Time tracking challenge: Day 6

Time-tracking reveals life in all its messy glory, and today certainly had its highs (my sprint!) and lows (the ER visit, but we will get to that).

As for sleep, four nights in a row was probably expecting too much, and sure enough, the baby was up at 3:30. I tried waiting to see if he would go back to sleep, but then I heard “Mommy!” and discovered my 6-year-old (who sleeps in the same room with the baby) was up. Normally he sleeps through it, so I guess it was particularly bad. I spent the next 90 minutes attempting to get the baby back to sleep. I wound up letting the 6-year-old move out of the room so he could get back down. I went back to sleep at 5, and slept until a bit after 7, when the household was up and bustling because the big kids were going skiing.

It was not easy getting them out the door. In theory my husband had laid out all their stuff, but there were still hiccups. I was by myself with the baby by 7:40. I had my coffee, we ate breakfast together (no cereal for him! He ate a waffle, some egg, and some cheese). We got ready and left for the art museum at 9:35. We got there just as it was opening, and wandered around until 11. He was very, very good. Loud, but in a happy way. Almost all of the docents were friendly about it. We looked at many horsies and doggies in paintings. These, and children, and bright colors, turn out to be enough to entertain a toddler in a stroller for precisely one hour. I suppose I could have pushed on, but I decided to bail while we were ahead. Minus some trouble getting out of the parking garage (I seem to have trouble with de-activating magnetic strips) the trip was successful. We got home at 11:30, I got his lunch, and then I put him in his bedroom with some of his new birthday toys. I sat in the rocking chair and read People magazine while he played. At precisely 12:25 I nursed him and got him down for nap by 12:40.

I had a plan for nap — very precious time on these toddler-centric weekends! I got into my running clothes, went downstairs, and did my treadmill workout. I got up to 30 seconds at 8.8 mph on the first interval. Then instead of walking, I went down to 7.0 mph for another 2 minutes. I took a quick walk break, then did 3 more intervals, the second two featuring 30 seconds at 9.0 mph. Go me. It was possibly even longer, but I did not start counting until I felt the treadmill was not still speeding up, so 10-15 seconds after I had entered 9.0 each time.

At 1:30 I wrote a few notes, then started hunting for sources for my next articles. At 2:30, I got my lunch (shrimp on salad) and ate it just in time to hear the baby up at 2:45. I got him up, nursed, then went for a walk in the neighborhood, coming back at 3:40 as the others were back from the ski slopes. (The verdict: the 4-year-old is not so happy about it. She said she will ski once per weekend, which I suppose is reasonable. So I will have some toddler-centric and preschooler-centric weekends). A friend of my 8-year-old came over at 4, and the big kids all played while I watched the baby and my husband elected to chop down a dead crepe myrtle tree in the backyard.

Wise readers are probably sensing where this is going. He was quite careful about the whole thing, wearing his safety goggles, cutting little notches in the wood to make it fall the right way, etc. And he had basically the whole tree chopped down successfully into firewood-sized chunks when he slipped — and sliced his hand. There was blood everywhere but he thought he could drive himself to the hospital, so we got towels and bandages on it and he went to the ER (I was with the 5 kids currently at the house). The doctor who stitched him up said that they almost never see chain saw injuries that mild. I guess that is looking on the bright side! Eleven stitches later, he was home. In the meantime, I had fed the kids dinner and made our pork chops and Brussels sprouts. The baby took work to get down. I started trying 6:40 (while my husband was at the hospital) but was not successful until 7:40 (after he was home). The kid did manage to completely destroy his birthday cupcake.

Then it was baths and snacks for the big kids. I am writing this now and hoping to read for a while before bed. I will have the baby and the preschooler tomorrow so I am reformulating my plan. I had been thinking swimming, but unless I switch them off in the playroom at the Y, it will not work since I will have too many non-swimming children.

How is your weekend going? Are you managing to track time on the weekend?

9 thoughts on “Time tracking challenge: Day 6

  1. Wow, what an end to an otherwise really great-sounding day! We have an art museum membership so we can drop in and out without worrying about getting our money’s worth per visit — it’s really a super way to spend an hour or so with kids. I’m glad your husband is okay — yikes. I haven’t time-tracked in a couple of years, since my youngest was a baby, and meant to this last week but just couldn’t get motivated. Turns out, low motivation was an overall theme of last week. I think I’ll try this week, starting today, while the boys are all out of the house taking care of errands. I feel like I end up squandering the quiet weekend hours, but maybe I’ll focus on enjoying the breathing space instead.

