Making Sense of Random Chunks of Time + Weekly Rhythms

May 11, 2023

Yesterday I resumed my regular Eastern Time schedule (up @ 4:30 etc) and felt shockingly okay, but this morning I could NOT get up. Thankfully Thursday is a ‘work for myself’ day, and so once I was able to stagger out of bed and drink coffee, I went to my planner to figure out when I could fit in the run that I did not do at my usual time.

My hard landscape commitments:

  • Help kids get ready + drive kids to school (leave 7:35, done by 8:10ish)
  • 9:30 – 11:00 (including driving) dentist appt (in same direction as school)
  • 1:00 – 2:00 BLPA specialty session
  • 3:00 – 4:15 podcast interview
  • 5:00 – 5:30 BLPA 1:1 sessions
  • 6:00 – 7:00 camp webinar for the M-F sleepaway camp A&C are going to
(Interview + camp specifics digitally whited out!)

I really had to write that out on a timeline to ‘see’ where I have flexibility today + plan accordingly!

The good news: a run should fit fairly easily between dentist + BLPA, and I am sitting in my parked car doing email catchup + writing this post (Xfinity wifi in the area is actually pretty good and I didn’t realize until recently that these hotspots came with our monthly internet plan!).

The bad news: it will be hot (probably mid-80s) — but oh well.

I do really want to start protecting Thursday mornings going forward as creative production time. That said, I also scheduled Mommy days for 3 Thursdays in late June/early July!

Weekly rhythm, in an ideal world:

M: clinic day

T: AM podcast recording / PM BLPA (or related) + business upkeep stuff or interviews; have all podcasts for the next week submitted for audio editing/processing

W: clinic day

R: AM creative production time (try to protect!) / PM continuation or dealing with loose ends/business stuff

F: clinic day until 1-2p, then intermittent clinical inbox maintenance / plan the next week (in all realms, home / family clinical / pod work)

S: kids with activities / something social or date night in evening (and some chill nights at home with takeout, too!)

S: more family or relaxed stuff / family dinner @ home

I do think these rhythms need to be looked at seasonally! Nothing stays constant except change . . .


  • Reply Gillian May 11, 2023 at 9:09 am

    I reassess my ideal week about 3 times per year. January, Early April and September. I feel like summer is not worth bothering because with different camp schedules every week needs to be its own ideal week…

    • Reply Daria May 11, 2023 at 11:05 am

      That’s a great idea! Would like to see how those January, early April and September weeks look like… January: dark in the morning, dark when I get to work, sun is setting when I leave work. Early April: dealing with time change, September probably has a jolt of energy..

  • Reply Grateful Kae May 11, 2023 at 11:52 am

    I actually tried to draft an “ideal week” last week using some template I saw on Nir Eyal’s website, and it felt like an exercise in futility for me!! Left me frustrated. Basically it made me realize that I have WAY too much stuff that I either want/need to fit into my days…. and also, a great deal of complicated inconsistencies schedule-wise (related to the kids, mostly, but it affects my afternoons, driving, dinners, workouts, etc…. like, everyday.) I had thought that by sitting down to sketch out this ideal week I would see how I wasn’t using time well or something and could rearrange things to make it all magically work. But I think I ultimately saw that I am being unrealistic with how much can actually fit into my days/evenings with a husband who gets home after 6, lots of kid stuff, a full-time job and no childcare/ driver assistance or any other household help of any kind. Ha.

    • Reply Daria May 11, 2023 at 12:25 pm

      Kae, I’m in a similar boat. I probably should and can sketch out my ideal week, with buffers/white space for unexpected things… My weekdays will probably look like this (if partner is traveling)
      Me up + get ready + golden hour 4:30-5:45
      Kids up/get ready/breakfast/get into the car 5:45 – 6:30
      6:30-7:15 two drop offs, get to work
      7:15-3PM- work
      3:30-4:30 get both kids from two different schools
      4:30 get home and unload the car
      4:30-5:30 I don’t know, they play, outside, I heat/make dinner
      5:30- 6:30 dinner and clean up, upstairs, baths, more play (me -read my book)
      6:30-7:00 books and songs and (finally) sleep
      7:00-8:00 maybe I have an hour in me to read.

      Next day: rinse and repeat. Welcome to my hamster wheel. lol

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 11, 2023 at 12:36 pm

      That actually sounds like valid knowledge from the exercise even if it wasn’t what you were aiming for!

      Will having a teen driver soon potentially help?

      • Reply Grateful Kae May 11, 2023 at 1:54 pm

        I suppose eventually! But we’re still well over a year away from that. And then I will probably replace any saved time from him driving himself with me sitting and biting my nails and worrying about him. HAHA.

  • Reply Kristie May 11, 2023 at 2:44 pm

    I loved your podcast with Cal Newport—so good! You’re presented the way you organize your time and life in such a clear way that I think is inspiring to others but also feels attainable. You were the best guest he’s had, IMO.

    Have you done an Organize 365 planning day? I know you follow Lisa’s work as well but couldn’t remember. I’ve done several of them and like the way she structures looking at the upcoming months and designing ideal weeks, even if it’s just a basic framework.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 11, 2023 at 2:53 pm

      Yes!!! I have gone to a couple and I actually have the latest one to watch (couldn’t go live, I was at my conf). I love that she provides that protected time for people. That is somewhat what I aim to do in BLP Live but for the year and not specific to just home realm.

      • Reply Kristie May 11, 2023 at 5:28 pm

        I also have the replay to watch. We were moving on Saturday so wasn’t able to the live option either. So wish I could come to the live conference. It won’t work in the schedule this year, but hopefully you will have more in the future!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 11, 2023 at 2:57 pm

      And, thank you for the kind words about the interview!!!

  • Reply Sophie May 11, 2023 at 3:02 pm

    I also absolutely loved your Cal Newport interview by the way! Well done!

    I hear you on needing to protect a slot in your week for creative work. I work in research and I saw a career coach last week, and her number one suggestion was to be much more ruthless in protecting my creative and deep work time. So hard when those slots often feel like they are the only ones available when I need to find time for something – but I guess it’s changing that mindset.

  • Reply Coree May 12, 2023 at 5:05 am

    I feel like I need to go through this process now that I’m home for a chunk of time. We need to redistribute household tasks slightly as I do bedtime every night I’m home when I’m travelling loads but it makes sense to alternate now that I’m home for awhile. T has proposed 2 nights with me, 1 night with daddy.

    We have 6 more weeks of school so enough time to settle into a bit of routine. My plan is to spend next week clearing the decks, and then being less available than usual so I can focus on writing.

  • Reply Jennie May 12, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    How did you get your kids to agree to sleep away camp?! I thought you’d mentioned they said it was a hard no after last year?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 12, 2023 at 3:01 pm

      It’s a local Monday to Friday overnight camp – home on weekends. A neighbor friend suggested it and is going, and they they liked that option!

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