Kelsey Tracks Her Time...
…and no one is surprised. Literally no one. I know, I know. Huge shocker, I tracked my time for two weeks! Time management is one of my favorite subjects, but oddly enough, I’ve never actually tracked my time for more than a day.
I was inspired after reading this book, so I downloaded a time tracking sheet (yep, literally printed out a piece of paper…for some reason it felt more fun to do it that way rather than a time tracking app on on my phone and kept track of what I did for two weeks in a row.
For the first week, I tried to do 15 minute increments. This is because I rarely switch projects on the hour or half hour, so I figured it would be more accurate. But when the end of the week came and I was trying to tally up how/where I spent my time, it was too confusing.
So for the second week, I tracked in 30-minute blocks.
Here’s why I tracked my time: you ever have that feeling that you’re working so hard, but you’re not sure if you’re doing the right things?
I want to be a present mom with my two boys, and I want to invest in my relationship with Nate. And of course I looooove working and blogging and making money and growing my business.
And I want to put enough time into my triathlon training.
Plus there’s house stuff and cooking and phone calls with family and time with friends, and sometimes I want to actually just put my feet up and read a book!
So yeah…it’s no wonder that all of us can get to the end of the week and think, I wonder how much time I actually spent doing _____.”
Here’s why I tracked for two weeks in a row: the first week felt like a very abnormal week.
But then I tracked for a second week, and that felt like an abnormal week, but in a totally different way.
And then I looked at the results from both weeks, and they were nearly the exact same.
And then I just realized, at this point in my life with two young kids, a “normal week” doesn’t really exist. In fact, when I think of what a “normal week” should look like, I realize that a normal week would be veeeerryv abnormal around here. There’s always some sort of sickness, or the childcare schedule changes, or I go on a trip, or we host someone on the weekend, or…whatever.
Here's what shocked me about my time tracking results
(1) I SPEND A LOT OF TIME WITH MY BOYS. One of my fears, as a mom and an entrepreneur, is that I’ll miss these years with my littles because I’ll be so caught up in the joy of building my business.
I have the boys in childcare right now. It’s such a gift and I’m thankful for the time to hustle and build, but I’d be lying if I sometimes don’t stop and think, “maybe I should spend more time with them?”
I spent 50+ hours each week with the boys. At 168 hours in a week, close to 1/3 of my time is spent with those two precious boys. Of course, some days are more limited when I have a lot of work projects, and then there are weekend days or random holidays when I’ll spend a full day with them.
(2) I ONLY SPEND ABOUT 4-5 HOURS PER WEEK WORKING OUT. My brain tells me I’m working out soooo much right now while I’m starting to train for a triathlon, so I was kind of shocked when both weeks of time tracking revealed it was 5 hours or less!
I mean, it makes sense when I think about it. I do 3 rides and 2 runs each week right now, and each one is 30-60 minutes, plus a cool down and stretch. So, yeah, that’s about 5 hours.
With 168 hours in a week, 5 hours of working out is NOT that much…
Of course, you could totally argue that there’s a lot more time involved: waking up, changing into workout gear, caffeinating before a ride, all of the extra laundry involved with using tons of workout clothes each week, washing my hair multiple times per week after doing all the cardio (because I def do not wash my hair that much when I’m not doing cardio!).
It ends up being much more than just 5 hours. But yeah, as far as the actual working out portion of my week? 5 hours out of 168!
Seeing as there are 168 hours in a week, close to 1/3 of my total time (1/2 of my waking hours) is spent with those precious boys.
(3) I ACTUALLY HAVE A LOT OF TIME TO RELAX. I don’t feel particularly stressed at this stage in my life, but I was really surprised to see that I watch 7-10 hours of TV each week with Nate, and I read for about 4-5 hours.
That’s 12-15 hours of “chill” time. Yay! I felt really happy when I saw that. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and I didn’t realize I actually had that much free time to just recharge and relax.
I could make myself feel guilty about this, telling myself that I could work an extra 2 hours per day in the evening. But I don’t do that, because I really believe that the time spent recharging, sleeping, and working out makes my office/work hours 5 times more productive.
(4) I LITERALLY SLEEP EXACTLY AN AVERAGE OF 8 HOURS PER NIGHT. Soooo funny to me. I don’t ever “try” to get 8 hours, even though I always kind of assumed I was an 8-8.5 hrs/night type of girl.
I just go to sleep when I’m tired and wake up around 5:30/6 am to get a head start on my day before the boys get up.
But when I precisely calculated my hours of sleep every night, it was 56 hours for the week (week 1) and 57 hours for the week (week 2.)
My biggest takeaway from this little project was simply that I have control over how I choose to spend my time. One of my biggest mental shifts from reading this book was starting to view my hours as 168 hours in a week, rather than 24 hours in a day. It makes so much more sense, because there’s no was every single day will be able to give me an accurate glimpse at my life, but by looking at a week-to-week view, I can get a better glimpse at how I’m spending my days, thus how I’m spending my life.
So I’m taking what I learned from those two weeks of tracking, and I’m making a few adjustments. Not a lot! honestly, I’m really happy with how I’m spending my time. I want most of it to be spent with my family. Nate and the boys get a lot of my time, and that’s what I’m choosing for this phase of life. I don’t kill myself by working long hours, because I”m learning to work smarter instead of harder.
But I definitely do have some areas that could use improvement (some wasted time in areas where I could possibly outsource!), so I’m going to keep making adjustments.
If you made it through all of that, you must be a fellow time nerd like me. 🙂 Thanks for being here and reading through this!