  2. Sorry to hear about your husband’s accident. It amazes me that he would even have the energy to attempt a big yard project after skiing with 3 kids all day.

    I’ve enjoyed time tracking this week. I’ve learned what I already knew.
    1. I get plenty of sleep . Even more this week since I’ve had a lingering cough that won’t go away.
    2. I’m wasting my precious early morning hours. I get up early but putter around on my iPad surfing and waste time when I could be doing lots of other productive things like exercise.
    3. I work long days outside the home so when I do get home from work, I’m too tired to do much so I waste time surfing again, I should read a book instead.
    4. As a result of the above, I spend too much time on my days offs cleaning, organizing and puttering around the house. I need to plan more anchor events.
    I’m an empty nester so I don’t have any excuse for the above. My time is my own. I’m going to keep tracking my time and see if I can improve things,

    1. @Linda – self-awareness is a good thing. There’s nothing wrong with surfing the web per se (it’s why we’re all here!) it’s just a question of whether it’s crowding out other things you’d rather be doing. Keeping my logs public has made me better about figuring out what I want to do with leisure time. I go for a run as soon as the baby goes down for a nap, and it makes me feel like I’m not dithering around figuring out what to do…

  3. Hi, I took time today to analyze my week, which seemed super productive to me. No surprise to me that I’m most productive in the mornings and can easily work straight to lunch time. I’ve always been like that. I probably do 2/3 or 3/4 of my work before lunch. My analysis showed me that I do a good 4–5 hours of serious work every day. This does not include my social media, which is a mix of marketing, networking and play. I was tired by Friday, which is not unusual and knocked off a little early, taking a 2 1/2 hour nap but still working 4 hours that day. I made myself take an entire leisure day on Saturday, which I haven’t done in awhile. I typically work weekends, but it’s usually for my own business: brainstorming, marketing, networking (not client work), but I am still aiming to do more leisure activities and get a full break on the weekend this year. Saturday was perfect: a run at the YMCA, followed by about an hour shopping downtown in my lovely city (Silver Spring, MD) — love walking from store to store, even if I didn’t buy anything — then walked over to the AFI (artsy/indie) theater, where I saw “Brooklyn,” then “Room.” I’ve vowed to watch all 8 Oscar Best Pic nominations this year, something I always did before I started my business but haven’t done in a few years. Only two more films to go! Today, my husband and I are having a lunch date before we have a “financial date” to take care of some stuff we need to.

  4. Hello Laura. I have been following your blog for sone time and have been (positively I hope!) influenced by your writings. I have just completed my first week of time tracking. It has been fascinating. I actually plan to do another week now as I realise that I need to be more detailed in how I track e.g. my evenings. I am a teacher and therefore my working days are very inflexible from 7.45am to 5pm but I have taken on board the idea that there are still plenty of hours when I can be flexible. My aim is to find time to insert a meditation and gym habit .. already I am starting to see some spots. So, thank you for your inspiration!

  5. When my husband brought the baby in just before 7am, I said, “I think our nanny canceled for today, but I don’t know if it’s real or a dream.” He checked my texts, and sure enough she had canceled for the whole day, and offered to come on Sunday instead.
    Then I checked my email and found out that some out-of-town friends wanted to get together. So it worked out ok – they dropped by in the afternoon (when my husband was out), and the kids had fun meeting them. In the morning, we each took one kid for a separate outing and everyone had a good time (I walked with my friend, as always on Saturdays).
    Things were not pretty from 5-5:30 when we waited for dad to get home (I thought he’d be home at 5, but he was late bc he picked up dinner). I think we did ok for such a big last-minute change of plans.

  6. This weekend is pretty low key, but I woke up Saturday morning with a cold, so it’s for the best. I’m not tracking my time on the spreadsheet, but I’m doing it (sort of) in my head. Being accountable makes for better choices for sure. After an hour of reading for pleasure after I woke up (usually I work), I walked the dog, had a bath with my daughter and made a plan to go cross country skiing with another family this afternoon. I had 2 hours to edit and upload a blog post, submit an article, schedule social media, make lunch and get ready for our activity. And yes, I dithered. I don’t mind pottering on the weekends, the trouble is when you let it bleed into time that should be spend on what you really hope to accomplish. Hope your toddler and pre-schooler day goes smoothly and you get some much needed me time.

  7. You are so efficient! As I sit in my mess of a study (we’ve been moving stuff all weekend) I’m equal parts inspired and terrified. Glad your husband is okay.

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