Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A day in the life

In my quest to regain control over the workday, I decided to figure out how I spend the time. I find making a weekly schedule is helpful. I used to draw them out on legal pads, but it’s easier to make them in Excel so my inner nerd can play with the stats.

I made this at the end of summer and gave a copy to each member of the family. The goal was to illustrate when I was working, and implied they should not call or drop in during those hours unless there was a fire or someone was bleeding. It was a clear enough schedule and everyone but the dog should have been able to follow it. It worked for a few weeks and then it was back to the old habits-- all except the dog, who has stayed on her schedule and allows me to work without interruption. She’s earned a raise.
And what would a spreadsheet be without a pie chart?

Looks quite reasonable and productive. If only we could stick to it. 

Since this chart is now mostly fantasy, I’ve made a new, realistic, version:
And pie chart:

In an effort to present a more professional face, I've renamed the remaining categories: Looking for Shit becomes Organization; Wasting time is now Project Planning; Work will be called Production; Nagging is Family coaching. 

Since I’m not planning to cut back on sleep or taking care of my family, I've removed personal time from the equation, and this is how the remaining time is dispersed:

It is clear that I spend too much time organizing and not enough in production. The solution is to clean and rearrange the workspace so I can find things easily, and I have already drawn up the floor plan for the new space. It will take some time to put the pieces together, but I’ll try to document the process as I go.

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