Week-in-the-Life #2/7

April 10, 2019

TUESDAY // 4.9.19. Half of a work day — our local elementary school does this really cute and adorably named “Hatchlings Program” for incoming kindergarteners with siblings at the school, and today was session 3 (the last one). Several months ago when the dates were announced, I rearranged my work schedule to turn my typical day off into 2 half-days for this week.

This kind of flexibility is why a slightly part-time schedule has been so helpful for me. I think I’ll still retain enough of that at 90%, but we will see!

5:30 Up! Since I went to bed at 10 the night before, a super-early wakeup wasn’t in the cards (nor was it necessary), so I set my alarm for 5:30. Coffee / quick email check / change clothes / little else.

6:00 run and bemoan the return of summer heat and humidity. It was 74F and 83% which isn’t terrible but it just feels so much nicer to run when temps are in the 60s! Ahh well. I ran one mile to warm up (10:03/mi), then 2 at tempo (8:48/mi for mile 1, 8:28/mi for mile 2), and a 0.3 cool down. Total 3.3 mi in 31:23. There were times in my life that a 3-4 mile run didn’t ‘count’ and now it’s my go-to distance. Times have changed. I would still like to do more dedicated training/racing again someday though!

6:40 shower

6:50 hear G quietly rolling around; go in to feed her. Breakfast with A & G.

7:15 Our nanny arrives at 7:15 and helps A finish getting ready while I get dressed.

7:30 Take A to school (I drive to a nearby playground within our complex and then walk in with her – the process takes about 30 min but includes about ~20 min of walking, half with her, which is nice).

8:05 Arrive back home and pick up C who woke up while I was taking A. Play with G for a few minutes and then leave with C to go to his Hatchlings program.

8:30 Hatchlings! C gets to open a letter from A, attend a (really well-done!) music class, and then eat a snack in the cafeteria (chicken fingers and chocolate milk at 9:40 AM, ahh well he is happy).

my Hatchling holding his letter from A

10:00 Hatchlings is over – drive C to his school and drop off. I get to chat with his teacher for a few minutes which is nice.

10:15 Home; play with G.

11:00 Drive to work, checking out a new podcast. Somewhat impressed with this episode probably because my style of organizing/productivity has a lot of parallels to hers (which, incidentally, has a lot in common with GTD):

PS she is instructing you to throw away your list, but this is because she wants you to put it ALL in your planner, digital or physical. For the most part, I agree.

(Also, again think about how I really really need to put my system and thoughts on this subject into a cohesive book project!). I was going to work in a coffee shop until my patients were slated to arrive, but weather looked quite iffy so I picked up lunch to go (cappuccino + spinach salad with bleu cheese / bacon / egg / cranberries / pecans) and brought it to my office.

11:30 work on non-work things in my office, informing one of my nurses that “I am invisible until 1 pm!”. Notably I am still technically ‘off’ so I feel comfortable doing this! I write a blog post, finish podcast notes for later in the week, and write a couple of related emails.

I jumped on our BoBW Instagram (planned departure from month-long hiatus) to post this but dutifully avoided my regular account. I did a cursory check in of responses but will not check again until next Tuesday when I will do the next BoBW post

1:00 finish eating lunch at my desk while transitioning to clinical work – calls, notes, etc. Patients start arriving at 1:30.

5:15 done with patients / notes / calls! Drive home.

5:45 home! I create a long overdue behavior chart for A&C (for this week: each night they can earn 4 points: one for practicing piano, one for homework, one for general behavior, one for going to bed nicely. # points translates into minutes of iPad time on Saturday. Max is 40 minutes for all 16 points earned. Sliding scale rapidly goes down to 0 minutes). Thankfully they seem to respond to it. They practice piano, play with G, etc.

6:15 FaceTime MIL – it is her birthday!!! Josh had ordered flowers. Kids sing & she is happy. I definitely had this important item noted in my planner with a checkbox as I did NOT want to forget!

7:00 G’s bedtime – I bring her up to nurse and allow A&C to watch a show.

7:15 dinner (for me) while they finish their show (curry chicken / rice / broccoli – our nanny G made it and it is amazing). While eating I file quarterly state re-employment taxes (nanny) and shop for a new phone –we switched carriers and my iPhone 7 no longer functions. I’ve been carrying around a 6 Plus that Josh had lying around but it is incredibly clunky and feels like a downgrade so I am moving on. Upon a significant amount of deliberation (and consult of Consumer Reports & wirecutter) I order an iPhone 8. I considered the XR but really prefer a smaller device, and the XS struck me as way too expensive and fragile.

