I hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday. Our 168 hours of time-logging is officially over. I still need to go through and tally up my totals in different categories, but here are my thoughts on the experience.
First, it was a great week, professionally and personally. Because I knew my logs would be public, I planned to make it a great week. And so it was. Key take-away: planning out big goals for our 168 hours makes it more likely that they will happen. Some highlights of things that went well:
- 168 Hours publicity: One of my major goals for 2010 is to bring this book to a wide audience. During this 168 hours, I did 3 radio interviews, 2 print interviews (Our Sunday Visitor and the Chicago Tribune), and was featured on several blogs, including Men with Pens, The Happiness Project, and The Huffington Post (the latter being my own post). I also gave a speech at In Good Company.
- Getting another book deal: A second major goal for 2010. Done! And after a bit of trepidation about what I thought was the project’s direction, it is now clarified, and I am quite excited about it. The idea is to do for money what 168 Hours does for time.
- Novel writing: Last Sunday, pre-challenge, I had dug a manuscript out of that metaphorical drawer (actually, it was on my computer) and read it. After 5 years, you see things with fresh eyes. The manuscript needs some work, but I carved out a few of my 168 hours to work on it, and I feel confident that I will be able to show people the manuscript by the end of the year (my third major professional goal for 2010).
- Running: I ran five times. I also signed up for a half-marathon in Philly in November to give me the motivation to run longer distances (and it worked, I ran 5 miles for the first time in a month on Saturday). I did rather long walks on the days I didn’t run.
- Choir: I had rehearsal this week, and have been helping with the transition to a new leadership team (which included attending a meeting post-rehearsal).
- Family: In my Happiness Project interview, I noted that I too often play it safe with the kids, hanging out in the house rather than going somewhere and risking an art museum melt-down or a subway diaper explosion. This week I tried to be better about this. I took the kids to our building end-of-summer party on Thursday, and they liked getting balloon animals, even if we weren’t there long. I took Sam to the art museum on Friday. We went apple picking and to the zoo this weekend. I walked Jasper to school in the mornings, and tried to spend time playing.
Looking back on this, it seems like a busy week, though the funny part is that there were still many open spaces. There were long patches during my workdays when I wasn’t particularly focused, and I probably could have fit more in if I wished. Or maybe I need this indolent time (though I should get better about recognizing it for what it is). There were also some challenges:
- I get distracted very easily during my work hours. Partly this is the availability of email/web distractions. I am more focused if I shut down my browser and turn off my iPhone and force myself to stick with the task at hand.
- Bedtime is a battle. With both children. They just don’t need as much sleep as many children their age, and so I have very little personal time in the evenings. I also need to get to bed on time, as they wake up early. I am not a morning person. While my time logs show I get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, I would really prefer to go to bed later and wake up later.
- Very little adult time with my husband. Partly this is because he was gone most of the week, which is its own challenge.
- Blocks of time: My nanny starts work at 8, and Jasper has to be at school at 9. Unfortunately, it is hard to do something meaningful in the 45-minute block I have from 8:00-8:45. I did run some mornings, but it makes for a rushed time, and so I may have to rethink this.
I’m curious to learn what other people discovered through this exercise of logging time. Did you discover habits that you like or don’t like? Did being aware of your time help you make space for things that have been lingering on the to-do list for too long? Did you fill your 168 hours with things you enjoyed? Please let me know!
Links to other days: