168 Hours Challenge, Day 1

We have about 70 folks logging their time this week (or at least claiming they are!) Here’s mine on this Monday June 14. I will update this post at the end of the day as well. Feel free to weigh in with your own progress, or write on your own blog, tweet (#168Hours) or post on Facebook. Thanks!

6AM – wake-up
6-6:30 — feed baby
6:30-8 — play with kids and get them dressed
8-8:45 — run
8:45-8:55 — make coffee, get situated
8:55-10:15 — write a column
10:15-10:25 — shower
10:25 – 11:05 — emails plus write a blog post
11:05-11:20 — feed baby
11:20-1:20 — travel to and participate in meeting for Young New Yorkers’ Chorus (volunteering)
1:20 – 1:40 — emails
1:40 – 3:15 — write essay due mid-summer
3:15-3:25 — email/FB/tweet
3:25-3:45 — order groceries online
3:45-4:00 — email/FB/tweet
4:00-4:30 — feed baby
4:30-4:50 — follow up emails
4:50-5 — print YNYC form
5:00-5:10 – emails
5:10-5:45 – walk to FedEx office with Jasper
5:45-5:55 – feed Sam dinner and empty dishwasher
5:55-6:50 – mostly play with kids (a few emails + J’s dinner)
6:50-7:50 – family playground trip
7:50-8:10 – feed Sam, put him to bed while Michael makes dinner
8:10-8:30 – dinner with Michael
8:30-9 – email/FB/twitter
9:00-10 – try to get J to bed and Sam wakes up screaming. Stories, baby feeding, etc.
10-10:30 – work emails
10:30-11 – hang out with Michael
11- sleep

Observations: keeping a time log helps me focus on some projects. I realize that I have a good productive window in the AM from about 9-11, and then in the afternoon I can get another solid 60-90 minutes of focused work. So I’ll do well if I plan projects for those two slots.

Also, it’s a good idea to try to bring a kid along on an errand. It’s less efficient, but when the errand turns out to be a total waste (I couldn’t send the fax I needed to) it turned out not to be a complete waste of 30 minutes of my life.

The evening is a great time to go somewhere as a family, especially during the summer months when it’s still light out. Also nice to get a dinner in while J is playing or watching TV and Sam is asleep.

I spend a lot of time doing email/FB/twitter, but it’s kind of my job right now. And we’ve got some great leads today from several publications, so worth the time. I also wish my kids had an easier time going to bed!

Links to other days

168 Hours Challenge Day 1

168 Hours Challenge Day 2

168 Hours Challenge Day 3

168 Hours Challenge Day 4

168 Hours Challenge Day 5

168 Hours Challenge Weekend Thread

168 Hours Challenge Wrap-up Thread

19 thoughts on “168 Hours Challenge, Day 1

  1. Here is how my day has gone so far…

    5AM Sleeping
    5:30 Sleeping
    6 Sleeping
    6:30 Sleeping
    7 Sleeping
    7:30 Sleeping
    8 Dressed, Breakfast, Checked email
    8:30 Cartoons w/kids
    9 Cartoons w/kids
    9:30 Cartoons w/kids
    10 More breakfast, coffee, chatted with wife
    10:30 Wall Street Journal/ Internet
    11 Wall Street Journal/ Internet
    11:30 Lunch
    12PM Yardwork
    12:30 Work
    1 Work

    So far a pretty laid back day, but it is my day off so that is good. 🙂

  2. Mine is a weird day for at least two reasons. First, I had a really bad allergy attack yesterday evening and it affected my sleep, even with the antihistamines. And my nose and throat are still swollen, but improving. And, my boss is out of town so I have more control over my time. I’m trying to be more granular than you guys because I’m trying to figure out how to best spend my work time, and I feel like that has to be recorded in some detail in order to figure out what can be prioritized, ignored, outsourced, etc.

