I’ve been working hard to get myself on a good schedule so I can get all of my daily/weekly/monthly responsibilities done. I decided the best way to figure out a schedule was to write down everything I did for a week or two, kind of like how I keep a food journal whenever I’m about to start changing my eating habits. That helps me identify when I get work done, when my kids need me the most, when I need to let my mind wander, etc. This has been extremely useful, if not frighteningly detailed. One day last week, Mike said, “How was your day?” and I said, “Want to see what I did?” and showed him my log. He was a little scared of me.
A typical Tuesday:
4:00 am: James wakes up and wants to play. Get him back to sleep.
6:20 am: Mike’s alarm goes off.
7:15 am: James wakes up.
7:30 am: Mike leaves for work, I feed James, then pack Annie’s lunch and make her breakfast.
8:00 am: Grumble that Annie never sleeps this late on non-school days.
8:01 am – 8:55 am: Get Annie ready for school.
8:56 am: My mom comes over (yay!) to take care of James, I screech at Annie to get in the car, we rush to school.
9:00 am: Leave Annie at school, go to the grocery store, stare wistfully at the Joann Fabric next door.
10:00 am: Take a picture of what James did while Annie was at preschool.
10:25 am: Finish Wednesday tutorial….or start it, depending on how the previous day went. Work on next freelance deadline.
12:05 pm: Watch the last ten minutes of Annie’s soccer class. Hope she didn’t spend the whole class picking flowers, realize she did when she brings me two dozen dandelions.
12:15 pm: Show Annie what James did while she was at preschool, take her home, fix her a snack.
12:30 pm: Leave Annie to play with my mom and James, go back to work on freelance assignments.
1:30 pm: Send pitches, answer emails, make phone calls.
3:00 pm: Start some laundry, think about picking up around the house.
4:00 pm: Say goodbye to my mom, feed James and get him down for a nap, play with Annie.
5:00 pm: Make Annie a snack.
6:00 – 7:00 pm: Start dinner. Try to convince Annie to take cooking lessons so I don’t have to cook anymore.
7:10 pm: Mike gets home, I become chopped liver.
7:15 pm: Eat dinner, feed James, then retreat to the office to do more work.
8:00 pm: Give Annie bedtime kisses, then get James to sleep.
9:00 pm: Work on next freelance deadline.
10:00 pm: Sit with Mike for a little while, then kiss him goodnight.
10:45 pm: Remember to change the laundry I started eight hours ago.
11:00 pm: Write. I’m usually finishing up a blog post, and then when that’s done I’m working on my next freelance deadline. I write until I literally fall asleep on my keyboard around 2:30 am. It’s not the best decision for my back/shoulders/neck.
The first thing I see is that I really need to plan a nap for myself into this schedule. That’s just madness. All joking aside, I really need to get myself on a regular sleep schedule. 2:30 am is a very painful hour. As for the rest of the time management, it’s a challenge. Working from home has gotten harder for me since Mike started his new job, and I feel pulled in a million different directions. I’m very lucky that my parents can help me out, but they can’t be at my house all day, every day. I’m about at the point where I have to start saying no to things (a scary idea in the feast-or-famine freelance world) because I just do not have time.
The good news about writing down everything you do for a week? You’ll actually know what became of your day. The bad news? You’ll actually know what became of your day.