How We Spent 168 Hours

In March of 2018 I tracked how I spent my time for a week.

My goal was to see how I was really using my time and how much time I actually spent on certain things vs. what I thought I did. My plan was to add up the hours and see where I could edit my life to squeeze a little more productivity out of it.

That week was (not surprisingly) one of the most productive weeks of… maybe the year. A spreadsheet is a good accountability buddy. I woke up early, worked out, knocked out chores and snuck in extra work hours. I networked and hung out with friends.

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I felt awesome; I felt tired; I felt worthy; I felt drained; I felt productive; I felt like I should do more.

We were just a few months into living in San Francisco - far away from our family, friends, and free child-care - and even though I felt settled and comfortable, I still very much felt like I hadn’t found a “balance” in my jobs – being a mom, keeping our home, and running a business. I always wanted more time with June and more time to work; always felt a little guilty that I wasn’t doing more ___; rarely fully enjoyed the moment I was in because I was thinking about the other 864 things I needed to be doing.

Okay, I’m sounding really down on this and it wasn’t all bad. We squeezed in a lot of fun, I got a ton done, I made time for healthy habits, I grew new friendships and still spent a lot of quality time with my people.

 

This time-tracking project came from a book I was reading at the time – 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. I was soaking up productivity books, articles and podcasts at the time and this was a good one. The main message that stuck out to me was that there are enough hours in a week to do good work and a “big job” and still spend a lot of wonderful quality time with your people – you’re probably spending more time with them that you think, and less time working than you think. Hence, the time tracking to learn the truth.

If you’re curious, my log is below!

If you’d like to do it too – here’s my Google Sheet you can steal. Just make a copy and start trackin’!

 
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Look at our schedule now and it will look almost the same.

  • We still try to knock out chores at the beginning of the week – and still try to plan our week/meals on Sunday so we’re set!

  • We still switch off doing play dates with a friend so each of us gets a couple extra work hours and the girls get time together (and time to practice sharing.. ha!).

  • I still try to wake up before June to get a few minutes alone, but I prioritize getting more sleep and work out at home with June, go for a walk, or work out after Chris is home. This has given me back my Sunday afternoon alone time since I no longer need to nap to catch up from the sleep I really needed.

If you do this practice– let me know how it goes and what you learn!
I’m already ready to do it again. I expect I’ll always find new ways to get more out of my time, and at the same time become aware of how I’m incorrectly measuring my worth based on my productivity.