168 Hours Challenge Day 2

Welcome back, challengers! I’m starting the Day 2 thread here. I’ve heard from many people via email who are doing this but don’t wish to post logs, plus people at Facebook, et al. How did the first day go? What did you learn? Any complications? A big one for many people is calling a whole half hour something in particular. I have this problem too, which is why I track in a notebook. But that can also be a lesson — sometimes it is good, in our distracted world, to focus on something for at least 30 minutes.

I always learn something by doing this exercise. In particular, I’m learning that my energy wanes in the afternoon, and it’s easy to let hours go by checking social media, email, etc. Yesterday I turned off all such programs, and forced myself to keep working on the novel for 2 1-hour stretches. That was great to feel I’d accomplished something. Please post your thoughts about how it’s going!

6:30 – wake up

6:30-6:50 – feed baby

6:50-7 cuddle with both kids in bed for a while

7-7:15 – catch up on overnight Challenge emails. Kids are playing together quietly. Hmmm…..

7:15-8 – the quiet playing does not last long (“Sammy, NO!” “I don’t want Sammy!” “Mommy!”) Hang out with children doing breakfast, etc.

8-8:45 – hand over children, out the door for a run. Fast.

8:45-9:05 – make it back in time to walk J to school. Now that he is in “serious” preschool he has to be there at 9am.

9:05-9:10 – get coffee going, pour cereal

9:10- 10 – at desk, figuring out who is actually entered in challenge drawing for yesterday (people entering via email, FB, Twitter, this blog, their own blogs, etc. Phew). Winner is Nancy R.! Send new emails about possible article.

10-10:30 – conversation with agent. Looks like I may now have a new book deal. Stay tuned for more. As this is one of my major goals for the year, I am pondering taking the rest of the day off 😉

10:30-11 – Twitter? Facebook? who knows

11-11:15 shower

11:15 – 11:40 feed baby while reading Siblings Without Rivalry

11:40-1pm Find more emails from the 40,000+ in my inbox of people who wrote me about 168 Hours so I can tell them the book is out (whoops. Marketing = not core competency).

1:00-2:00 Participated in chat over at TheMotherhood on the state of the blogosphere.

2-3 – emails, got a radio request, testing newsletters, etc.

3-3:20 – interview with Our Sunday Visitor about 168 Hours

3:20 – reading about who is mentioning 168 Hours. Lots of fun places including Chrysula Winegar at WLB Consultants, and more about it at The Happiest Mom (Meagan Francis) Plus lots of folks keeping #168Hours Challenges logs at their own blogs. Keep it up!

3:50-4:10 feed baby while reading

4:10-5:45 – go get coffee at “my” Starbucks with friend who is starting program for Appalachian gifted kids, discussing potential structure for program

5:45-6 Dinosaurs/robots with kids before go to choir practice…

6:05-6:30 travel to choir

6:30-7 Eat Teriyaki Boy platter before rehearsal while catching up with people and choir business

7-9:30 choir rehearsal

9:30-10 assist new choir president in organizational meeting

10-10:20 travel home. Now waiting for little brother to show up (he’s crashing on our couch tonight). He is out partying with friends, apparently unaware that my children will wake him up at dawn!

10:20-11:20 Wait for brother. Check Twitter. Respond to #168Hours tweets. Can’t say this is an incredibly productive time. I do have a glass of wine and a piece of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate-covered caramels (on my list of 100 dreams to have a stash of those)

11:20 – midnight Talk with little brother, then crash at midnight.

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

14 thoughts on “168 Hours Challenge Day 2

  1. Still test-driving different time-logging methods and hoping to post an actual log tomorrow. This is worthwhile for me because I know I’ll be more likely to keep logging if I find a logging method that does not annoy or frustrate me.

    I’m noticing today that I bring different degrees of time-management to my different core competencies. This morning I learned essentially all the notes for the next 2 months worth of music for my church singing job in an hour and a half. That’s 14 anthems plus a solo I won’t be singing anytime soon but want to learn anyway so I’ll have it ready in future. As the season progresses, I’ll keep reviewing and refining these pieces as needed (which will take less time than I spent on them today) plus preparing more new music for further ahead, so the amount of prep time I need to spend on my church gig will stay pretty constant from week to week. For the other two choirs I sing in, I do most of my practicing on the train on my way to rehearsals each week, so that stays pretty constant too. Since I know how to practice efficiently, I know this is a manageable amount of singing for me to take on, because I know how much time it will take me to master the repertoire.

    But I don’t have anywhere near as clear a sense, before I plunge in, of how much time a particular writing project will take, or what approach will ensure that the whole writing process proceeds as steadily and efficiently as my methods for learning new music. My end results are good with writing, but I don’t necessarily feel, going in, that I know exactly what to do to make consistent, steady progress on each project, the way I do with music. Should I write out a list of objectives and/or procedures for each writing session, until they become second nature to me? Should I set a timer? Always try to write at the same time of day so it becomes a habit? Test out different approaches to find which ones work better than others? The inconsistency and unpredictability of writing in spurts of all different lengths stresses me out and leaves me wondering if that’s just the different natures of two different processes (performance vs. creation), or if there’s some crucial parallel I’m overlooking but could be working to my advantage, if I knew what it was. Thoughts on this, anyone?

