Day 1 of the January 2024 Time Tracking Challenge

Hello again! If you’re tracking time this week as part of the January 2024 Time Tracking Challenge, I hope the tracking has gone well so far.

As mentioned in this morning’s post, I got up at 6:55. I got the kids up, showered, dressed, and did my make-up, and was downstairs around 7:20. I made sure the kids ate, and then they drove down to the bus stop with my husband at 7:29. He waited with them until it came, then drove back. Meanwhile, I was eating my breakfast (fried eggs, with Bach going on the background). Our nanny (B) came at 8. We chatted about the schedule and then I woke the 4-year-old while she was dealing with the 8-year-old. The 4-year-old screams if I don’t get him up so…I did. I should probably do this before 8 so I can start work at 8, which is my goal, but I didn’t do that this morning.

Anyway, I was working by 8:20, more or less. I did a block of focused work from 8:20 to 10:45. During this time I posted here, posted at the Patreon group, did my sonnets, answered a few things, and wrote five Before Breakfast scripts. Then I took a break to move the laundry (I’d put in a load in the morning) and to do my back stretches (with Bach in the background). At 11:00 I worked again on some “Vanderhacks” until 11:45, at which point I switched into my exercise clothes. I did a phone call from 12-12:25, then I went upstairs to the exercise area.

My trainer Face Timed at 12:30 and we did a circuit with resistance bands and weights until about 1:06. Then I went to the kitchen, made my 16-year-old a bagel, and heated up some soup for myself (a low sodium chicken and wild rice can – I added kale and spinach to make it healthier). I then proceeded to eat lunch at my desk. I am trying not to do this so often but I was a bit behind on the day’s schedule, which called for me to be done with all the Vanderhacks for the week by my 12:00 call. I was not done. I finished with them around 2:00 instead.

At that point I started working on a book review I’m writing. I got about 640 words, and it will total 900, so there’s not too much to go (I read the book over the weekend). I stopped working on that at about 3:30, and took the next 10-15 minutes to fill in more entries on my Bach calendar (which BWV numbers I will do each day — I’m about mid-way through February. I choose based on how long each one is, and they are wildly different lengths, so I need to Google each BWV before assigning it a day).

My middle schoolers came home around 3:40 – 3:45 so I said hello to them, then walked down the hill to meet the elementary schooler, whose bus arrived at 3:55. We walked up the hill at a leisurely pace together, and were home around 4:05. (B sometimes does this too but she was at karate with the 4-year-old.) Then my husband and I drove to Hertz together because we decided to rent a car while the van is being repaired. It could be a while and being down a car was just making logistics a lot harder. This took a bit of time, and then I was driving a different car home — the gear selector is just this knob you turn so that took me a minute to get used to. And then when I was one minute away from home, the tire pressure light came on! I didn’t drive over anything that I could see, so my husband put air in the tires and I’m hoping it was just low and not some other problem. Ugh.

I got home from that errand at 5:05. I said hello to my daughter’s trumpet teacher at 5:15, then drove my car (which B had just brought home) over to the library. I spent 15 minutes getting a few books and came home a few minutes before 6 (the library is 5 minutes away — I listened to the Best Laid Plans podcast in the car). B had started dinner — making pasta and cutting up fruit. I cooked some sausage and peppers to go in the sauce while the trumpet teacher was assisting with fixing and cleaning the trumpet, which apparently needed it.

We ate around 6:15-6:35 — mostly a calm family dinner though with some jumping up and running around. I managed to talk with the middle schoolers for a while. Then the 12-year-old helped with dishes (it’s her week), B left, and I’m sitting here writing this while frequently stopping to put on songs for the 4-year-old. He’s been requesting The Wellerman and other such sea shanties. He’ll probably wind up playing a video game with Daddy at some point and we’ll start bedtime around 8. I’ll be back tomorrow to check in with more time tracking!

I hope your day has gone well. You can probably approximate the day pretty well by checking in 3-4 times. It doesn’t have to be perfect!

9 thoughts on “Day 1 of the January 2024 Time Tracking Challenge

  1. Thank you Laura,
    I started the time tracking yesterday.
    The main issue I have – I realised that I rarely do one thing at the time. It’s “normal” for some activities, like, for example, in the morning, I make myself ready for work, while checking on my daughter, making her breakfast, reminding her to pack, brush teeth etc.
    But then I start working for ex., I’m along so could theoretically work with no interruption, but I can’t do it anymore, instead I keep interrupting my work with checking FB, answering another WA message, making coffee, loading a machine…
    I had loads of washing done, that needed to be sorted, and it took me maybe 4 or 5 “rounds” to do it.
    Even during my work meetings, I keep checking on private messages, booking private appointments etc.
    There are only few things I do w/o interruption, and this is either defined by nature of these activities (like climbing or ice skating class) or by a deadline (like I have to clean the messy house really before guests come, or I really have to finish this report before starting my presentation etc.)
    I always knew it’s like this but it became even more evident with just one day of time checking.

    1. @Maria – thanks for doing the challenge! Yep, I think a lot of people discover this – they have trouble labeling a 30-minute block as one particular thing. Sometimes this is the nature of what is going on (hence my “kids, etc.” entries). But sometimes it is because we are distracting ourselves. I know I sometimes will push to work to the next half hour block before stopping so I can label the block specifically as something. One way time tracking can help…

      1. Yes, it helps. I also do less social media. Kind of ashamed to label a 2 hours time block as “facebooking”:)))

  2. I am exhausted just reading about this day! I cannot imagine sustaining this pace for days and years like you do!!!!

    The Wellerman was the 3rd most listened-to song in our household in 2023 (thanks to Spotify Wrapped, I know lots of details about our music habits over the last year.)

    1. @Elisabeth – it really wasn’t that bad! Work, strength training, picking up a car, library and dealing with kid and home stuff…

      My 4-year-old has also been singing the “What do you do with a drunken sailor?” song…Oh dear.

        1. @Coree- even worse, my 4-year-old was particularly obsessed with the verse to “put him in a bed with the captain’s daughter” and would sing this out and about in public…

  3. Thanks for sharing your day! Curious on the hours and duty for your nanny with school age children since alll of them would be in school (even the 4 year old?) for most of the day. We have a nanny now for our toddler and baby and wonder how we might want to morph it after they go to daycare / school. Thanks!

    1. @Carla – school for our 4-year-old is only from 9-12. We figured out that trying to not pay for coverage during those 3 hours would not only delay the start of the work day (to 9:15 from 8:00/8:15) it would mean not having automatic coverage for days the school is closed/summer/sick days/etc. Also, I’d say most weeks we need something during those hours, like grocery shopping/errands/laundry/returning an errant instrument to a kid, etc. I tend to caution people about giving up full time coverage too early.

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