    4:30 woke up, took antihistamine (bad allergy day yesterday!)
    5AM slept poorly
    5:30 slept poorly
    6 slept poorly
    6:30 slept poorly
    7 woke up for good
    7:08 bathroom, etc. went downstairs
    7:15 Made kids’ lunches
    7:30 Ate breakfast
    7:45 Played Farmville and Café World with son, noticed dead pet frog
    8 Listened to Orchestra recordings on Facebook from friend from Saturday’s concert
    8:15 General FB, email. Sent to friend for Canobie Lake permission, looked at daily schedule
    8:25 Talked to husband, looked up Wild Creations for info on frog
    8:35 Got dressed, went to bathroom
    8:40 Put out flag for flag day
    8:50 Voted in override election (rode bike to senior center)
    8:55 Left for work with husband/ took car, bus 73, did not read or listen to music, talked about how to clean frog aquarium
    9:36 Arrived at work
    9:46 Read 168 hours webside, Downloaded time sheet, filled it out
    9:48 problems with work computer mail program
    9:53 Talked with coworkers
    10:12 Proofed W’s nomination, sent to nominators plus copy of paper, added Prof Z’s assistant and Prof A’s preferred email address,
    10:14 updated boss’ contact file
    10:26 Looked at what we had/needed for Dr. S nomination due tomorrow
    10:29 Sent K abstract for neuro meeting
    10:34 Corrected website (info on 2 undergrads)
    10:40 Checked in with Prof. G about M nomination
    10:47 Sent in M nom again to section with new co-nominators
    10:57 Resent requests for S. nomination to Drs Y and Z
    11:12 Completed lab demographics survey for employer
    11:26 Started arranging Prof. T conference call
    11:37 Touched base with Prof. C and student and with boss about paper
    11:40 got password for submitting S nomination
    11:46 personal email–summer plans
    12PM personal FB before lunch, bathroom
    12:30 Eating lunch with coworkers
    1:10 Done with lunch with coworkers
    1:30 Working on S nomination letter
    2 Uploaded S nomination docs
    2:30 Checked FB and violinist.com and watched technical video, looked at summer movies and vacation plans from friends, read 168 h blog and posted update

    1. Karen- I’m sorry to hear about the pet frog (and your allergy attack). But it sounds like you got some good stuff in there this AM, like commuting with your husband and lunch with co-workers. I am trying to batch my emails and work for a solid hour on essays. Work for an hour, then check email, work for an hour, check email, etc…

  3. OK – I am not as detailed — and sadly I have not gotten any exercise (dog walk?) but here goes: 7
    .00-7:30 – get ready
    7:30-8:00-kids ready, going
    8-8:30: breakfast, kids bus
    8:30-9: dog walk
    9-9:30: laundry, tidy up
    9:30-10: email, FB, Twitter
    10-1 – work
    1-1:15-research movers, trip
    1:15 -1:30- lunch
    1:30-3-work (OK – FB, Twitter)
    3-3:45 – shopping
    Waiting for kids to get home . . .

  4. Already I am realizing what a time waster the computer is for me – email, facebook, blogs. Got to get that under control.

  5. I am interested to see what a “non-work” day will look like. This week will be a bit off since three of those days will involve going to PT evaluations for A.

    This is my day till now:

    6:30 Woke Up & Showered
    7 Dressed Self and Children
    7:30 Fed Children
    8 Walked Children to School
    8:30 Arrived at Work
    9 Checked Email
    9:30 On HR Bulletin Board
    10 Disciplinary Meeting
    10:30-11:30 Investigated Porting an H1B Visa
    11:30 Printing out Documents for Paul
    12PM Called Pediatrician re: A’s Health Form
    12:30 Lunch
    1 Walk
    1:30 Check email
    2 Update Co. Weekly Schedules
    2:30 Return Phone Calls
    3 Meet with Employees
    3:30 Researched Recognition Ideas
    4 Checked Email
    4:30 Updated Calendar

  6. Fun, this is just the motivation I needed to commit to recording for one week! So glad I caught this today. I love the book. 🙂 I’m a graduate student – not taking any classes this summer but working 20 hours per week on a grant. Context seems important with my weird schedule today.

    7:00am – hit snooze

    8:15am – wake up, watch the news

    8:25am – get a coke, go to computer room, unproductive online time (facebook, personal email, etc)

    8:45am – shower/dress for work

    9:30am – Leave for work, run through whataburger for coffee I didn’t make time to drink

    10:00am – arrive at a middle school to pick up data for work. Finally find office at other side of campus, trapse back to car with a heavy box.

    10:30am – arrive at university, illegally park so I can carry the box upstairs, repark super far away, and walk to my friend’s office

    11:00am – return something to my friend, chat with old advisor for a bit, get suckered into tutoring statistics for the rest of the summer, and leave to walk to my office.

