I spent the past week tracking my time. I’m still drilling down into the details, but I had a few broad insights from the experience.
1. It’s really hard to work long hours. I did work on all 7 days. I worked after my kids went to bed 6 out of 7 nights. I went into NYC one day and was doing work on the train until 10:30 p.m. But I still could not honestly “bill” more than 50 hours. My total for the week was pretty much 50 hours on the nose.
2. I need to be better about protecting my time during the work day. This week, the particular culprit was (believe it or not) personal care. A few days this week I worked out during my normal 8-5:30 childcare hours, but then I needed to look presentable to go somewhere. Showering, getting dressed, and doing my hair would eat up chunks of the day, partly because I’d do it in bits and pieces. I also need to not do errands during the workday. Now that I’ve seen how precious my workday time really is, I know that if I keep getting this distracted, I’ll be working a lot of nights and weekends.
3. To that end, I should be more judicious about what projects I take on. It’s nice to be in demand, but some stuff takes more time than it should.
4. I sleep less on weekends than during the week. This is the complete opposite of most people. I wind up staying up later with my husband on weekend nights. But the kids don’t really sleep in.
5. I slept about 7.4 hours per night, on average. This is pretty close to the 7.5 I think I need, so I’m OK with that.
6. I spent a fair amount of time on weekdays with my kids. I ate lunch with my two youngest ones every week day. I set foot in both my 4-year-old’s and my 6-year-old’s schools.
7. If I add it up, I get a reasonable amount of personal and leisure time. Most notably, I ran more than 25 miles, which fills a few hours. I counted some time walking through NYC on Thurs night as personal time. I went out to dinner with my husband on Saturday night. We watched some Jon Stewart. It’s not as much personal time as I’d like, but it’s not nothing either. Keeping a time log helps me see that even if I spend a lot of time working and with my kids, there is still space for other things.