After hitting publish on the previous post, I answered a few emails I had on my to-do list. Then I cleared the inbox to current (mostly). At 11:45 a.m. my husband yelled down to my office that he was going to eat lunch since he had a call at noon. So I joined him for a quick bite (leftovers for me, a sandwich for him). Being able to eat lunch together (often with no kids!) is a nice post-Covid bonus of both of us sometimes working from home.
From 12-1 p.m. I edited Before Breakfast scripts and practiced reading them. I checked email again, and then realized that the house was quiet enough — I think the 3-year-old was watching a movie upstairs with our nanny — that I could record. This is always a gamble, because it’s annoying to stop in the middle, but I decided to go for broke.
So from 1:15-1:50 p.m. or so, I recorded five episodes of Before Breakfast back to back.* The first four were good on the first take (no sound edits). That’s why I practice!** The fifth I had to repeat phrases twice, so I made a note of that.
After finishing, I went upstairs and changed into my running clothes. I was out on the driveway when I bumped into the arborist who monitors our trees (our historic house turns out to have some very old trees that we hope don’t fall on us…). Turns out she was in London after Christmas too so we chatted about that and I didn’t start running until about 2:20. Then I ran 3 miles and was home 2:55 or so. I sent in my Before Breakfast sound files (listening to the one with the edits to catch when they were so I could note them for the producer). I got a snack and spent a while texting with various people (including setting up some math tutoring).
Then I worked on various random stuff as kids started coming home. I never assume I will get time to work after 4:00 p.m. though I often do. I left at 4:20 to pick up the 15-year-old from an after school activity. Right around when I got home my 11-year-old had a trumpet lesson, which she tends to use my office for. So I did some idea generation at the kitchen table before leaving at 5:10 with the 7-year-old to go to his Ninja Warrior class. We chatted in the car there, arriving right as class started at 5:30. I checked in with the front desk about his upcoming birthday party, then worked at a table in the gym area for the hour-long class. I wrote much of this post and then worked on future Before Breakfast episodes (I try to be a few weeks ahead but I lost much of my buffer over the holidays. So I need to make up some time.).
At 6:30 p.m. I went into the class where my kid was climbing up slides and dangling on rings and otherwise didn’t want to leave. But they cleared them out by 6:40 (and I said hello to another parent I know) and then we drove home.
Everyone else had already eaten when we got there at 7 so I put together a plate of things he’d eat,*** and then I had the pasta everyone else had. I scrolled while eating, then the dog was whining so I took him out. It was very dark and cold out! I’m glad this is normally my husband’s job.
Now it is 7:30 and I am posting this. I’ll likely go find the toddler soon (he’s with my husband) but I know he took a late nap so who knows when he’ll go to bed. Well, I guess we’ll all know tomorrow when I post my time log!
I hope your first day of time-tracking has gone well!
*For any new folks joining us, Before Breakfast is a very short podcast — about 5 minutes per episode. Each episode features a tip designed to take your day from great to awesome!
** I don’t know why I care so much about this, but I don’t like doing multiple repeat takes if I can avoid it. When I recorded the audio book for Tranquility by Tuesday the producer called me “One Take Vanderkam” — not because I would naturally read things right the first time but because I’d read the book aloud as I’d written it, so nothing was new.
***You tell me — how can a child have the personality to take massive physical risks, darting up to the top of the climbing walls, throwing himself through an obstacle course, but not want to eat unfamiliar foods?