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.

thrilled by soccer

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.