I know you’ve been on the edge of your seats

November 14, 2009 at 2:35 pm (Family, Parenthood) (, , )

average hours per day

I was glad I posted that I was going to keep track of my time for a week.  Otherwise I might have been tempted to be less than deligent about it. And I think it’s pretty fun data to look at.  But I’m a geek.  If you don’t like data, just skip this one.  Did I tell you I rocked all my lab reports in high school and college?

Take a look. One thing is pretty obvious, and I knew it before I started. If I want to free up more time each day, I need to get off the computer (I say, as I sit here with my laptop).

Here’s the nitty gritty of how I took the data and categorized:

I looked at a semi-normal “work week”, Monday through Friday, 10/26-10/30. Semi-normal because 2/3 of my kids stayed home sick at least one day from school.
A good portion of the time I’m doing twenty bazillion things at once. I counted the activity that was the more “productive”, somewhat arbitrarily. For instance, if I was folding laundry and watching TV, I called it laundry.  In the kitchen category, there’s plently of time that was spent putting on somebody’s shoes, mediating a squabble, or answering a phone call. I wasn’t that exact. But if I left the kitchen more than 5 min, I tried to count it.
I didn’t put sleep in the graph to leave room for the other categories, but it averaged 6.5 hours a night.

Here’s what some of the categories mean:

  • Kids (3.63 hours)- I was actually surprised at how high this number is. The time I was with the kids, but doing something else, like laundry or the computer, isn’t included. This is straight kid-mama time- talking to them, bathing, crafting, reading, playing LEGOs, puzzling, bedtiming, cuddling, and taking them to swimming lessons (the one regularly scheduled non-school activity every week).
  • Computer (2.93 hours)- I wasn’t so surprised at how high this number was. Mainly because every time I’m on the computer, I’m thinking how I’m wasting my time. Because there’s always a million other things. And work on the computer isn’t concrete.  How do I manage to spend 3 hours a DAY on it?  I’m not really sure, exactly.  I read email, send email, look up directions, recipes, read blogs, comment on blogs, put a few minutes into the Facebook timesink, pay bills, track if next month I’ll be able to pay the bills, and figure out why that guy in the movie we’re watching looks familiar.
  • Kitchen (2.77 hours)- This includes prepping 3 meals and multiple snacks, serving said meals, and cleaning them up. I separated out actual sitting down to eat.  I feel good about this number [Sounds like what they say on The Biggest Loser, right?  Hey, it’s a show about food.]
  • Preschool (1.23 hours)- We belong to a cooperative preschool, so this included time actually with the kids, to-and-from school driving time, a parent meeting, and some fundraising.  Most weeks I don’t spend quite this much time, but it does put things in perspective for me.
  • Eating (0.76 hours)- Meaning I sit for an average of 15 minutes each meal.  Not bad for a mama of 3, really.  Some days I loooong for the days when Mark and I lingered at the table, talking.
  • Mark (0.52 hours)- As with kidtime, this is straight Mark-only time. ‘Nuff said.
  • TV (0.52 hours)- I’m not sure what it says that this is the exact amount of time I spent with Mark, also.
  • Friends (0.45 hours)- Face-to-face, not on-line or phone.  I’d like to have more adult interaction, laughing, and support, but I recognize it’s hard to do right now.  Also, it can be built into preschool, park, kitchen, and eating, if I could just find time to arrange it…
  • Bus stop (0.43 hours)- I’m not much of a waiter.  Not the food service kind, the can-handle-waiting-on-other-people kind.  I keep telling myself it would be one thing if our bus stop was on a quieter street, so I could enjoy nature and my daughter while we wait.  Instead, it’s along a 5 lane highway, where I’m always afraid my daughter going to get run over, and where I can’t answer my cell phone because the cars rushing by are so loud.  It is a break in the day of housework, though, and a short walk.
  • Insomnia (0.40 hours)- Middle of the night, wideawakeness.  This was 2 hours all on one night.  It makes the next day a bear.  Once a week is about the yoush.
  • Grooming (0.30 hours)- Mark thought this choice of category name was hilarious. “Are you a pet?”  I just meant, showering, washing my face on the days I didn’t shower, putting on the rare application of mascara, plucking eyebrows.  Isn’t that grooming?
  • Cleaning (0.24 hours)- See, I told you this is my corner.
  • Other (1.55 hours)- Included resting, phone calls, organizing, packing/unpacking for daily outings, pet care, planning our lives out on the calendar, etc.

I plan to post on my plans to modify some of my days based upon what I found.  But right now, a 2 year old has woken up and brought me 23 books and counting.  I’m not joking.  So that will wait.  ***By the time I spellchecked, it was 31.  I counted.  See, all about the data.


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