I recently read 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam and was thinking about blogging about it. Then I saw that she’s running a challenge this week to actually do a time use diary for a week and to share the results. So I decided to bite the bullet and do it.
Vanderkam says that there’s no point in waiting for a “typical week” because there are no typical weeks. But here are some of the reasons that this week is not typical:
- Big event tomorrow night for work. I almost never have to attend evening events for work.
- No day this week when it makes sense to work from home, which I try to do once a week.
- I’m taking Friday off, and we’re heading up to NYC for Yom Kippur.
But, here goes anyway.
So, today’s report:
- 6:45 hours of sleep (since midnight)
- 15 minutes of yoga
- 1:30 hour of personal email and messages, online shopping, social games
- 1 hour shower/dress/breakfast/pack lunch/try to convince boys not to kill each other while I eat breakfast, or at least to go downstairs if they have to
- 2 hours of commuting (sigh; but that probably includes at least 30 minutes of walking on a nice day, and listening to a good chunk of NPR and some of this week’s This American Life Podcast)
- 1 hour of meetings
- 3:30 hours of responding to work emails and calls, reviewing documents, negotiating times for later meetings, etc.
- 2 hours of preparing for a couple of a webinars I’m doing — which I always underestimate how long it will take to prep
- 1 hour of working on a report that is hanging over my head — it really needs more focused attention, and I don’t know when I’m going to find it.
- 30 minutes of talking to coworkers
- 15 minutes of eating lunch
- 15 minutes of walking around the block for some fresh air
- 1 hour of setting up my new iPod and clearing my settings from my old one so D could buy it from me
- 20 minutes of walking/running after the boys while they rode their bikes
- 20 minutes of eating dinner (leftovers, so pretty much zero cook time)
- 20 minutes of reading to N (The Silver Chair; D is officially not listening, but somewhat managed to drift in while I was reading…)
- 15 minutes of blogging.
Note that I left work probably 30 minutes earlier than usual, trying to follow Vanderkam’s notion of preserving evening hours for family time even if you have to get back to work after the kids are in bed. And I did spend 15 minutes or so responding to messages tonight. But I’m too braindead at this point to work on the report, which is what I was hoping to do. That said, I was pretty fried at 5.15 too, so I wouldn’t have been terribly productive even if I had stayed in the office.
I have to confess that when I picked up 168 Hours, I thought it was by the same person who had written this Washington Post magazine article about time use and how working mothers have more leisure than they admit. A lot boils down to your definition of leisure — I think I officially had almost 4 hours of leisure today. But it’s broken down into tiny bits, and it doesn’t necessarily feel like leisure.