Time Tracking Thoughts

October 4, 2018
Yesterday was a day off from work and it was a really fantastic day!
Some various thoughts gleaned from time tracking:
1) UKT = “Unstructured Kid Time”, and it’s plentiful and sometimes difficult.  Those hours when I’m by myself with all 3 kids are sometimes sweet, sometimes special, but often trying.  They can feel long, too.  It gets wearying to break up the same fights over and over.  The kids get along so well . . . until they don’t!  I am thankful that the weather is getting better because honestly many times we are better off going outside (rather than letting A&C wreck the house).
Outings helps.  FaceTiming family helps, too.  
2) Interruptions suck the life out of me.  They are unavoidable to some extent.  But at work I can get so much more done when I can just protect a solid hour!  I have started to sometimes close my door as if I’m pumping even if I’m just catching up on GME work.  It feels odd because I’ve NEVER closed my door!  But things like planning lecture calendars, creating learning materials, doing organizational tasks for the residency — they are close to impossible with frequent interruptions and then the list jut gets longer and more overwhelming.  
I decided to condense my “GME day” into one day (instead of 2 half days) for next year to help with this.  We will see how it goes!  (It will also mean a day with a more flexible schedule – no one will care whether I do GME from 7:30 – 4 or 9 – 5:30, so I could leave technically leave a little earlier or later if I have no meetings).
3) Time gets lost in transition, and that needs to be planned for.  The school dropoff with A&C takes a solid hour, even though the school is just 5 minutes from our house!  (The details for anyone curious:  A starts 1st grade at 8:20, but I like to leave around 8:05 to get parking.  C starts pre-K at 8:45 at another school across the street, and it’s a special thing for him to be able to play in the playground with me until his class opens.  Then he often wants me to stay ‘5 minutes’ and I leave around 8:50, walk to my car, and get home at 9:00 and wonder how dropoff took so long.)

4) I am so much happier when I fully immerse myself into one activity at a time.  Even if it’s driving to work.  I can sit there fretting about traffic (which does sometimes happen) or just use google maps and resign myself to the fact that sometimes I might be a little early and other times a little late and just enjoy my peaceful commute with music and/or podcasts (note to podcast addicts: some talk-free drives can actually be pretty therapeutic.  Of course, if you’re listening to BoBW, don’t stop 🙂 ).

5) I do have time for a 30 minute workout most days.  6-6:30 am is almost always doable for me.  I feel 90,000 times better when I am consistent with doing SOMETHING most mornings.

6) G’s wakeups at 2 am and beyond don’t really bother me.  However, when it’s earlier than that it interrupts my super-deep sleep and I hate it!  Luckily, most nights she is only waking once, 2 or later. Last night she decided to throw me for a loop and cry around 10:45 AND 2:30 (I fed her both times). She has multiple teeth coming through and a mild runny nose so . . . hoping this is temporary.  Her overall progress has been good!!

7) I can get a TON of reading done while pumping.  This has been my only saving grace.  As I’ve discussed before, I can’t really work while pumping unless it’s a phone conference or watching a meeting online or something like that, because I need my hands.  Books are ok because I can use something to hold them open and then just turning the pages doesn’t take away too much.  I have paired these activities and realized that I was getting through 80 pages/day of Being Mortal just during these sessions.  I am about to dive into The Great Alone and I’m super excited.

That said, I will be THRILLED when I can get these blocks OFF of my time tracker entirely, especially the ~1pm and ~9pm pumps.  Less than 2 more months to go!  It’s starting to feel like the end is in sight.  I may keep the habit of reading for 30 minutes at lunchtime though (or turn it into a walk with an audiobook).  It’s a really lovely break from the day.

I am glad some of you are enjoying the more frequent posts!  I actually hadn’t even planned to post this morning, but was writing in my little time journal and was inspired.  I’ll be back tomorrow with the kickoff of Planner ReviewFest 2018 🙂


  • Reply Hilary March 10, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Random comment, but regarding your flossing goal as shared on your podcast, have you tried GLIDE floss by Crest? There are other brands with similar floss now I believe. It sounds silly, but this floss was life changing for me in terms of feel and ease of use. I am now a daily glosser, but the habit only began when I discovered this kind of floss. Also, totally hear you on the trouble doing it at night…I get lazy about skin care cause I would rather just get into bed.

  • Reply MC3 March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Yay! Love the more frequent posts.

    You said you’re happier when you fully immerse yourself in one activity at a time. I’ve noticed this about myself too, but (in spite of that) I often find myself easily distracted. When I’m at work, I click over to FB every few mins…when I’m reading a book, I check my email, etc. I know it lowers the overall quality of the experience, but I do it anyway. Do you have those temptations? If so, how do you deal with them?

  • Reply EYJ March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    As a soon to be FTM… are hands free pumping bras too good to be true?

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

      For many people – no!

      For me – YES. I have to manually express while pumping or I get about half the yield which is no where near close to enough.

      So just wait and see – you may be able to get lots of work done while pumping! Many people are. I remember a friend cooking dinner as her bottles practically overflowed. My breasts do not work that way. However, I am lucky enough to make enough to grow healthy chunky babies and I know not everyone is that lucky, so I’ll take what i can get!!

    • Reply Beth C March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

      EYJ, hands-free pumping bras worked ok for me! I would usually try to massage some toward the end of the pumping session but otherwise I could send emails during pump time. Sometimes I would get so distracted that I’d forget I was pumping (win)! I do have an office, so I would just close the door to pump. As with so many things about motherhood, you just have to wait and see how it works out for you!

  • Reply Laura Webb March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing the picture of your time tracking. I want to start time tracking but was itimidated by the level of detail. What you did looks manegable!

  • Reply Lily March 10, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Yes – would love to hear any tips on how to keep up with the time tracking – I never seem to be able to get a full week!

  • Reply Dawn March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Love the new posts and topics you will be covering, excited to read what you have to share!

  • Reply Liz March 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    I am looking forward to someday having an office, or at least a desk of my own to go to everyday rather than running around in residency life, I think it will make things like consistently using a planner and time tracking so much easier. Love hearing the planning and time tracking thoughts from you! Also, The Great Alone was SUCH a good book, hope you enjoy it!

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