2023 Time Tracking Challenge Day 1: The first few hours…

Good morning! If you’re tracking time this week I hope you’ve found a minute this morning to note the first few hours. I check in 3-4 times a day, usually, and write down what I’ve done since the last check in. Here’s how my day started:

I woke up briefly at 5:30 a.m. this morning for the bathroom, but then went back to sleep until 6:30 a.m. when my alarm went off. I went down the hall to make sure the 15-year-old was getting up, then returned to my room to shower, get dressed, and do my make-up (I’m trying to do this most days, since even if I work from home I’d like to be reasonably presentable). I was downstairs by 6:50 a.m. to make my coffee, pull out ingredients for a chicken sandwich (what the 15-year-old eats in the car on the way to school) and to make a lunch for the 7-year-old.

At 7 a.m. I went back upstairs to get the 13-year-old and 11-year-old up as my husband and 15-year-old were headed out the door (we drive him to school as a way to score a few more minutes of sleep in the AMs). The 11-year-old wanted eggs for breakfast, so I scrambled some for her (and made extra for my husband and me). The 13-year-old had cereal. As I was eating the eggs and drinking my coffee, I heard the 3-year-old calling for me, so I went up to get him (around 7:20 a.m.). He was coughing enough that I realized he probably should stay home from his various activities, so I made a note to tell our nanny to just have him play here. This is the reason we employ a full-time nanny, even though the 3-year-old is in preschool part-time. When we used daycare for our first two years of parenthood, it was always a question of whether the kid could go, and if I’d be able to squeeze in work during naps if he couldn’t… Of course these days my husband is working from home at least part of the time too. There have been many changes over 15 years.

Anyway, by 7:30 my husband was home, but the 3-year-old wanted to come on the brief van drive down to the end of the street, where I dropped the 13-year-old and 11-year-old to wait for the bus. Then, while he was in the van, he screamed that he didn’t want to be in the van, he wanted to be home with Daddy. Toddlers!

My husband and I chatted some as the 3-year-old watched Catie’s Classroom, and we cleaned up the kitchen, and our nanny started work at 8, though I still did some on and off orange juice fetching for the 3-year-old over the next 30 minutes. I concurrently did my “morning rituals” — reading 10 pages in Jane Austen (currently: Love and Friendship, an early novella), and writing 2 lines in my sonnets. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are the harder days in that I have to match the rhyming scheme I came up with on the previous day. I scratched my head for a while on why I ended a line with “first” before remembering I did that on purpose to allow myself the use of “rehearsed.” Then I began work on an essay I’m writing, doing that pretty much straight from 8:30-10:30. The good news is I now have a draft that I can revise over the next few days. (For alert readers remembering there is another child to be accounted for: I nudged my 7-year-old downstairs for breakfast right at 8, and our nanny drove him to school.) I made sure to start with the essay writing, since it needed to get done, and I’m pretty sure that the 3-year-old will track me down at some point, since he is home, and the day will be more interrupted.

Now I am posting this! I’ll check back in this evening with a recap of the rest of the day. I’m hoping to get a run in (likely when the temperature reaches a balmy 44 this afternoon…) and I’ll be taking the 7-year-old to a new Ninja/obstacle course class. And hoping the 3-year-old feels better soon…

6 thoughts on “2023 Time Tracking Challenge Day 1: The first few hours…

  1. Thanks for sharing your morning Laura. I was just thinking that my morning was chaotic today. (my 3 y.o. son is also sick, and I had to take him to the doctor instead of daycare). it feels good to see it’s not only me, and I’m not missing anything :).

    1. @Sevcan – oh, you are definitely not the only one! We just learn to live and keep moving forward amid the chaos.

  2. Winding down here and managed to track all day. I’m trying to track a bit more details of my workday. I’m 40% research, 40% teaching, and 20% service, and it will be interesting to see how closely (or not) my actual hours align with how I’m supposed to be spending my time. I just labelled things R, T, and A. 2 hours outside and exercising on the school run (supplemented by forgetting my son’s bike helmet and having to cycle back for it).

    When I took on my current job, I woke up at 4am everyday wondering if I was ruining our lives. I feel like I have a story in my head that I don’t spend enough time hands on as a fulltime working mom (with a heavy travel schedule) but today I did morning cuddles, an hour of kid/mom cycling, bedtime stories and cuddles, and a lovely chatty family dinner, so all good quality time. I’m off tomorrow with my son due to a school closure and he said “oh, you wanted some name time, thank you! You are a good mummy, aren’t you?” So clearly our lives are ruined, and my son will need years of therapy 🙂

  3. I tracked! I did a run on the indoor gym after drop off while listening to Tranquility by Tuesday. I had to move tomorrow’s work to today, which makes me anxious, and I can see that things are taking longer than I predicted. I have also been rating my happiness next to each activity, recommend in the book Happier Hour, to figure out what makes me happy. (As a statistics professor, though, I’m not sure the data is really great. I keep wondering what a 7 really is, versus an 8, and it seems like there is a lot of “noise” in my data – like I could easily have put a 6 doing the exact same activity as I just wrote a 7 for. And really, the variation probably has more to do with my mood than the activity.)

    1. @LK – yep, a lot of stuff is probably in the 5-8 range in life. We don’t do a lot of stuff we hate, but total bliss is hard to pull off on a Monday too. I think it’s more useful to figure out outliers – if something feels like a 9 vs. a 4 – that’s worth knowing.

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