Day 7 — Early evening post (September 2023 Time Tracking Challenge)

Congratulations to anyone who has made it this far with time tracking! Finish out today and you’ll have a complete record of a week (168 hours). Hopefully you’re happy with your time and schedule in general. But regardless, having a sense of how much time exists and what a week looks like can help with making choices in the future.

After hitting publish last night I went out to the kitchen to help with dinner. This was a pretty standard fall Saturday night meal, as we are often watching a football game (my husband is a Texas A&M grad so those games have become a weekend priority). We have buffalo chicken in some form (this week it was these boneless nuggets because we couldn’t find wings) and nachos and carrots/celery + fruit. We ate and watched part of the game until 7, at which point we decided to brave the cold for the pool again.

This was mostly the same cast as the night before, except the 13-year-old came out (not in a swimsuit) to hang out with us for a while, and then the 16-year-old came out (in a swimsuit) for the last 15 minutes or so. I stayed in the hot tub the whole time again.

We came in around 8, at which point I started finding and laying out outfits for the next day’s photos (more on that later). Then I spent 30 minutes on my puzzle (8:30-9) and went to find the 3-year-old, who was playing video games with my husband. We read stories, had a bottle, and then I had to wait in the room for a while as he went down (I just scrolled through various social media…great use of time, right?)

At 10:00 I took the 8-year-old’s iPad and got the 16-year-old to read to him. I found more things for the next day and then read Coastal Living, thus nurturing my beach house fantasy. I was in bed by 11:00 — up at 5 a.m. for a bathroom trip — and then woke before my alarm at 7:15 or so (I had set my alarm for 7:20).

I got up, showered and dressed for church, and did my hair. Then I got various children up because we had one of those fun logistical mornings that come from having five kids. I took the four older ones with me (in the car at 8:50) and put the 13-year-old, 11-year-old, and 8-year-old in a pew while the 16-year-old and I had choir practice. I left practice at 9:20 to bring those three to a breakfast for 3rd graders, who were being presented with Bibles in church. We ate and chatted with various folks before lining up around 9:50 and heading in (I ran to grab my robe to have it with me).

After my 3rd grader was announced, he left (with the 11-year-old, who was his “special person”) for a special Sunday school class and I went back to sing for the service (with the 16-year-old, who was still in the loft). This ended a little after 11, at which point I collected everyone and we went to Starbucks and then home (11:45).

(My husband took the 3-year-old to his soccer league, which meets at 9:15 a.m. on Sundays…his really good friend was playing in this one and I think my husband wasn’t totally sad at having a reason to not go to church every Sunday…He also took him to swim lessons at noon.)

I cleaned the kitchen, and then made lunch and chatted with my daughter until around 12:30. Then I filled out my time log, read my Jane Austen, and wrote my 2 lines in a sonnet. I finished that half hour with 10 minutes of puzzle time.

At 1:00 I started curling my daughter’s hair, and supervising my older two boys’ getting ready. We were in the car at 1:30 to head out to a photographer’s studio for a series of portraits.

Yep, I decided to get portraits of everyone plus group shots — so we had a booking from 2-4:30 (the 3-year-old got portraits done by this photographer earlier this summer). I took the older 3, with my husband bringing the little guys later. So I wrote this while sitting in the studio as each kid got pictures taken. I was there for a very long time! But, I have to say, I do have good looking kids!

I’ll post a wrap-up thread tomorrow. Here’s what my log looked like in table form.

6:30  dinner/watch football
7:00  ready, pool w/M, A, H
7:30  pool (J joins)
8:00  in, find outfits, etc.
8:30   puzzle
9:00  H, H story
9:30  H feed/down, sit in room
10:00  find stuff, read in room
10:30  read in room, ready bed
11:00  sleep

5:00  bathroom

7:00  up on own, shower
7:30  ready, coffee
8:00  ready, kids up + ready
8:30  kids, drive church
9:00  choir, 3rd grade b-fast
9:30  3rd grade, get robe
10:00  church, to loft, choir
10:30  church
11:00  church, get all, Starbucks
11:30  Starbucks, home, clean up
12:00  lunch w/R, laundry, log
12:30  work/rituals, puzzle
1:00  R hair, supervise boys
1:30  drive to Media
2:00  kid photos (and so forth!)

2 thoughts on “Day 7 — Early evening post (September 2023 Time Tracking Challenge)

  1. It enjoyed catching up on your time log; thank you for sharing. I see you typically get a run or workout in during the middle of your work day, which I find appealing. Do you usually look ahead and plan when your run will happen and block your calendar?

    I also work from home and typically work out early in the morning, as I often find it hard to stop for a longer break during the work day. Work fills all available time, as I try to fit my work hours during childcare.

    1. @Amanda – it’s kind of a mix. I aim not to put calls/meeting in the AM unless it’s hard to avoid – those are my writing hours. So then the question is when I put stuff in the afternoon. I do aim to leave some time open for at least a short walk. A run is better if I can do it. I tend not to block those on the calendar, though — I’ll just look to see when is open and go then. When I’m really doing things well, I’ll try to put all “hard landscape” stuff on 2 days and then I can be flexible on when I workout on the others…

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