Monday, June 03, 2013

Time Logs!: A Parade of Five-minute Increments, or: Juggling a Baby at Work

Literally! Er, wait... no. Especially since juggling generally involves more objects than hands, and with only one baby, that'd mean no hands. Levitating baby! Or... trying to catch her with my feet?

Remember how I said in "Planning for Success at Work" that I was logging my time, and I was going to share it publicly? Well, I finally am. The first day, anyway. I entered it into Toggl, to make it faster to add up the various categories, and I'm all set now... for one day of the seven.

I apologize in advance for the length of this day's log. Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 was a parade of five-minute increments. And that makes the log longer. Such days are hard on me, but I feel like I handled it pretty well. It got easier after work.

It makes the post about four times longer than it should be, but I really can't think of a good way to break this one up.

Plus I keep explaining. Um. Obsessively detailed? Me? Nah...

You should know, if you are curious about doing a time log yourself, that there's no need to be as detailed as I am here. I'm detailed because I like being detailed, because pushing myself to be more generalized feels harder to me than the reverse. I figure I can always go back and summarize more, but if I end up wanting to split two categories later that I originally tracked in one chunk of time, I can't do that. Besides, it makes sense to ignore the occasional five-minute interruptions to a nice big block of productive work, but when your day consists almost entirely of interruptions, at some point you just need to track the interruptions! I think most people do these logs in fifteen- or thirty-minute increments, not five-minute. Do it however works for you.

To understand my log, I should give a little background. I work at a church; I'm the Office Manager, though I like to joke that I'm the Office Manager/Receptionist/Secretary/Assistant/Preschool Liaison. It's a small church... by Southern California standards, anyway. I'm the only non-preschool staff member in the office every day, Monday through Friday.

Also, I take my baby to work. As I said over at the Laura Vanderkam post on planning, this is kind of the best and worst of both worlds. Obviously it saves a lot of money, it's a huge benefit. And wonderful as breaks from her can be, she's incredibly cute.
Apparently I didn't take any pictures of her on May 1st. So here, have a picture from April 30th.
But I was already calling it a "full-time job with part-time hours" before I started bringing a baby, and... wow.

FYI, my official office hours are 9-2:30. On this day, 5-1-13, I clocked in at 9:05 and out at 3:50. But I counted it as a normal day -- I'm officially salaried, but only really because no one wants to keep track of my hours; I'm not expected to work extra hours. So I try to make boundaries for myself, and if I stay too late at work, even with my baby, I'll count it as extra and work less another day. But today I didn't do that, and when I examine how much time I spent on the baby, it's just as well. Can't afford to track my time this closely every day, so I've been operating off the assumption that I spend around two hours on my baby at work, as I did a few other days when I kept a time log. I also assume that if I didn't take her to work I'd be spending at least half an hour on break pumping, so normally, if I go over an hour and a half past my "official" hours, that's when I start counting it as extra.
But enough preamble: here's the data! I started the log at 5:00 a.m. and went through to when I got up the next day, at 5:15 a.m.

