Day 4 post

img_1565Today did not start that well. I worked until 11:15 p.m. last night wading through my inbox. The good news is that I now have a short list of the things that have not been answered. My husband and I talked for a while and I went to bed around 11:45 p.m. That was a perfectly natural time for having gotten out of bed at 8:15 a.m. that morning. However, today started a lot earlier than I would have liked…

5:15 – baby up! Calling for mama. And since Daddy did the day before, and Daddy will do tomorrow, I got up with him.

5:15-6:30 – watching Daniel Tiger, getting the little guy breakfast, and feeding the 9-year-old who wandered down as well. He has been sleeping in the same bed as his 4-year-old sister, which means that he generally goes down earlier. Like 9:30! But given that he only needs 8 hours of sleep, the consequences are clear.

6:30 – 7:30 – my husband got up to take a phone call. Apparently this phone call was within the universe of people who can hear kid noise and not be offended, as he said he would take over. I went back to sleep for this hour. I really needed it.

7:30 – 8 – I took the kids while my husband got ready for work. Drank my coffee.

8-8:30 – shower, dress, deal with a few small house things (a load of laundry).

8:30-8:40 – boys to bus

8:45-9:20 – phone call with a source for my Fast Company piece on 56-56-56. She was great to talk with!

9:20-11:45 – work, both finishing my Verily column, doing a quick phone call, and getting the right quotes for my piece on “secrets of people with all the time in the world.” I wrote out all the quotes I might use long hand, which seems incredibly tedious, but has its upsides. More on that later.

11:45-12:30 – finish packing, eat lunch, discuss logistics with nanny.

12:30-1:15 – drove to airport. Google maps said this would take 29 minutes. It did not. I am seriously re-evaluating driving through the city to the airport (I-76 vs. I-476 — alert readers will recognize this dilemma from two weeks ago). Time-maximizing tip: I practiced my speech in the car. I thought I would only get through 29 minutes of it but in fact I got through the majority of it. I guess that was the upside of the sudden heavy traffic.

1:15-1:45 – park, through security (Terminal F did have TSA pre-check!), to my gate, read emails.

1:45-2:30 – read on plane. We sit on the runway for quite a while. I mostly paged through Glamour magazine. It made me feel kind of old, actually. I am sadly no longer in the target market.

2:30-3:50 – worked on plane. Very, very efficient! From my handwritten notes, I cranked out my Fast Company post. Then I finished most of the draft of my City Journal piece.

3:50-4:05- landed in Grand Rapids, read Glamour on descent.

4:05-5:00 – found my driver, traveled to Holland, MI. I practiced the fine art of small talk.

5-5:30 – in hotel room, email, starting this blog post, waiting for my parents.

5:30 – 6:00 – they showed up, we talked, then drove to Boatwerks restaurant on the lake.

6-7:15 – dinner on the waterfront.

7:15-8:20 – drove to Mt. Pisgah, which is a dune by Ottawa Beach. We took the 239 steps to the top to see the sunset (pictured). My parents recounted how they used to come there as teenagers together. Back down the steps, to the car, back to the hotel.

8:20-8:45 – bit of hotel down time. I mostly worked.

8:45-10:00 – met back up with parents for a drink in downtown Holland. Now I am back in my room and hopefully going to sleep soon!


11 thoughts on “Day 4 post

  1. Hi Laura,

    I thoroughly enjoyed the logs! 😀 I’m a new dad to a wonderful son, and I find the time-maximizing tips really helpful – writing drafts on the plane, practicing speech at the car. Awesome stuff! Tuning in for more.

  2. Hi Laura,

    My first comment on your blog. Firstly, I would just like to say what a huge impact 168 hours had on me when I first read it (I have now read the book 3 times and am getting ready for another reading soon, my second time this year). The mental shift in never thinking I had enough time for many personal things to realizing the stories I had been telling myself was huge and the time log is a way of keeping myself honest about that.

    I actually started the time log challenge last week rather than this week (because I got the dates wrong) and so am two weeks into this, and I like the idea of doing this for a year at least (which I believe you did) to see how things vary.

    This week has been an odd week for me since I have a visitor at work that I am also entertaining at night, so my time log on the most basic level has looked like 07:30 left home to pick up A from hotel. 08:00 Have breakfast with A. 08:30 Office meeting with A, all the way through to 7:30pm at night, and with a break for lunch and then dinner etc, and finally some time at home. But I have broken that down a bit more in reality to capture specific things we have been working on.

    Before A arrived I had 4 emails in my inbox. Yesterday when we arrived at a hotel for a customer visit today, I had 237 emails, so I spent a few hours processing email last night.

    I love the honesty of time logs and the clarity they provide. I can’t recommend this challenge highly enough to people I talk with, and your books.

    One quick question – do you normally note on your blog when an article you have written is published, like the future Fast Company article you are referring to on 56-56-56. And also when podcasts you are on are posted?



    1. @Paul – glad you’re enjoying it and learning from it! I sometimes post links but I tend to share them more in my “Week’s Worth” newsletter — if you go to the subscription box (or if you get my newsletter there should be a link in there) you can manage your preferences and sign up for it. Thanks for your interest in it!

  3. You’re in Michigan! Funny, I grew up in Philly (so I enjoy those references) and now live in SE Michigan. Welcome back to the Mitten!

  4. You must try Waze (an app) for driving. It uses real time data to calculate your route. I love it. I sometimes find it takes 5mins more than the app arrival time but it’s close and you can schedule arrival times and see when you need to leave.

  5. I love reading your logs, Laura. It’s impressive how thorough you manage to be while tracking entirely by hand.
    Your challenge has motivated me to take special care to analyse my time use again – I hadn’t done it for a few weeks! I’m shifting more and more towards long, focused work periods without any distractions, although I tend to work a bit less on average (but I don’t feel less productive, so yay!)
    Your wake-up time is heroic, by the way. I can never drag myself out of bed before 8. But I guess all that changes when you have kids :/

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