Library of Progress

Time Tracking: What I Learned | January 21, 2016

As I mentioned in my last post, I ended up not tracking every second of my week, but I think I got enough to draw some conclusions.

I worked 40 hours on the nose. I spent 4.5 hours in the car between commuting and daycare drop-off and pickup, which seemed like a lot given that daycare is ~5 minutes from our house and my office is ~15, but I guess it all adds up. I try to mitigate the time in the car with audiobooks.

If I average out all my nights, my data says I slept ~7.5 hours a night. I…tend not to believe this. I know LV has reported that people consistently underestimate how much sleep they get, but I believe this figure is a better representation of hours spent in bed, not necessarily hours sleeping. I felt extremely under-rested all week long as a result of staying up until 11 pm or later and had insomnia on at least one night. That it took me 30-45 minutes every single day to drag myself out of bed all week reflects this also. Not good. That chunk of time would have been much better spent on the front end of the night.

I exercised twice, once on a weeknight and once on the weekend. I’d like to get this up to at least 3 or 4 in total.

I spent time with my husband and daughter every weeknight, and all weekend together. We did a family outing on Saturday and just hung out at home on Sunday. I didn’t spend much alone time with David doing anything particularly special or date-like (aside of chatting over dinner and before lights-out), and the reason for that is largely that it’s winter — I beelined it straight to the warmth and comfort of my electric mattress pad most evenings after C was in bed. But in nicer weather, we typically spend large parts of every evening sitting together and talking, either out in our yard or on the three-season porch.

I can also see some lifestyle changes reflected in my data since the last time I tracked time. We no longer live in a major commercial area, so we run fewer errands and do a lot less shopping since it’s not as convenient to just run out on a whim. I’ve also dialed back the amount of time spent on housework compared to what I used to do — it’s true that our stuff fits more comfortably in our new house, and it’s easier to keep things tidy, but this is also a conscious decision on my part to try to relax my standards. I still did general pickup, kitchen cleanup, and laundry, but generally no more than 15-30 minutes each weekday. Weekend days involved more kitchen cleanup due to cooking all three meals a day at home.

Finally, I seem to have quite a bit of leisure time — essentially the rough equivalent of a part-time job. The vast majority was spent reading, but I also took in plenty of internet and social media, did an e-course, went out for dinner with my family, spent an evening at a friend’s house, and sat in the hot tub at the gym. Of course, keeping one eye on the clock all week meant that I was more purposeful about leisure than I might have otherwise been (no puttering, for example), but that’s never a bad thing. Seeing the exact number of hours spent on leisure was fairly eye-opening and makes me feel like I can safely allocate more of that time to exercise and sleep without feeling like I’m missing out too much on other things I want to do.

And of course now that I feel like I’ve got a handle on where my routine could be refined a bit, we’ve just switched things up again — David is doing drop-offs so he can exercise right after work instead of in the mornings, and I’m now doing pickups, so I’ll only be getting myself out the door in the morning. I’d like to say that would make it faster, but I know myself. So perhaps one more week of tracking is in order for some new insights. Not this week, though. I need a break. 🙂

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