15 - recorded a podcast (someone else's)

12:15 - 1 - email, ate lunch, talked with G and 2-year-old.

1 -2 - worked, various projects

2-2:20 - phone call re potential speech

2:20-3:10 - worked, various projects

3:10-3:30 - walked outside. It turned out to be a really nice day - sunny and up into the 40s (balmy, given the -2 degree temperatures over the weekend!). So, in keeping with my winter fun list goal of getting physical activity outside, I put on my boots and went for a walk around the block. I didn't even need to zip my coat!

3:30-4:05 - worked, various projects

4:05-4:35 -kids got home, mostly dealt with them, setting people up to practice piano, do online math homework, got snacks. Did some work interspersed. G was off with the 2-year-old at the library so this was my shift with the big kids.

4:35-5 - ready, drove to gymnastics.

5-6 - read at gymnastics. Different book - this one on octopuses. Yes, that's the right plural.

6-6:20 - drove home. Had an oddly difficult time maneuvering out of the parking lot, given the snow piles. I could get into my spot...but couldn't get out. I had to wait for the lady next to me to leave so I could use part of her space.

6:20 - 6:50 - email triage. Went through most of the stuff that came in since last time I dealt with it. I still spend too much time on email.

6:50 - 7:20 - helped get dinner on table, then ate with whole family minus the 8-year-old, who was at wrestling.

I'm posting this now -- 7:20 p.m. seems to be a good time for me -- and don't have too many more plans for the evening. Reading more about octopuses perhaps. Tomorrow will feature a lot of recording of Best of Both Worlds podcasts. Should be fun!

How was your day?

In other news: I'll do a Facebook Live chat tomorrow afternoon around 2:30 p.m. Check out my page (Facebook.com/lauravanderkamauthor) to see it and ask questions!

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13 Responses to 2018 Time-Tracking Challenge: Day 2


  1. Omdg says:

    Not octopi?

    • @Omdg- apparently not! News to me too. But octopus is from a Greek root, so the plural isn’t the Latin convention.

      • though I guess if we were really going all Greek it would be something like octopodes.

        • Omdg says:

          Interesting!

  2. John Hritz says:

    Can you post a higher res image of your tracking sheet, please?

  3. Katy Cannon says:

    My day 2 wasn’t too dissimilar to day 1 – although I managed to squeeze in writing invitations for my daughter’s birthday party before school, which felt like a win (we’re cutting it close, as usual, and she was worried people wouldn’t be able to come. I was less worried about having fewer kids to entertain!). I wrote, sorted some contracts, did revisions and subbed a short story, and even got 30 minutes of yoga in at lunchtime. My daughter and husband were out in the evening (Brownies and swimming, respectively) so I had a solid 90 minutes of quality time with the 2 year old, including face timing with the grandparents, colouring, duplo and lots of stories before bed. My husband and I were late eating dinner because of all the activities (the kids ate before them) but still managed to get to bed at a good time.

    Not sure I’m ready to say goodbye to Octopi, just yet. It sounds so much better…

    • @Katy – here’s to fitting things in! Writing invitations before school sounds like a majorly productive use of small bits of time.

      And oh, I know… octopi. But if it’s wrong…

  4. Natalia Bertelli says:

    Hi Laura,
    I work from home and most weather /school/kids’illnesses related disruptions and changes fall on me. I have family but they can’t always help. How do you deal with having to change your schedule? Doesn’t fitting work in every spare minute make you feel more stressed?

    • @Natalia- possibly a good topic for a post. The short answer is that yes, fitting work into every spare minute around dealing with kids’ illnesses and school disruptions is stressful. The longer answer is that having a full time nanny provides a lot of back up. If I’d been gone and unable to get home for the early dismissal, she could have been there. When the big kids are sick, I often deal with them so she can still do the toddler’s classes and such with him – but if I were not working at home, she’d stay home with the big kids too. So there’s a lot less stress because I don’t have to do this coverage if it’s a big problem. Last week when I was in CA I wasn’t dealing with the kids being home from school. That’s why we went to this model. The first two years of parenthood, when we didn’t have that back up and my kid got sick all the time in day care were incredibly stressful.

      Of course not everyone has this option, and once all kids are in school I know a lot of families would find having someone on the payroll kind of over-the-top (but if both parents travel or need to be in the office you do need a solid back up!) I deal with winter as much as possible by front-loading the week. Get everything that needs to be done done on Monday and Tuesday, so if the rest of the week falls apart with weather it’s OK. If I look at the forecast and see Mon/Tues will be bad, I try to work on the weekend. Since I cover more of the sick/weather stuff, my husband is on the hook for weekends if I need the work time.

      • Meghan says:

        I do the front-loading thing, too. I even wrote a blog post for my indexing firm about it, as I do it routinely with every project, no matter if I think I’m going to have enough time — something always comes up. Depending on what kind of work you do from home, it can help — it’s probably easier-ish with freelance work than if you’re expected to be in meetings or responsive to clients between set hours. My kids are also old enough to play together if I have to work, and don’t need minute-to-minute supervision. We’re working on them understanding that I’ll get through things faster and have more time to play if they don’t interrupt me (they’re 7.5 and almost 5).

        I also give myself permission to sleep in if I’ve had to shift my schedule to work too many nights — I find after 2 or 3 nights working until even just 9 pm, I’m really worn out — and let non-essential things go. Then we all pitch in on weekends or after school when the dust settles. My 4yo is currently upstairs napping after I had to pick him up early from school because he’s sick …

  5. Sherrell says:

    I NEED that notebook in my life; it looks perfect! What brand is it?

    • @Sherrell – in the picture? A greenroom model I picked up at Target!

  6. Meghan says:

    I haven’t been tracking my time this week, but definitely should be. Guess I’ll start today! I haven’t had any reason not to, other than I know I’ll see I’m spending too much time online and not enough time focusing on the things I planned to. It would be helpful to know how much time I spend with work email and instant messaging (since those are necessary — let’s not talk about personal email and texting!).

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