During one of my first sessions with my business mentor, I lamented my lack of time to do all the things my businesses required, while remaining sane. She suggested I record my hours for a week, so I could see where it was going. Well, I finally completed my assignment during a four-week beach vacation and was astounded by the results.
I am an expert at using my electronic Calendar to record how I spend my time. It's a practice I cultivated during the four years I worked as a consultant for an education technology company. Back then, I was required to log my time by client and project into our project management / time tracking system. I quickly learned that an accurate calendar made quick work of this tedious task.
Inspired by my beach reading of I Know How She Does It, I decided to analyze my Calendar for July. I chose the five-week period beginning Monday, June 29 and ending on Sunday, August 2. July was pretty representative of what has become a regular schedule for me:
I decided I would classify every activity into one of six categories:
Note: I had to pick up and deliver some brochures to an education consulting client. I included this in my Work total, since driving them back and forth was a business activity.
I consulted my FitBit app to figure out how many hours of sleep I recorded during this time. FitBit deducts when I wake up to pee each night, so the hours of sleep is actual sleep time.
My averages over the five-week period were:
I was a bit shocked to see my COMBINED hours of work -- both consulting and entrepreneurship -- total less than 40 hours a week. As a result, I get to play more hours in a week (28) than I work at either job (entrepreneurship - 27 or consulting - 9). Now this occurred during the summer, when I had minimal client time. The number will be closer to 30 hours of consulting each week starting in October. If I am going to keep my total work hours to a reasonable 40-45 a week, I will need to cut down the entrepreneurial work to 10-15 hours a week. I'm hiring folks to work at the studio, so that will be possible.
I like the amount of time I devote to self care, and will keep that up this fall. I also will continue to purchase as much as I can online, so that I don't have to waste time doing errands.
That travel time number--14 hours a week, or 2 hours a day--has got to go though! I noticed that I do several activities in a typical day that require me to move locations three or four or even six times in a day. In a city like DC, that's asking to sit in traffic--the biggest time waste I know. One thing I try to do, but not always well, is keep one day at home--with no travel time at all. Looking at all my wasted trips encourages me to persevere to maintain this habit.
Thanks Laura Vanderkam for helping me to see that I have PLENTY of time at my disposal--168 hours each week, to be exact. Creating my unique time and life mosaic values self care and sleep above everything else. It's the only way to ensure I continue to live well with lupus. Leisure time matters a ton, too! I also see that I could work a bit more at the consulting and entrepreneurial stuff without having a totally crazy workload. Wow, now "I know how she does it."
Crystal Moore began her wellness quest in 2003 after being diagnosed with lupus. Her quest has led her to embrace yoga, faith, exercise, healthy eating, and relationships. Share her journey.