Day 6 of the January 2024 Time Tracking Challenge

I’m writing this while sitting in front of the fireplace in my office. The wind is howling outside and the sun is going down but this spot is nice and cozy!

Anyway, after hitting post last night I found the 8-year-old and we went out exploring for a while. We sometimes like to go out in the yard and see if there are new trees to be climbed, animal skeletons to be found, etc. We stayed out for about 30 minutes until it was pretty much too dark to be out there. He told me about the presentation he gave at school (with a friend) on Imagine Dragons. Apparently it was a big hit!

Then I got the big kids situated for the evening (the 4-year-old was off with G), waited for an Uber, and then went downtown where I met my husband, one of his colleagues, and the colleague’s partner for dinner at a new French restaurant (reservation time: 6:45 p.m.). We don’t make it into town to eat too often, so that’s always fun, and this restaurant was definitely hip (the location was the colleague’s suggestion). I had a cocktail that involved egg whites in some way, which isn’t something I’d normally order, but the waiter recommended it and it was quite good. When we left it had started raining and unfortunately my husband was parked in a garage a few blocks away so we were pretty much running there. Extra exercise…

Anyway, we were home a bit after 10. I talked to the kids briefly (my daughter lost another tooth! She is raking it in this week on tooth fairy money) and then went to bed at 11 p.m., otherwise known as my weeknight bedtime. I was tired!

I woke up at 5:15 a.m. (I think that’s when the heat must be coming on and I hear it many nights…) and I had some trouble falling back asleep. That wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world as I would have just gotten up and worked, but I decided to give it a while, and sure enough, I was back asleep at 6 or so, and stayed asleep until 8. Getting out of bed was then a slow process (with various kids getting up) but my husband and the 16-year-old left around 9 to go get a bit more driving practice. I had breakfast, did my back exercises and listened to Bach and fretted about my hip which was really, really sore. I’m 45 going on 80 or something…it continued to bother me much of the morning but eventually straightened itself out. Phew. I took a shower at 9:45, talked with my husband and son when they came back, and made sure they had the right documents because they left at 10:35…to go take a driving test!

Yep, the 16-year-old took his drivers license test today and he passed. He did it at a local driving school that has a contract with the department of transportation, so it wasn’t quite as nerve-wracking as the DMV but still, this is all very exciting. Meanwhile, I took the 12-year-old and 9-year-old to a climbing class which started at 11:15 and ran to 12:45. I watched a little but mostly 1) created the activity schedule for the week and 2) worked on the stuff I didn’t get done yesterday.

We were home a bit after 1 p.m., at which point I ate lunch (still the Thai chicken from Wednesday!), read an interesting WSJ narrative article from a man who lost 50 lbs on Ozempic, then got my 14-year-old out the door so we could go to the Philadelphia Auto Show together.

We parked around 2:20 or so and were in 2:30. I have been trying to pick my next car (the 16-year-old will be driving my 2011 Acura). I generally like SUVs (and need all-wheel-drive given my street, or I will be homebound in any ice or snow). There weren’t quite as many brands exhibiting as I hoped (for instance, Acura wasn’t there) but we checked out the Kia, Lexus, and Suburu SUVs. And ogled the Maseratis…(and historic cars too – that was fun!).

We were back in the car 3:45 and home 4:15 or so – there was traffic on I-76 because a big branch had fallen on the highway in the other direction (so everyone going west bound was rubber necking to look at it…). Glad we weren’t trying to go to the car show 2 hours later! We got home about 4:15.

At this point (4:15/4:20) I found the 8-year-old and suggested we go back outside for a while before it got dark. The wind was really going something fierce, and so this naturally led him to try a few experiments. If you hold an open umbrella in big gusts of wind, can you fly? What if you jump out of a tree with an open umbrella in gusting wind? Do you slow down if you run with an open umbrella against the wind, and speed up with the wind at your back? Other experiments: How far can you shoot your Nerf bow and arrow if the wind is behind you? We stayed outside for about 45 minutes (until 5 p.m.) following these avenues of inquiry.

Now I am back inside. The 4-year-old will be my responsibility again shortly, so I’m trying to get this written before that. Also, I have no idea what we’re eating for dinner.