    11:45am – emails (probably with a little facebook and chatting with co-workers mixed in)

    12:30pm – finalize article revisions (my first journal article was accepted with revisions last week!), with co-worker chatting, facebook, and an unrelated work crisis sprinkled in.

    4:00pm – submitted new article draft, emailed to co-authors.

    4:20pm – played on internet – facebook and blog catching up. Found this blog and started logging my time for the day.

    4:45pm – submitting this comment and about to walk to my car and drive home!

    To be continued!

  7. I’m a computer tech support person, so I deal with a lot of computer issues in my job.

    7:20 get up!
    7:30 dress (no shower)
    8:10 leave for work
    8:45 arrive at work, email
    9 email
    9:30 statistics report
    10:05-10:40 web surfing (bad girl!)
    10:40-11 bathroom break, email
    11:00 software installation
    11:30-12:35 lunch phone coverage at front desk
    12:30-1:45 lunch
    2:00 email
    2:30 Twitter/FB (10mins), troubleshoot printer
    3:00-3:40 Troubleshoot statistics software
    3:40-4:30 Website updates
    4:30-5:25 TCC time log & status report (for my boss, not 168Hours)
    5:35-update 168Hrs log/this blog post

  8. 6:00 – 7:00: Wake – up, shower, get ready, get baby ready, out the door

    7:00 – 7:45: Commute, drop off at daycare and arrive at work

    7:45 – 9:00: Process email

    9:00 – 10:00: Meeting

    10:00 – 11:00: Work on project with co-worker

    11:00 – 12:00: Lunch

    12:00 – 1:00: Process email, discuss current projects w/ team

    1:00 – 3:00: Review presentation, update schedule/numbers for management

    And that brings me to now…wrapping up final tasks for today before heading to pick up my little boy…

  9. 7:30 wake up, ignore alarm, go back to bed
    8:00 finally roll out of bed. sit around and wait for time to leave.
    8:45 leave for internship
    9-11 weekly reports
    11-12 facebook, email, excel files
    12-12:30 start sorting online books, facebook
    12:30-1 lunch
    12:30-2:30 finish sorting online books
    2:30-3:30 boxing up galleys
    3:30-4:10 uncoding, facebook
    4:15-4:30 come home
    4:30-6 read
    6-7 dinner
    7-8:30 read, facebook, email.
    8:35…post this. 🙂

  10. 8:15 a.m. (yikes) wake up, oriana wakes up right after me which I do not like like to get up earlier and have more me time before seh gets up
    8:30 orina, print directions to meeting, coffee (late for all as alarm did not go off)
    9 meeting drive, maybe can do phone calls on some of these meetings, second in person meeting totally time suck, called rebecca (friend), called jill (employee), got awards miles transferred while driving — for flight to texas next week — so time in car not total waste
    9:30 work
    10 work
    10:30 work
    11 work
    11:30 work
    12PM work, drive to sally meet
    12:30 meeting NAMI
    1 meeting NAMI
    1:30 meeting NAMI
    2 meetng NAMI
    2:30 meeting
    3 arrive home
    3:30 book airline ticket texas
    4 fool around with awards points
    4:30 lost some tim ehere booking ticket
    5:15 talk to anita sales exec who works for me
    5:30 work, not sure, end of work day got a little blurry and there was some wasted time checkign points to make my trip to texas next week as cost effective as possible.. not sure the extra hour though was worth the $100 it cash expense it might save
    6 work, try to finish email to agencies
    6:30 get oriana
    7 oriana
    7:30 oriana
    8 oriana
    8:15 run 4 miles, took 45 mins
    8:30 run 4 miles
    9 run , end run (extra time to walk off run finish soap opera, I watch my dvr’d soap while I run
    9:30 oriana
    10 oriana, 15 min break shower
    10:30 oriana
    11 end oriana
    work from 11 p.m. to 12 p.m. on email not yet sent

