There was an NPR interview with author Laura Vanderkam recently, writers of the NY Times essay "Are You As Busy As You Think?"
As you can guess, according to Ms. Vanderkam, the answer to that question is no. No, you're only exaggerating how busy you are and all you need to do to remedy this situation is to do one more thing: keep a time log.
This way you'll soon notice when you write things like 11:30 to 1 PM, twiddle thumbs. At the end of a week you'll say, "woah, look at that. I definitely have time to write that great American novel and go back to college for a master's degree.
It seemed to easy, so I got busy.
Here's what my typical Thursday looks like.
12 AM - read in bed.
12:12 - lights out
7:00 - Get up. use bathroom. Go back to bed.
7:20 - Get up.
7:20 to 7:45 - Shower and get dressed.
7:45 to 8:30 - Get C & H ready for school, eat breakfast, feed cat, empty litter box.
8:30 to 8:43 - Walk to bus stop.
8:43 to 8:48 - Make breakfast for S & N.
8:48 to 8:54 - Load dishwater
8:54 to 8:56 - Feed cat again, load washing machine.
8:56 to 9:00 - Put away clean laundry upstairs, bring down laundry basket.
9:00 to 9:05 - Clean up from breakfast.
9:06 - Prepare new bowl of cereal for S who wasn't done when I cleaned up his bowl. Play I Spy with twins
9:07 to 9:09 - Microwave yesterday's tea, put things away, more I Spy.
9:09 to 9:19 - Consolidate trash, help N dress, take out recycling (3 trips), catch heel on storm door on the way out (ouch!). Play more I Spy.
9:19 to 9:24 - Check e-mail, retire cleats now too small for C to attic bucket, explain rules of I Spy, repeatedly ask S if he's done with breakfast.
9:24 to 9:30 - Get clothes for S, implore him (repeatedly) to finish breakfast, bring another trash can downstairs to empty.
9:30 to 9:38 - Mix up addresses on St. Patricks's Day post cards, peel stamps off incorrectly addressed card, recreate card, only have enough stamps for one card.
9:38 to 9:40 - Spoon feed S the remainder of his breakfast.
9:40 to 9:43 - Search desk unsuccessfully for more stamps. Return call to Oliver's mom, try (unsuccessfully) to discern why S is crying.
9:43 to 9:56 - Get S dressed.
9:56 to 10:18 - Update Spelling City website with H's new words. Check e-mail. Hide in bathroom and read.
10:18 to 10:50 - Clean mouse cage. During bathroom break accidentally drop antibacterial hand soap into toilet. Figure that since it's antibacterial it will be okay pending a quick rinse with hot water. Wash my hands, using antibacterial soap that's been in the toilet. Make bagels with Nutella.
10:50 to 11:05 - Bagel break spent pacing kitchen, checking e-mail, and putting shoes on Nathan.
11:05 to 11:25 - Wipe down the front of the mouse cage, empty washing machine, hang laundry to dry, start new load. Notice S in tell-tale posture and remind him of existence of potty, suggest he use it. S invites N to keep him company in the bathroom but requests that he "not leave again." N response that he will have to leave, in order to "get toys." Help S onto potty.
11:25 to noon - Finish putting mouse cage back together. Insert mice. Refill bubbahs with chocolate milk. Am convinced the twins drink more when they can carry bubbahs around with them. Am convinced four year olds shouldn't carry bubbahs around with them. Am convinced Playtex bubbahs are old and leaching plastic toxins into milk. Go on line to LLBean and order two more stainless steel water bottles. Get distracted looking at side items like new graphic Ts. Only end up ordering water bottles. Check e-mail. Wipe S's butt. Clean up water on floor in bathroom. Suggest S take tubby. Wipe down tub. Clean up toys. Run water. Undress S.
12:14 - turn off water in tub. Undress N.
12:14 to 1:20 - Vacuum computer room, as per H's request check for St. Patrick's Day Peanuts movies via CLAMS network. Find none. Order two other snoopy movies H has possibly not seen. Fill pasta pot with hot water, repeatedly on command to pour into tubby, take mice bedding to compost, bring in hula hoop from bunk house to make hoop castle for S & N. Check size of fabric from Nana's house. Not big enough for circumference of smallest hoop.
1:20 to 1:34 - Lunch. Finish "Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar" by Roald Dahl, read via C's recommendation. Catch "For the Good Times" by the Little Willies being played on MVY, think to myself that some songs should be left in the past and not remade as covers. Come to the realization that I've thrown Norah Jones over for Adele but don't care.
1:34 to 2:00 - Clean in C & H's room. S & N get out of tub, need towels, undies, and for me to put the water down the drain. General excitement over handyman's arrival. Lunch
2:00 to 2:35 - More cleaning C & H's room. Set up Caillou movie for S & N. Feel guilty. Clean lunch dishes.
2:35 to 3:06 - Finish cleaning in C & H's room. Start to vacuum stairs.
3:20 Finish vacuuming stairs. Put vacuum away. Stairs look great!
3:20 to 3:43 - Update blog. Dress Silas.
3:43 to 3:48 - Call to make vet appointment for the cat.
3:50 - Leave to walk to bus stop.
After C & H got home it was impossible to continue because I was pulled in so many different directions by the four of them together. We had just over an hour together before having to leave to drop C at piano lessons.
song: Any Old Kind of Day • artist: Harry Chapin