The whole purpose of a 196 hour (week) of time tracking is to get a more accurate idea of how much time you spend “a day” doing something. So you add up all the hours you spent at work and then divide it by seven, and I guess it’s supposed to make you feel better about how much you work, because the lower (or lack of) hours on the weekend brings your daily average down. While I recognize the value in that, I’m not sure if I really think it’s okay to work 10 hours one day if you don’t work any hours on the weekend (or get an average of 8 hours of sleep, if on some days you’re only getting four).
I understand the point is not to think of your life in 24 hours chunks, because then it seems impossible to do all you want to do, and a 196 hour period can provide more flexibility. I do see the value in that shift in mindset, but I’d still like to work on making my week days feel more manageable, because by the end of the those five days, I’m usually totally and completely done.
So, what did I find from my crude combining of 15 minutes chunks of time? If my math wasn’t too far off, these were my weekly totals and daily averages:
I slept almost 43 hours during the week, for a daily average of 6 hrs/night. (I was also woken up 7 times– a total of 4 hours “night parenting”–which comes out to about 35 minutes of “night parenting” a night. (I’d love to bring my average sleep number up to 7 hrs/night (with WAY fewer wake-ups), but I manage pretty well on only 6 hours of sleep.)
I was at work for 33 hours and worked from home (or at work on the weekend) 9.5 hours to bring my total work hours to 42.5 and my daily average (this counts the weekend) to 6 hours a day. I’m happy with that.
I enjoyed 10 hours of “me time,” so almost 1.5 hours a day. Not bad when I see it written in black and white, although it feels less substantial when it’s broken into 15 and 30 minute increments.
I spent 33 hours with my kids, which comes out to 4.75 hrs/day over the entire week. 10.5 of those hours revolved around bedtime, which consumes about 1.5 hrs/day of my life. This is the one area I wish I could improve upon; bedtime crushes my soul and I wish I could be spending those hours doing something more fun with my kids.
I spent 8.75 hours commuting to work, so about 1.25 hours a day (over 7 days). Traffic has gotten so bad in the past two years. Ugh.
I only spent 5 hours on chores, and this was mostly prepping meals and folding laundry. I’m sure I missed some of this work, because it happened in short bursts or when I was also with the kids, but it’s not at all surprising to me that I spend less than an hour a day on chores. No wonder my house is a shit show.
There were chunks of time I wasn’t quite sure how to “code,” like the PTA (not represented here at all) and traveling for kid pick up (which I included in “kid time”). There were other little 15 minutes spots I wasn’t sure how to categorize, so I just didn’t include them in this review.
So that is how I spent my time last week. The good news is that some weeks I get even more “me time,” and spend even less time working. Sadly, the nightly wake-ups are not uncommon and I doubt they’ll stop anytime soon. If I had that time to sleep I’d be at 6.5 hours a night, which would be amazing. I’ll just have to try harder to get to bed early, so that time spent “night parenting” doesn’t hurt my overall shut eye so much.
Have you ever tracked your time? What do you think you’d find if you did?