    1. Gwen: That sounds like a good approach with writing — namely, to write out your objectives, and breaking each project down into doable chunks. If there’s a particular kind of writing you do very frequently it does start to become pretty much second nature. For instance, I have written so many 900-word columns at this point, that I know exactly how long they take. (Day 1, send emails to experts/real people – about 2 hours to find them and write them. Day 2, interview them – usually only 20 minutes per person, so this is really only about 2 hours. Day 3, draft column – longest step, usually about 3-4 hours. Day 4, revise, usually only 1 hour). I try to do my writing in the morning when I’m focused, as afternoons are harder for that. I don’t think there’s anything mysterious about writing, you can train the muse to show up when you want it to. Some people do find timers to be a good idea just for making them focus for a certain length of time. Depends what your particular challenge is (like getting easily distracted).

  2. 847 pm (last night)-11:30 doze off, read, play on the computer, and over all be quite unproductive.
    11:30-1:30 Karaoke uptown.
    1:30-6:30 sleep
    6:30-6:45 get ready for work
    6:45-7:00 walk to work
    7:00-8:00 do paperwork for students
    8-8:30 break the grill
    8:30-11 continue to do paperwork in the office
    11:02 clock out
    11:03-11:10 walk to class with Erin
    11:15-12:30 listen to teacher lecture about slavery
    12:30-12:40 walk to next class
    12:40-12:45 get books out for class to realize didn’t need books today
    12:45-2:00 have areally good discussion in class about our projects
    2:00-2:15 walk to library
    2:15-2:20 check email
    2:20-3:20 take a quick nap (i like sleeping, can you tell)
    3:20-3:30 walk to work
    3:30 clock in
    3:30-5:30 do student time and attendance
    5:30-6:00 take an online test for job
    6:00-6:15 take a break
    6:15-7:30 type up an email to all of the student managers (there were over 300 names to type in…)
    7:30-7:35 walk to Steel Band
    7:35-7:45 look over music
    7:45-9:30 steel band class/clean up
    9:30-9:45 walk back to apartment
    9:45-11:53 facebook, do homework (got one whole paper done!), eat popcorn, chit chat with homework party, etc. Wish I was being more productive, so I posted on here. 🙂

  3. Day 2
    been waking up before 5am, and loving it
    4:40-5 prayed

    5am exercised

    5:40 took care of school paperwork and other home paperwork

    6:10 computer time–read this blog, answered emails, checked FB (only 6 minutes)

    7am shower & dress

    7:40 clean tub, counters, toilet, empty upstairs wastebaskets

    7:50 start breakfast prep

    8 had breakfast with boys, and read them a bible story aloud (alignment!)

    8:20 walk dog and kids to bus stop, take 3 yr old and dog around the block an extra time

    9 leave for dentist

    9:15 read to 3 year old (V), while waiting to be called into dental office

    9:40 dental cleaning and new digital x-rays

    10:15 picked up the potatoes I forgot to get for dinner. told my son he could not get candy, ride the horsey outside the store, in both directions as we passed it.

    10:30 arrive home, have snack while reading a magazine and V ‘read’ a book to himself (if I engage him in conversation at meals he doesn’t eat anything; we talk in the car instead)

    10:50 got the mail, spent time on the phone with the water company who is fining me for not having a backflow inspection on my sprinkler system, which was done last month! called the inspector to ask her to fax them the report again.

    11:15 played games with V

    11:40 read 168 HOurs while V listened to books on tape

    12:30 made and ate lunch with V–while I finished the magazine I started at snack

    1pm made 2 phone calls, prepped dinner

    1:30 chatted with a friend while our kids rode bikes
    (alignment again, yay)

    3:15 walked dog to bus stop to pick up 7 yr old (J)

    3:40 read to J while we had snack

    4pm more bike and scooter riding, chatted with Mom who came over for dinner

    4:30 supervised 7 yr old’s HW while I made dinner and Mom played w/V

    4:45 HW was done, I talked with my husband while my boys caught up with Grandma, J’s turn to play a game alone with her

    5:30 dinner and conversation

    7 cleanup, kids both played a game with Grandma,

    8pm late bedtime. Read to one boy while the other gets ready, then switch. Argue with older son about how he can’t play with his new iPod all night, it has to stay in the kitchen. Apologize that it came the same day as Grandma’s visit and remind him that people are more important than things, and he’ll get to use it tomorrow. (PS He bought it himself with his savings after we told him he couldn’t have a DS, PSP etc)

    8:25 Tuesday is Husband day–since I’ve given up mindlessly watching TV with him we talk now

    9 :30 go to sleep

    Trying to move onto more core competency time. What I’m noticing is that if I look at the week as a whole, I see that I’m spending the time with my family, though on some days that time is short. I’m still working on thinking in blocks of time.