Wednesday, 5-1-13
5:00-7:15 Bed
7:15-7:25 Nursed
7:25-7:35 Changed Gracie's (codename) diaper, gave her vitamin D drops
7:35-7:40 Started breakfast cooking
7:40-7:50 Ate breakfast
7:50-8:00 Drank tea and planned the day a little more
8:00-8:05 Dishes in the dishwasher
8:05-8:10 Saw email on phone, switched to computer to follow link and check message from Gracie’s doctor. Also checked comments on a Laura Vanderkam post and replied. Counted as Email and other internet stuff.
8:10-8:15 Dressed
8:15-8:20 Packed up, lunch and diaper bag ready to go. Counted as Transitions to and from car.
8:20-8:30 Gave Gracie Zantac, changed her diaper and clothes, quick hair brush
8:30-8:35 Buckled Gracie up into her carseat, out the door
8:35-9:00 Drove, check-in (an emotional and mental exercise from Laurel Mellin's "Emotional Brain Training")
9:00-9:05 Car to office
9:05-9:15 Turned on computer and copier, mail out of box, unlocked doors, broke down pack 'n play for Bible Study in that room. Took a call and wrote down a message, put my stuff away, opened my programs, pulled this document onto work computer via Dropbox. Counted as Work: Start-up.
9:15-9:35 Nursed at my desk with a cover, but didn’t get any work done – had to concentrate on holding her, she was being difficult. Supported her standing and sitting in my lap, to burp. But here on out I won’t mention the burping, it all just counts as nursing to me, anyway.
9:35-9:40 Changed her diaper
9:40-9:45 Continued with opening programs, went down my starting-up checklist in Nirvana. Work: Start-up.
9:50-9:55 Talked with a couple people, took down notes. Counted as Work: Funerals, it was mostly about that.
9:55-10:05 Took down messages from answering machine. Work: Messages.
10:05-10:10 Held Gracie, trying to get her to sleep
10:10-10:20 Took a call, took down notes. Related to the bulletin. Talked with someone about a bulletin announcement, while holding Gracie. All of it counted as Work: Bulletin.
10:20-10:30 Held Gracie some more
10:30-10:40 Gave boss messages, asked questions, took notes. Counted as Work: Messages.
10:40-10:45 Read through notes, added a couple little things, decided on next task. Work: Notes.
10:45-11:15 Started work on the bulletin draft
11:15-11:20 Talked with someone about funeral program, made a couple changes
11:20-11:30 Nursed at my desk, with a cover
11:30-11:35 Moved our stuff back into the other room, put the pack 'n play back up. Counted as Work: Baby logistics. (Would count as "Other baby care," but want to keep that for actual one-on-one baby interaction, as that's how I've been using it... that used to be all of the "Other baby care" there was.)
11:35-11:40 Changed her diaper, played a little
11:45-11:50 Took lunch to kitchen to start in microwave, on the way talked to a teacher, gave her a message. To mailbox, picked up mail. Counted as Meals.
11:50-11:55 Took down notes about the message, counted as… Work: Messages.
11:55-12:00 Took down another message from the answering machine
12:00-12:05 To kitchen, picked up lunch, gave couple messages to people, put devotionals in the hall by the kitchen. Still counted as Meals.
12:05-12:25 Held Gracie, got her to sleep, put her down. She woke up and cried, picked her up again. John called, talked with him, put down a doctor’s appointment for Gracie on the calendar on my phone. Got her to sleep, put her down. Counted as Other baby care.
12:25-12:30 Took down more notes
12:30-12:45 Meeting with boss
12:45-12:55 Took down notes
12:55-1:00 Changed Gracie’s diaper
1:00-1:15 Worked on the bulletin draft
1:15-1:30 Nursed, a little Google Reader on phone meanwhile. Just counted as Nursing.
1:30-1:35 Changed her diaper
1:35-2:25 Worked on the bulletin draft
2:25-2:35 Played with Gracie, quick texting with John. Other baby care.
2:35-2:40 Held Gracie at my desk, read through notes to be sure I didn’t forget anything for the bulletin. Work: Bulletin.
2:40-2:45 Held Gracie, briefly attempted to get her to sleep
2:45-2:50 Added an event to the Google and wall calendars
2:50-2:55 Miscellany – distributed paychecks/stubs, took notes, took a call, took notes
2:55-3:05 Reviewed day’s notes and papers in preparation to leave, talked with someone who came in. Counted as Work: Notes.
3:05-3:20 Talked with someone about new computer accounts, passwords. Word crashed, so closed all my Word documents, reopened, finished taking notes about it. Still counted as Work: Notes.
3:20-3:30 Nursed
3:30-3:35 Called someone about an iPhone left at the church. Counted as Work: Calls.
3:35-3:40 Changed Gracie’s diaper
3:40-3:50 Packed up some of my stuff, signed out as leaving at 3:50, but counting as a normal day. Closed programs, uploaded this file back to my Dropbox, shut down computer. Counted as Work: Shutting down.
3:50-3:55 Office to car
3:55-4:20 Drove home, check-in
4:20-4:25 Car to house
4:25-4:35 Checked ingredients to buy for dinner, texted with John about it. Counted as Chores.
4:35-4:40 Changed diaper, packed back up. Counted as Other baby care.
4:40-4:45 Out to car
4:45-4:50 Drove with Beth and Gracie to Sam's
4:50-5:20 Grocery shopped. Counted as Errands.
5:20-5:30 Drove home
5:30-5:35 Groceries away. Counted as Chores.
5:35-5:50 Nursed
5:50-5:55 Changed to go run. Counted as Personal care, for lack of a better category.
5:55-6:20 Jogged and walked with Beth, 1.54 miles in 23:39
6:30-6:50 Pumped, while reading Google Reader on phone; mixed her cereal, put milk away. Counted as Pumping.
6:50-6:55 Checked email on computer
6:55-7:45 Ate dinner while watching Defiance with John. Counted as TV.
7:45-7:55 Fed Gracie cereal. Other baby care.
7:55-8:10 Nursed, a little play. Counted as Nursing.
8:10-8:30 Changed her diaper, played, changed her to PJs, gave her Zantac
8:35-9:00 Rocked her to sleep, put her down, held her again, put her down to bed
9:00-9:10 A little kitchen cleanup. Counted as Chores.
9:10-10:25 Wrote at, worked on replies to a Facebook message and an email. But then actually worked on the editing too, and sent them. Counted all of it as Writing.
10:25-10:35 Read back over these notes, clarified and fixed a couple things. Counted as Time log.
10:35-10:40 Bit of puttering
10:40-11:00 Personal care, showered and got ready for bed, check-in
11:05-11:20 Bed
11:20-11:30 Nursed
11:30-2:05 Bed
2:05-2:10 Nursed
2:10-5:15 Bed