7:30 As I am phone researching, Josh arrives home! Notably he has not been staying as late in recent nights and it has been lovely (as it gets warmer and ‘snowbirds’ leave I think he gets slightly less busy).

8:00 extract kids from TV (they were re-watching Dolphin Tale 2 for the billionth time) and start bedtime process. I remind them about the chart. It works well especially for A.

around 9 (not exactly sure): kids asleep. Josh demonstrates his new guitar song and I sing along to the Bangles’ “Eternal Flame.” Might become my new karaoke go-to . . .

9:15 upstairs, change, read Commonwealth in bed

9:40 turn light off & set alarm for 5:15 (aiming for 7.5 hrs)


~7 hrs sleep (because I woke up this morning somewhat anxious at 4:45 – more on that tomorrow)

4 hrs of work (half a day)

33 min of exercise

1.5 hrs of blog / pod related stuff

6.5 hrs of fairly focused kid time

about 1 hr of random free time (a few minutes of this spent filing taxes but mostly iPhone shopping / eating dinner)

~30 min with Josh

~75 min driving (listened to podcasts)


  • Reply Laura Vanderkam April 10, 2019 at 8:55 am

    Just a note to say I am really loving the time-log day-in-the-life posts! Maybe I need to do another one of these one of these days 🙂

  • Reply Sydney April 10, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Party fiasco sounds SO STRESSFUL! OMG. Has happened to us twice now. I’m a bit jealous of your 1/2 day. My day yesterday was 5:30 wake up, 6:20 – 8:15 set up for OR cases (yes, it does sometimes take that long), 8:15am – 8pm do OR cases with intermittent breaks to do preops for the next day’s cases and see inpatients. 8:30pm home, 8:30-9:30pm work on scheduling nightmare with AP vacation and hang out with Dyl. 9:30 bed. Was pretty typical of my schedule of late except I was able to get up 50 min later than usual, and went to bed about an hour later than usual. Will be so happy when fellowship is over!

  • Reply Katie April 10, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Hi Sarah,

    I’m a 26-year-old grad student and have been getting so into you & Laura’s podcast lately – and I *love* reading these day-in-the-lifes!! I’m also obsessed with seeing what other people’s days look like. Really liking your blog as I’m a fellow planner/organization nerd (I use a bullet journal for now, but you are seriously tempting me to try out a Hobonichi…). I also love seeing what your life looks like with kids, as I see that in my future and love getting a glimpse of what everyday life is like for a working mom.

    Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for this great series and that I’m really enjoying all of your content in general! Keep it up – and keep the planner pics coming; I love those too! 🙂

  • Reply Kristy April 10, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    I think Brooke Castillo’s work will change your life!
    Keep listening she is amazing!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 11, 2019 at 6:46 am

      Any recommendations for specific episodes?

  • Reply Callie April 10, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    I love these day in the life posts so much! Keep ‘me coming!!

  • Reply Callie April 10, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Oops that was an awkward typo…I meant to write “keep ‘EM coming!” Lol

  • Reply arden April 10, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    The day in the life week has made my week! Is that creepy? I don’t mean it to be creepy.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 11, 2019 at 6:46 am

      Not creepy – it’s much more motivating to post if I know people are enjoying the content or getting something out of it!

  • Reply Megan April 10, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    hi Sarah 🙂

    Podcast listener- first time commenting on your blog. Loving the day in the life series too!

    Thought you might find this interesting to read about reward charts-

    I like your categories, but would maybe be a bit wary of how the ‘general behavior’ one is rewarded since it’s economizing socially appropriate behaviors. Just something to think about! I’m a developmental psychologist so this is the nerdy type stuff I like to read and think about 🙂

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 11, 2019 at 6:45 am

      Very interesting! Food for thought. I am still pro sticker chart (uh, my planner is perhaps the adult equivalent, which I recognize doesn’t work for every personality type or tendency), but the article raises some good points. Important not to make it seem too transactional or the only reason for behaving. Perhaps just an extra incentive. It’s also a good reminder not to make the rewards too big- I think that’s probably counterproductive and would only reinforce a sense of entitlement.

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