    Also noticing that typing the log that I’ve handwritten takes almost a 1/2 hour away from my reading time. Maybe I’ll keep today’s log on my iPod and I can then cut and paste it instead. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    1. Sounds good – the log keeping probably shouldn’t take too much of your 168 hours! I’m glad to hear that you and your husband are switching up the TV time in favor of talking with each other. And yes, I do think it’s important to think in terms of 168 hours, because many times we get caught up on how busy, say, a Tuesday is. And it is busy. But often, Saturdays are less so. Every day can’t have the same number of hours devoted to things, but the rhythm of a week gives a lot of hours to play with. Yesterday I didn’t spend much time with my kids, but I know I will on other days.

  4. MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
    5AM goals – date night hubby
    5:30 freelance one article a month
    6 start a blog?
    run five miles a week, exercise every day
    6:30 WORK get 2 more national advertisers or $50,000 more in national ads before 12-31-put in 8a and GSA federal contract applications for translation, NAMI work = put in 10-15 hrs a week… grow multicultural membership, get advocacy programs back on track wake up make coffee
    7 wake up – work out work on meeting paperwork
    7:30 soap work out writ edown hours for challenge, print directions to meetings
    8 walk and had coffee on workout
    8:30 workout for 1/ 2 hour
    9 oriana up breakfast w family drive to train w hubby, unexpected 1/2 hour with him without kids
    9:30 up breakfast w family get train to NYC
    1/10/00 0:00 read on train
    10:15 oriana to school w daddy, mom shower read on train
    10:30 work, check voice mail arrive NYC – walk to Macy’s meander around Macys
    11 work meander, get makeover in makeup counter
    11:30 work meeting w national advertiser
    12PM send invoices meeting with national advertisr
    12:30 meeting with national advertisr
    1 send sales receipts meeting with national advertisr
    1:30 work meeting with national advertisr
    2 work meeting with national advertisr
    2:30 work meeting with national advertisr
    3 work take subway to train
    3:30 work train home, read, eat, talk to guy next to me on train
    4 work
    4:30 work
    5 work arrive home, change, go get daughtere at park
    5:15 leave to pickup o at daycare, call bank to dispute their interpretation of cash flow play with o at park
    6 pickup o leave park, receive guests
    6:30 stop for snack drive o to little gymnastics meet with financial planner about retirement, daughter plays
    7 little gymnastics w o meeting
    7:30 little gymnastics w o meeting
    8 drive home in rain, arrive home, give o to grandma for bath feed daughter, let her watch 1/2 hour of tv (not great amount of quality parenting here but full day)
    8:30 8 to 9 work on translation
    9 finish translation, time w o read with o try to put daughter down who is giving up nap, she cries
    9:30 time wi o read play snuggle lay down with o we both fall asleep !
    10 time w o

  5. Laura I just posted Monday and Tuesday here — still figuring out how to copy the excel chart best… Yesterday I spent most of the work day on major goal — getting more national larger accounts… I didnt’ really check email or deal with any other issues at work and it felt good to do that..
    I didn’t get a ton of quality time with my kid b/c I took a meeting at night about retirement planning but it balances itself out b/c today I will probably spend more time with her. I also did see her at the park and we had some nice cuddle time at night …Great news about the book ! I can’t wait to hear what it is about.

  6. Here is my real just Tuesday stuff without the times but with all the activities I tracked…
    TUESDAY

    wake up make coffee
    work on meeting paperwork
    writ edown hours for challenge, print directions to meetings
    workout
    workout for 1/ 2 hour
    drive to train w hubby, unexpected 1/2 hour with him without kids
    get train to NYC
    read on train
    read on train
    arrive NYC – walk to Macy’s meander around Macys
    meander, get makeover in makeup counter
    meeting w national advertiser
    meeting with national advertisr
    meeting with national advertisr
    meeting with national advertisr
    meeting with national advertisr
    meeting with national advertisr
    meeting with national advertisr
    take subway to train
    train home, read, eat, talk to guy next to me on train

    arrive home, change, go get daughtere at park
    play with o at park
    leave park, receive guests
    meet with financial planner about retirement, daughter plays
    meeting
    meeting
    feed daughter, let her watch 1/2 hour of tv (not great amount of quality parenting here but full day, we are both tired)

    try to put daughter down who is giving up nap, she cries b/c she is overtired but that day without a nap means a 9:30 bedtime which is early in our neck of the woods.

    lay down with o we both fall asleep at 9:30 ! (I am pregnant so my sleep ideal is 9 hours right now when it is usually more like 8 or even 7.5)

    1. Cara- I wind up walking around Macy’s whenever I’m early to a meeting around there too! The giving up a nap stage is tough. We are in the throes of it with Jasper right now too. When he takes it he’s easily up past 10. Doesn’t take it, he’s somewhat cranky in the evenings. Hard to know what to do with that…

  7. Steel Band is this wonderful ensemble made of steel pan instruments (that you hit with mallets, except they are pitched unlike drums). You really should youtube some of the steel band style of music. It’s so chill and exciting. 🙂

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