In April of 2015, I decided to start tracking my time continuously. You can read my account of the first year in this essay. One question I got asked a lot after that was whether I was going to keep going, and the answer is yes! I have just passed the 18 month mark. It certainly feels like a habit. I have developed methods for doing it without compromising life too much. While in Disney this weekend, I didn’t have my computer, but I emailed myself a rough time log once a day or so. It doesn’t have to be too detailed. “Animal Kingdom” works (rather than the play-by-play account of rides and the like).
I started looking at work hours and sleep hours. I will post a more detailed quantitative report later, but my first thought is that, ugh, the sleep is still more disjointed than I would like. The toddler is slowly improving (slowly – this morning was a 4 a.m. nightmare). I am also generally disciplined about getting to bed early, at least when my husband is out of town. When he is in town, I make compromises to spend time together. So it goes.
On the work front, I am pretty sure that my hour totals have not reached the point where they were a few years ago, even though I am back up to 5-day-a-week childcare. Ironically, this may be because I’m traveling more. I am still figuring out the best ways to be efficient on the road, but I often just feel like reading a magazine on the plane. It may also be the lack of a big project (I hope to start on a new book soon!) It may be that I’m more efficient. Or it’s burnout and I am not motivated to pitch that extra article. Possibly a combination of all of the above.
The really cool thing about time tracking, though, is that it is a far more detailed diary than I would have kept otherwise. Also, it’s hard to keep from opining in a journal, and as I’ve read past entries in my journals, I realize that I use them to vent. (If I get a terminal diagnosis at some point, I will have to invest some time in burning pages). Whereas a time log is just the facts. I can remember events in the way we often treat memories. Slightly hazy. “Zoo” sounds fun, and probably it was, even if my kids kept hitting each other in the car on the way there, which is what I might have whined about in the journal.