So, here are the category totals, divided into personal and work groups, and then ordered within those groups from most time to least (but with sub-categories listed with their parents), and then alphabetically for ties.

Sleep (or time in bed, anyway): 8h10m (Though because of the weird way I chopped up the days, that includes a little time asleep the night before, as well as the night between Wednesday and Thursday.)
Other baby care: 2h40m
Sub-category, Other baby care at work: 1h15m
Sub-category, Reading to Gracie: 5m
Nursing: 1h50m
Sub-category, Nursing at work: 55m
Writing: 1h15m
Driving: 1h5m
TV: 50m
Chores: 30m
Errands: 30m
Personal care: 30m
Transitions to and from car: 30m
Exercise: 25m
Unaccounted for: 25m
Meals: 20m
Pumping: 20m
Email and other internet stuff: 10m
Planning: 10m
Time log: 10m
Cooking: 5m
Puttering: 5m

Work: Bulletin: 1h50m
Work: Notes: 45m
Work: Messages: 30m
Work: Meetings: 15m
Work: Start-up: 15m
Work: Funerals: 10m
Work: Shutting down: 10m
Work: Baby logistics: 5m
Work: Calendar: 5m
Work: Calls: 5m
Work: Miscellany: 5m

So, some things. Let's combine Nursing, Other baby care, Pumping, and Work: Baby logistics for all the time on her: 4h55m. Yeah, she's almost as much time as my official job, still. Not surprising.

Let's add up all the work ones. Except for the "Baby logistics" one. That is... 4h10m. Counting as a normal day, which is supposed to be 5h30m. Was at work 9:05-3:50, for 6h45m. The baby stuff at work was... 2h15m. Work and baby stuff at work combines to 6h25m together, leaving 20m. Which I'm guessing went to Meals, let's check... Well, 10m of it was. What about the other 10m? Ah, the Unaccounted for category. Well, there you have it. If I add that in with the time I worked, that's 4h30m, so just one hour under a non-baby day. Sigh. I wish it were better, but it is what it is. Well, no. Half an hour under a non-baby day, since one has to account for the pumping break. If I'd worked an extra 15m, to reach the latest point I was letting myself stay, and then another 15m because she took 15m more than she used to, I would've reached it. But meh.

If you count Chores, Cooking, and Errands all together, which they are sort of all chores, that's 1h5m. Not too bad, I suppose. (I have a tendency to avoid chores, especially when I'm tired or stressed. More than most women, I think. Sorry, John.)

A good chunk of time on Work: Notes, but that's kind of necessary with so many interruptions and conversations. Of course, there was even more time on my notes that I counted in other categories, like counting note-taking about the bulletin in Work: Bulletin, but... still. Not to mention Word crashed, and that was included.

Have you started logging your time yet? What did you find? Surprises, things you want to spend less time doing, things you're happy with?

No comments :