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Scheduling My Minutes.

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Many of you insisted that keeping the kids on some sort of schedule this summer would really be what helped to allow me to get some work done without just planting them in front of the TV. (Sidenote: I almost typed “telly” just there. I’ve been watching too much BBC America.) And I think that – on paper – that is 100% true. But in my life? It just wasn’t working. For the kids, I’ve decided it works must better to just go with the flow. Sometimes they’re in the mood to play together, sometimes they’re not so they should probably just sit and watch some TV. Sometimes it’s raining and sometimes it’s not, so I send them outside when the weather is cooperating. Sometimes I have urgent work needs that require bribery for silence, and I’m proud to say I do that with absolutely no guilt. Sometimes I have free time in the middle of the day so we go to the playground. And then some weeks, like this one, one kid has swim lessons while another goes to a brain camp session that Donnie won.

So…for them? It’s all Go With The Flow!

But I’ve decided that for me? I need a schedule. Not necessarily a set-in-stone schedule, but a list of tasks and a way to spread them out in my day so I don’t find myself working at 10pm or eating breakfast at 9am. (I get up at 4 or 5, breakfast at 9am is not really a good plan.) My days are all mumble jumbled and I sometimes get everything done and I sometimes get nothing done because I have yet to figure out how to schedule my life as I work from home. It’s especially weird because I do a lot of personal stuff on my computer, which is now also where I do professional stuff. So, for a few weeks, I didn’t blog every day because I felt like when I was at the computer I should be doing WORK! WORK! WORK!

It’s just a weird situation. I love it. I really do. I feel like if I could just some day turn this into a full-time job, it would be my dream come true. It’s flexible so I can take Wes to his 9am swim lessons and make up the hours later in the day. It keeps me at home so I can keep an eye on my animals. (My poor dog does not like being home alone this close to an Arsenal.) I can wear my workout clothes all day. I can eat my own food. There’s so many wonderful things about working from home, I just haven’t quite figured out how to maximize it yet.

I’ve decided to keep track of my actual minutes this week. Not necessarily one at a time, but maybe in 10-20 minute increments. I need to see how much time I spend doing what throughout my day. And everything, not just work. I keep track of work time to make sure I’m getting my hours in every week, but beyond that? I have dozens of more hours in the day I’m not paying any attention to. How much time do I spend washing dishes? Folding clothes? Cleaning up cat vomit? How much time do I spend surfing Facebook? It’s funny because I spend way less more time on Facebook now that I’m not working in an office. I’m not sure how that happened. I also spend WAY less time watching TV now. And I’m not sure what happened to those hours every day. I used to watch GOBS of television. I think it’s partly because I’m sans laptop (I used to work and watch TV simultaneously) and partly because it’s summer and I just don’t watch as much during the summer.

Either way – I feel like I need a better understanding of what I do every day so I can better organize my life. It’s like when they tell you to keep a food journal so you can see exactly how much you eat. How much time do I spend in the car running errands? Am I wasting that? Should I try better to combine outings? Things like that. I feel like that I need a better handle of the minutes in my day so I can figure out the best way to maximize those minutes.

Have you ever done that? Have you ever analyzed the time you spend doing work/domestic/errands/exercise/TV/internet throughout your day? I’m guessing I’m going to be surprised by several things.

3 thoughts on “Scheduling My Minutes.”

  1. Kim – I totally suggest download the free program Rescue Time. I used it when I was pondering the same questions about my work-at-home habits. It certainly won’t answer the questions about how much time you spend folding laundry, but it does separate out the time you’re on your computer into categories. Very, very helpful as a check-in at the end of the week.

  2. I think I would be a little nervous to see how much time I waste during the day on pinterest, facebook, etc etc. For now I will be blindly oblivious but I am sure in the fall when I have my baby I will realize just how much time I spent doing nothing!

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