Archive for January 14th, 2018

Time Log ExampleExcept for today, which is not over yet, I tracked my time all week. As I mentioned in my last post, this week was an unusual week at work because the majority of my 8th graders were visiting Washington, D.C. Although my work schedule was very different, my morning routine was pretty consistent Monday through Friday. Weekend mornings are very different. My evening routine this week was consistent with how I spent my evenings; however, they were unusual in a sense because of my work schedule.  So, what did I learn about how I spent my time this week? I made three observations from my time log which I am keeping in a small notebook.

Observation #1: I spent an average of two hours each evening watching television/playing games with the exception of Friday evening (attended a wedding in New Orleans). The majority of that time was watching television. I admit that I love watching television and movies. I watched two movies (A Monster Calls and It Comes at Night), a new episode of the X-Files, and several episodes of Parks and Recreation on Netflix. The games that I play are Trivia Crack and Words with Friends. Generally, I play these games while waiting somewhere, eating, during commercials, or riding in the car. I spent 1 hour and 5 minutes this week playing these games when I could have been using that time doing something more productive: reading, exercising, organizing my master closet, reconciling my checkbook, downloading pictures, etc. Lesson #1: I have control over the choices that I make about how I spend my time. I need to prioritize my time better this year in order to achieve my goals and pursue my interests.

Observation #2: During the work week, I get up anywhere between 4:00 and 4:30 in the morning. It depends on my day and if I need to leave home earlier or complete an additional task before leaving the house. I wake up later on the weekends or during the holidays when I am off of work. Generally, I get up anywhere between 6:30 to 8:00 on weekend mornings or when I am off of work. I admit that I am not a lark and despise getting up early. I would much prefer going to bed later and getting up when the sun is coming up. Unfortunately, my work day begins between 7:00 and 7:20. It depends on if I have morning duty or a meeting prior to morning assembly at 7:35. Sleep experts will tell you to wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. If for some reason you stay up later than your normal bedtime, you still set the alarm to get up when you normally get up; however, you go to bed earlier the following evening. Lesson #2: As long as I am teaching, I have to choose one time to get up in the morning and stick to it, even on the weekends. Although this will be hard for me initially, especially on the weekends, I definitely need to make this adjustment in order to feel better mentally and physically, and  it will create more time to accomplish my goals and pursue my interests.

Observation #3: I tend to multi-task by using the Strategy of Pairing. This strategy written about by Gretchen Rubin in her book Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, pairs an activity that you need or want to complete with one that you may not really want to complete. Looking through my time log, I realize that I do it quite often. For example, while I am cooking breakfast or dinner, I will also unload the dishwasher. While I am eating breakfast, I am checking my email or creating a to-do list. I also listen to podcasts while exercising or completing household chores. Lesson #3: Pairing can be effective, but only if it does not contain bad habit formation or distracts you in any way that could be dangerous to you or someone else. Pairing allows me to get many tasks completed more efficiently which will free up more time for me to accomplish my goals and pursue my interests.

TeamIn other news this week…I had a birthday on Thursday. I am officially 49 years old which means this year is my last year in my 40s. Despite having to work on my birthday, it was still wonderful. I received cards, texts, phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages from friends and family. My awesome team at school surprised me with sweet treats and a birthday card. My friend Terri who was chaperoning my students in Washington, D. C. face timed me, so they could sing me happy birthday. And, my hubby unexpectedly made it home that evening with take-out and a slice of birthday cheesecake. It was a simple yet satisfying day.

I will continue tracking my time this week. As you can see from my observations and lessons learned from this week,  managing my time more effectively will open up the time I need to be successful this year in all areas of my life. I hope, dear reader, that you are accomplishing your goals or pursuing your interests. If you are tracking your time, please let me know. I would love to know what you discover about yourself and how you spend your time. Happiness!

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” ~ Michael Altshuler




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