168 Hours Time-Tracking Challenge- Day 4

I stayed up later than usual last night. I worked until about 8:30 p.m., then read some while the kids watched TV with my husband. Then when the littler big kids went to bed, I did some work with my 9-year-old on test-taking strategies. I am so not a tiger mom, but this turns out to be a school skill that matters. So…there we go. I did that until 9:30, read on and off (with some internet surfing) until 10:30, then wound up hanging out with my husband until 11:30.

11:30 p.m. – 7:20 a.m. — Another epic night. No bathroom breaks! I also massively overslept. My husband got up with the toddler and I hadn’t set an alarm and so I woke up when my husband woke me up so he could shower.

7:20-7:50 – got dressed (no shower for me!), got 9-year-old ready.

7:50-8 – G here, drove 9-year-old to school for choir practice.

8-8:15 – coffee, etc.

8:15-8:30 – email, etc.

8:30-8:40 – 7-year-old to bus stop. The weather was incredibly nice to day — highs in the 60s!

8:40- 9 – email, settling in with a second cup of coffee

9- noon – book writing, for 3 hours straight. I set a goal of writing 1000 words and in that session I wrote 2000. Skipping around a lot, but also just thinking through what I am trying to say, and writing sections that will mostly become the introduction and chapter one. I quite enjoyed this. I intentionally left much of today open for deep work and other such things.

12-1 – admin work, email, and eating lunch at desk

1 – 1:35 – tried on Nordstrom trunk stuff again (indecision!) and then got ready

1:35-2:45 — ran outside! Perfect running weather. I did around 6 miles, according to my phone. Tried to generally think about life, and phrasing for book stuff.

2:45 – 3:15 — started email, G left to get 5-year-old, but then I heard toddler wake up from nap, so I played and snuggled with him for a bit. Got a snack when 5-year-old got home.

3:15-5:15 – another pretty solid bout of work. Normally I come out for a while when the boys get home but today I hunkered down to write another 800 words.

5:15- 5:35 – took 9-year-old to swim. We did some chatting in the car about whether, if he went into business, he could also write books (answer: yes). He also asked if he could write historical fiction fantasy, and we had a discussion of book marketing and genres. It was pleasant. Then I realized we were about to have a problem: my car has been in the shop all week, and my husband was still at work. So we’d only have one car, and while G normally picks up the 9-year-old and I bring the 7-year-old to wrestling, we’d have to do both with one car at the exact same time.

5:35 -5:45 – home, played with little kids while G got dinner on table.

5:45-6 – dinner with G and kids (minus 9-year-old)

6-6:15 – took dictation for story the 5-year-old is writing for her Junior Author Week project. It involved a princess, a fox, and a dragon. There was an actual plot. Not bad!

6:15 – 6:50 – somewhat stressful kid run. Drove 7-year-old to wrestling. Quickly got him in shoes and checked him in with coach, sprinted to car, drove (safely!) to swim practice, got 9-year-old. I was there only 9 minutes after the official end of his practice, and he’s usually out about 5 minutes after the end, but I still got the “where were you? I was looking for you!” about the 4 minute gap. Sigh.

6:50-7:10 – home (mostly to drop 9-year-old off), very quick bit of work — husband came home and spent some time with the other kids.

7:10-7:40 – back to pick up 7-year-old at wrestling.

7:40 – goodbye to G, grabbed a glass of wine, started writing this as my husband is bathing half the kids. I think the toddler got a bath earlier. Not sure when the 7-year-old will shower, but given that I never showered today, clearly this isn’t a big deal in our house. I’ll post this, then need to pack up the Nordstrom Trunk (decisions!)

Observations: In many ways, this was a good day. I made progress on my book, and I love days when I can just write and I have something to write. I got enough sleep — even sleeping in to a degree. I did a long run outside in perfect running weather — in January. On the other hand, I spent a lot of time in the car driving kids around. I am getting incredibly frustrated about not having access to my own car, and it has been in the shop since December 27. I am not truly trapped during the day — I can always call Uber — but still.

Another observation: If you started your tracking week at 5 a.m. Monday (as I did) then you hit halfway through at 5 p.m. Thursday. We often think of end-of-day Thursday as being toward the end of the week, but it’s not. It’s halfway through. Likewise, we often think of normal life as being the things that happen Monday through end of day Thursday, but that’s only half of life. Have you thought through your Friday, Saturday, and Sunday? It’s still a lot of time!

In other news: KJ Dell’Antonia is giving away two copies of I Know How She Does It, and a gorgeous bracelet that says “Design Your Mosaic.” Even if you don’t want the book, you want the bracelet!

5 thoughts on “168 Hours Time-Tracking Challenge- Day 4

  1. Hi Laura!

    This time around I have been hoping to test myself and see whether I can commit to more hours’ work per week than I am currently contracted for, as a new opportunity may be coming my way 🙂

    Happily I have learned that this is going to be possible but that I need to think through my exercise schedule. This seems to have been the casualty of the extra work hours and I don’t want that in the long term.

    On another note, I currently work office-based from Weds-Friday, so I changed my time tracking sheets to start on Wednesday. I pick a new one out of my work drawer on Weds morning, then can take it home to finish on my days out of the office. One great side-effect of this is that when I look back at the whole sheet at the end of the week, the weekend is centre-stage and all that good stuff really jumps out at me, like you say, it is so easy to overlook the fun!

    Lastly, I hope you feel good for your longer night’s sleep – Oh for Vanderkam stamina! I need that much every day just to stay sane!

    1. @Cate – love the idea of the weekend taking center stage! There’s no particular reason to start on Monday- any day will do.

      Planning in exercise is a good idea. We often have time it just requires thinking through the logistics (and motivating ourselves). Knowing when it’s supposed to happen is good for that.

  2. It sounds like the two full nights’ sleep have been really great! I’m impressed with how much you do.

    I spent most of yesterday reading newspapers and working on some activist organizing I’m doing, so while on paper it looks like I spent all day on the internet, I like to tell myself it was research 🙂 I did get back to my novel for the first time in a week yesterday evening.
    A month or so ago, I was lamenting not being a morning person, and you asked why I couldn’t just rearrange when I do what I do. My initial reaction was, “No way, that would never work,” but I let it sit for a bit, then after Thanksgiving gave myself permission to be “unproductive” in the mornings. It’s been miraculous! Not fighting my natural slow start means I’m not already tired by the time my brain and body catch up with the day, and I’m able to be more efficient. So thanks!

  3. Very inspiring. How you make it all. Still struggling here. Of course, it’s better than not tracking time at all.

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