  11. Hi,

    I’m a customer support analyst and so most of my work day is spent on emails. This week is unusual as my hubby is out of town… Here’s my day:
    5:30 Alarm sets off at 5:15 am
    6:30 Out of bed
    7:20 Leave home for work
    7:42 arrive at work–get tea/breakfast heated
    7:50 start work
    (spend day answering customer emails–I eat at my desk and do not take a lunch –i.e. I work 7 hours)
    2:45 leave work drive home
    3:30 P/U kids come home around 3:15
    3:45 3:40 leave home–take Musabbiha (my second daughter) to tutoring at LRC
    4 work out at gym (2 kids at home)
    4:30 35 min on treadmill
    4:45/50 P/U Musabbiha from tutoring at LRC
    5 check out a couple of books
    5:15 return home/
    Make dinner (Rice + Curry)
    5:30 Make lunch (French toast)
    6 **while then 2 kids shower
    6:15 Sit for dinner with kids
    6:30 Kids still eating, I get up to clean up dishes etc.
    6:45 All up to get ready for Mosque
    7 (Shower/Pray afternoon etc.)
    7:30 Take picture of kids
    7:50 Leave home for Mosque (approx. 15 min late)
    8:15 Arrive at Mosque (Mosque is with kids–spend time listening to a spiritual lecture about 15 minutes socializing at end before leaving to return home)

    9:45 Return home from Mosque-
    Kids upstairs–ready for bed (brush etc.)
    10 I finish cleaning up–start DW
    10:15 Bed time routine
    10:30 Pray evening prayers
    11 Fill out log/post
    11:30 Hope to talk to hubby in Florida
    12AM Sleep
    3:30 am wake up for morning prayers

    A few comments:
    I wish I could get my workouts in at 6 am…. I’m finding I didn’t get enough time with the kids today or on my own stuff…. lets see how tomorrow proceeds.


  12. Do you use any iPhone app for time logging or do you just use paper-pen?

    I find myself at times… forget to log the time.
    Any suggestion?

    1. @Lucky- I’m pretty much a pen and paper kind of girl. Others do much better with technology, but for me it would be more complicated to haul up a program and type it in. If you lose track of time, just try to piece it back together roughly afterwards. And then ask yourself why you lost track of time. Was it because you were so absorbed in what you were doing that time lost all meaning? If so, that’s pretty cool — and probably something you want to do more of! If it’s because you have no idea what you were doing (puttering around, for instance) than that’s something to note for the future, if there’s something else you’d prefer to do with that time.

  13. Hello Laura

    My daily routine depends on if it’s M-W-F or T-T. But i like to share a sample:

    05:55 – 06:10 Am [ Negotiating with the alarm clock, those famous 5 minutes ]
    06:10 – 06:20 Am [ Serve breakfast to my cat, choose my clothes for the day ]
    06:20 – 06:50 Am [ Morning routine grooming (Shower/Shave/Hair) ]
    06:50 – 07:20 Am [ Breakfast & Cook my Lunch ]
    07:20 – 07:45 Am [ Drive my car to the subway while listening radio news]
    07:45 – 08:00 Am [ Walk to the subway, while I plan my day ]
    08:00 – 08:20 Am [ Subway ride. Time to ponder and think]
    08:20 – 08:30 Am [ Walk to my work. Stop at the bakery and fruit shop ]
    08:30 – 08:45 Am [ Email/News review]
    08:45 – 10:30 Am [ Work! ]
    10:30 – 10:45 Am [ Middle morning snack ]
    10:45 – 01:30 Pm [ Work! ]
    01:30 – 02:30 Pm [ Lunch ]
    02:30 – 03:00 Pm [ Walking & Free Time ]
    03:00 – 04:30 Pm [ Work! ]
    04:30 – 04:45 Pm [ Middle afternoon break (Coffee/Take a breath and clear my mind) ]
    04:45 – 06:15 Pm [ Work! ]
    06:15 – 07:00 Pm [ Back to my car and drive to the other side of town, while listening Radio news commentary program (current affairs, politics, economics, film, other)]
    07:00 – 08:50 Pm [ Traditional kung fu training ]
    08:50 – 09:30 Pm [ I returned home after leaving some students in their homes ]
    09:30 – 11:30 Pm [ Hang out with my girlfriend ]
    11:30 – 11:50 Pm [ Read while enjoying a cup of tea / Play with my cat ]
    11:50 – 00:10 Am [ Prepare some things for the next day (bags, requests for friends)]
    00-10 – … [ Zzz Zzz ]

    I usually use idle times (from travel) to think and like personal space. I have plenty of them so would be a bad idea don’t use it.

    By the way I like your writing style 🙂


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