If you’ve been tracking your time, I hope this first weekend day went well! Weekends can be a bit more challenging to track then weekdays as we often don’t follow our usual routines. But when you have certain anchor events in your weekend days, that can help – I knew the dinner reservation was at 6:45 last night, for instance, and that we’d be at the car show in the afternoon. Only one more day to go with the challenge! Though of course you can keep going. I’m almost 9 years in now… funny to think that the almost 9-year-old shooting arrows outside was a baby when this project began.

13 thoughts on “Day 6 of the January 2024 Time Tracking Challenge

  1. I had bad hip pain a few years ago during Covid when I was running a lot but not doing strength or stretching enough as the gyms were closed. I used the hip videos posted on YouTube by UpRight Health and FAI Fix and the problem was gone after about six months. Can’t recommend them enough!

    1. @Kersti – I’m sure I will wind up doing some of those. I am feeling a little betrayed that 2+ months of daily back stretches did not prevent my current woes!

      1. I hope you find them useful! I’ve been trying to do exercises for all areas of the body throughout the week to try to prevent another random body part from giving out. 🙂

  2. Hi Laura,

    lack of intentionality is a very good remark. My weekend are often well packed with some sportive activities that take almost the whole day, like skiing, hiking etc. Sometimes I have big decluttering projects, and I can feel how time is used effectively. If I have no plans, indeed, I’m not sure at the end of the day/weekend what I have done.

    I gave up on time tracking challenge in the last two days. Or mostly so. I am quite sick from Wednesday, and still not fully recovered now. And I found that time tracking takes a lot of my energy. I tried to analyse why and I came to the conclusion that this is disappointment seeing big laps of time I apparently cannot fill with anything, despite the fact that it was a couple of hours ago. It’s a combination of too much pointless scrolling, and many-many really small actions, like answering a WA message or checking the address of a ski school for tomorrow, which are important but so small that you forget them the moment you finished. You know what I mean? It’s easy to track big chunks of time spent on a particular project, but these smallish things are hardly trackable but take so much (too much?) time. In any case, I’m grateful for these observations.

    I also did this week a few things I was postponing for months. I think it’s related to the challenge. And I did them properly.

    Finally, I put some take home notes for me already following this challenge:
    1. Plan the day. Put things from the to do list directly into the calendar.
    2. Ask yourself what are you doing right now. Is it a good use of my time? If not, and maybe if I am tired, can I find something less intense, but still useful?
    3. Avoid FaceBook. Just don’t go there at all, if possible))

    Sorry it was a bit long…

    1. @Maria – this is a great comment. I agree that planning the day should be #1 – making the day more intentional winds up meaning time is less likely to be wasted. It’s hard to choose what we should be doing in the moment.
      And yes, Facebook…that is good advice in general!

  3. That article on WSJ about Ozempic was really interesting. I was eating lunch with a research scientist who studies drug effectiveness and was somewhat surprised at how optimistic he is about Ozempic (and other similar drugs). The word “miracle drug” was used at least once. I’ve never struggled with diabetes or weight but this sounds like a game changer for millions.

    1. @Jen – it could be a game changer – kind of hard to know if people will be able to maintain their weight loss if they go off it, or if they need to be on it for the rest of their lives if that way of eating proves sustainable. But it’s good there is something because yes, it has been a pretty frustrating part of medicine when there is so little that has worked for people.

    2. Not to be a downer, but as someone who tried it, the side effects were more than I could handle. Indeed, I already have a sensitive stomach, so maybe not everyone will have my experience. Back to diet and exercise for me…

      Also, I’m a pharmacist, in case anyone wants to come for me…lol

  4. Hi! I teach special education in the autism support program (K-8). As the years go by, I have gained more (much more) evidence that I do not have time management skills to match my workload YET. This is my first time challenge but I have been doing some time tracking on my own.
    Maria Reed commented on scrolling and finding a better use for her time. Bingo! I have found that strategy to be soooo helpful! Sometimes I just need a nap to be rested enough to perform tasks that improve my behavior-to-goal ratio.

  5. Congrats to your son on his license, and your daughter on her teeth, plus I hope your hip pain feels better so, so soon. I also read the WSJ article about man who lost 50 lbs on Ozempic and found it completely fascinating! I saved it for my parents to read and we had an interesting convo about how widespread usage could change so many things from body image to the pharma industry going forward. Interesting food 🙂 for thought!

    1. @Molly – thank you! Yep that was fascinating. That class of drugs just changes so much about the whole conversation about weight, health, diet, etc.

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