Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Any Old Kind of Day - analyzed

So what did I learn from keeping a time log? Well first, that a time log for just one day isn't very good science. I would need to keep a journal for at least a week given that all my days are different and that one Monday can even be decidedly different from the next Monday.
Secondly, it would appear, from this one day's data, that I don't spend much time interacting with S & N. On paper it looks like they pretty much entertained themselves in the bathroom all afternoon. They did help me with the mice, which is why that activity took twice as long as it might normally take.
Lest you think I don't hang with my kids, on the previous Thursday we took the day and went to the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.
Also, if you just went by this list you might be led to believe that I'm some sort of neat freak who keeps a spotless house. That would be laughably wrong. The stairs I vacuumed had not been vacuumed since January. C & H's room hadn't been cleaned, thoroughly, by me, in an equally long time. On most days I only do what needs to be done in order to stay afloat (laundry, dishes, and making dinner). Since Thursdays are eat out nights I used the time cleaning that I might have spent making dinner.
So what I really need is more data, but the thought of keeping a time log for, say, two weeks, is exhausting. Ergo, what I need is someone, an intern perhaps, to follow me around and keep the time log for me.
And, what I really need is for the person doing the following to do it without my knowledge. Because the act of keeping the log keep me more organized that usual, at least between 7 AM and 4 PM. I didn't try to multi-task or flit from one activity to another. I stayed on task and for the most part finished one thing before moving on to the next thing. Where I usually rinse a dish or two and put them in the dishwasher on my way to the laundry room to sort laundry and then straighten things in C & H's room when I come upstairs to get coat hangers to dry the laundry. Also when I go upstairs for coat hangers I see stuff that needs to go up in the attic, take it up, and then forget what I was doing upstairs until the next time I pass by the half hung laundry and remember that I need to go upstairs and bring down coat hangers.
For the purpose of writing a semi-coherent time log you have to wash and load the dishwasher all at one time, then move on to the laundry, bring those darn coat hangers down the first time and then tackle projects upstairs; a method that's probably much more effective that my usual routine.
That realization alone might make the experiment worth while.

song: Any Old Kind of Day • artist: Harry Chapin

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