Day 1, mid-day post

Welcome to the first day of the 168 Hours Time Tracking Challenge! We have over 750 people signed up to track their time this week, and I know some others are doing it but have elected not to receive my daily email reminders. I get it. Email takes time! (If you do want daily reminders with questions to think about as you track, you can sign up here at this link. If you just want to download a time sheet, you can do so at my Manage Your Time page. That page has now been updated to include the 30-minute time sheet version, in Excel and PDF).

I will normally be posting my time logs at the end of the day, but just to get things started, here is how my day has gone so far:

6:45 – up! The good: I hear the toddler at this blessedly civilized hour. There is a world of difference between 5:30 and 6:45. The bad: he has made his way into the 9-year-old’s room, where the 6-year-old is sleeping (long story, it’s musical beds around here right now) and climbed into bed with him. The funniest part? He has shut the doors behind him, as if to cover his tracks.

6:45-8 – all four are up within 5 minutes (the 9-year-old and 4-year-old turn out to have slept in the same bed all night!) I feed them breakfast, and make my coffee and breakfast. The 9-year-old and 4-year-old take turns playing with the toddler in the basement, and all goes fine. I get a chance to read headlines over my coffee. I feel like this is a major milestone.

8-8:30 – nanny here, I shower, dress, check email.

8:30-8:40 – boys to bus stop, chat with bus driver and neighbor kid.

8:40-11:00 – Monday morning power work time. I write a 1500 word intro to something that might be a book proposal. Since I am publicly accountable for my time this week, I am going fundamentalist on productivity best practices.

11-11:30 – Practice my TED talk. Guess who’s speaking at TEDWomen this October??

11:30-noon – two phone calls about an upcoming webinar.

noon-12:15 – email, etc.

12:15-1 – change, go outside. Chat with neighbor, then run 3.5 miles. It’s about 77 degrees and lovely.

1-1:30 – home, email, talk with husband by phone, post this log.

Much more to come later today. I hope your first morning is going well! If you’re tracking, I would love to hear how it’s going. You can comment, or email me if you prefer not to comment: lvanderkam at yahoo dot com.

11 thoughts on “Day 1, mid-day post

  1. Thank you so much for pushing me to track my time! I have been very produttive today and much less time wasting.
    Every minute seems precious!

  2. I have a somewhat unrelated question. What about weekends? I remember you wrote about anchor events a few years back, and thinking that sounded exhausting, but even though I relatively few things to get done on weekends from a chore standpoint, we still struggle with finding activities to do and planning what limited free time we have so that it is enjoyable. Question #1 how do you come up with so many great activities, and #2 do you have any thoughts about planning free time as well?

    1. @Omdg- I am big into the anchor event idea. Basically, what are a few things (like 3) I plan to do this weekend that will add to *my* energy levels? While the kid swim party was fun, it wasn’t exactly relaxing for the adults involved. However, my run, my anniversary dinner, and apple picking would fall in those categories. Some other things turned out to be reasonable too. I accompanied my oldest two to a birthday party, and they’re old enough that I basically didn’t have to deal with them. So I chatted with other parents (with beer! Very thoughtful birthday party hosts!)

      I have lists, sometimes specifically written, sometimes just in my mind, of fun weekend activities. And we’re often trying to think of new ones. Then, when I plan the weekend, I think about what we might do. Some stuff we try sucks, but not all of it. It’s just a numbers game. I’ll probably do a post in the future about planning fun. Sounds like an exhausting oxymoron, but for me, it’s kind of how fun happens.

    1. @Maggie- hopefully eventually it will be posted online! And I know they stream the TEDWomen talks to the various TEDx events that go on simultaneously. I think there are some 200-odd TEDxWomen events around the globe where it will be possible to watch. It does look like an awesome line-up. I am so excited to hear everyone else.

  3. This question might be a little off-topic, but how (badly) it’s going for my household is a huge issue with time management right now. How did you transition your kids to share rooms? (Did I interpret that correctly – that they share?) We have 1 and 3 year old boys that we always anticipated sharing a room, but we’re too scared, honestly, to actually try it out, because right now they wake each other up when one hears the other through a wall and vice versa, and we’re concerned the older might actually hurt the younger. But it seems like if we could get it to work then that would be great for our sanity (and getting our master bedroom back, where the baby is still sleeping.)

    1. @H – good question! We’ve gone through multiple stages of this. In NYC, we moved the two boys into the same bedroom out of sheer necessity when they were 4 months and 2y8m. The baby had been sleeping in a bassinet in the closet and there was no other space for a crib but the 2-year-old’s bedroom. Some veteran parents told me that the 2 year old would sleep through any crying and they were right. There were some late nights at the beginning trying to get both of them down, but there would have been late nights anyway (neither were champion sleepers). When we moved to a much bigger house in the ‘burbs, the kids all had their own rooms for several years. Then the baby came along, and when he moved out of the bassinet with me, we put him in a room with the 6-year-old. Because of the bad sleeping, though, the 6-year-old is mostly in with the 9-year-old (again, just like they were in NYC!). But sometimes the kids like to shift things around, and so the 9-year-old has been sleeping with he 4-year-old sometimes (sharing a twin bed). I guess we’ve just made it clear that room arrangements are somewhat flexible, and they like to move around as well. Ultimately, the idea is that the 6-year-old and 1-year-old will share, and the 9-year-old is on his own, but it’s a jack-and-jill set-up, so those 3 boys will share a bathroom and probably have a lot of fluidity of who sleeps where. Both rooms have 2 beds.

  4. Congratulations on your TEDtalk! I can’t wait to watch it when you post it. I’m also excited to hear more about this possible future book!

  5. So far day 4 and my every day looks slightly different. Usually wake up around 6 and bed depends on day around 22.39-24.00. This is because I am a single mum to 3 with full time job 9-5.
    I am trying to cramp as much as possible so at times I read till 24.00 or want to catch up on that episode right now!
    So hard but doable, my most time that is spent on is work, sleep and time with kids and homework, I seem to have very little time for exercise in the gym. However I do make time for 15 yoga every other morning before kids wake up.
    Looking at my time sheet I decided to buy an exercise bike so I can cycle at least 30 min before kids wake up 5x per week.

    1. @Mira- I love it when people look at their time sheets and make decisions based on it. It sounds like getting an exercise bike would be a good one for you. There are lots of used exercise bikes in the world so hopefully you can find a cheap one!

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