Time Keeps on Slipping…

Posted April 22, 2010 by Jen in Tags: , ,

I have been struggling over what to write about for my blog. I had a steady stream of reviews to post, but now my reading has tapered off, and I’m in need of some blog material. Isn’t it ironic that I started a book blog and now the blogging eats away at my reading time, giving me less material to blog about?!

I started thinking about my time management… First, let’s get sleeping out of the way. I generally sleep about 6 hours a night. Many nights it’s 4-5 hours, but for the sake of simplicity… I’ll go with 6 hours.

I work in an office 2 days a week for 6 hours plus 30 minutes commute time. I have a few after hours meetings and I also work from home occasionally.

Like many of you, I am a full-time mom. I have 2 young kids. One is in full-day school, the other in pre-school. I am their primary caregiver. My husband works long hours and travels frequently. I take care of making lunches, play dates, sporting events and activities, doctor appointments, etc.

Also like many of you, I am the primary caretaker of our home. I do all the household chores, I am in charge of all finances (oh, how did my book budget increase 100% this month?), I grocery shop, clean, cook, maintain, etc. I run this household. Oh, and I take care of our 2 cats. They aren’t really a “chore,” but they do require maintenance!

Since the fall of 2008, I have been an iPhone owner and I maintain an online social network. I frequent Facebook, Tweet and now I blog. With blogging comes research and my new task – learning to make graphics (example of pie chart below). Since that time I also became an avid reader and my TV watching time has dropped off to almost nothing. I hardly watch movies anymore, either. I still make it to the gym 4 times per week.

So with all that… when do I find the time to read? Well, I carry my book/Kindle with me EVERYWHERE! I read while my daughter is in gym class or my son is in karate. I read while in the doctor’s waiting room. I read in the parking lot before and after I run into the grocery store. I read while on the eliptical or bike at the gym. The bulk of my reading is done late at night, after the kids are in bed, the chores are done, the blog is updated and I’m in bed. When my husband is out of town, I will stay up until 1:00 or 2:00 AM reading. It’s still a small percentage of my week, however.

I created this pie chart by taking the average hours I spend on each “task” over the course of a week (you do all know I’m an engineer and planner, right?) At first I was surprised how the numbers shook out… But then as I looked at the chart, I realized, yep… this is my life. And unless I want to start giving up sleep or spending less time with my kids (well, sometimes I do want that!)… It’s not going to change.

On average what percentage of your time do you think you devote to reading? Computer time (blogging, twitter, etc.)? TV? 

6 responses to “Time Keeps on Slipping…

  1. I don’t spend nearly as much time reading as I would like. I think for us “readers” that would be a common complaint – there are just too many other distractions. But that doesn’t stop me from buying books and stocking up so I have something to read when I’m retired and too poor to buy anymore books lol!

  2. I’m single, with no kids-but I still find it really hard to read during the week. (work just takes up all my energy.) This ends up only allowing me two days a week to read-not as much as I would like. Some weeks are different, but I don’t know how those of you with families manage to do it all!

  3. Book Pimp: What is it about buying more books than we have time to read?

    Buckeye Girl: I hope you find time to read BDB soon!!

  4. I work full time my job is pretty stressful so I pretty much have to make sure I tweet and interact with funny people online to get through my day 😉

    I have noticed that when I started blogging it cut ALOT into my reading time. On the other side I’ve been introduced and exposed to books that would never have been on my radar had I not been blogging & following other review blogs. A blessing and a curse –>says my bank account.

  5. I noticed that as the weather has gotten warmer, my reading has tapered. Just last night I tweeted that I’ve only read 2 books so far this month! My monthly goal is to read 10-12 books. Last month I only read 8. Now I feel this pressure to up my reading between now and the end of April. Blogging used to cut into my reading, but now that I have my blog set up the way I want, I don’t spend as much time tweaking it. I have noticed that lately I’ve been spending more time on twitter than reading. And on the weekends I’m busy watching the shows I recorded during the week. My job is a non-issue and I normally read during my lunch break. But I also spend time during lunch reading other blogs.

    I’ve also been in a reading slump where none of the books I have were holding my attention. I’m finally hitting my stride with reading good books with one week left in the month! I enjoy book blogging and the book blogging community so much. I don’t want to ever feel pressured to read or post. I want it to always be fun. In that sense, I try to not to put any pressure on myself. Key word is TRY; even though I feel pressure (self imposed) to read 8 books between now and next week. Oy!

  6. Una

    I don’t blog, but I’m guilty of multitasking as well. When I’m home, it’s time spent with hubby and my son. If we are just watching TV and the boy is playing, I read. I, too, watch very little television now and oddly, I do not miss it. I do miss seeing movies, but once a week, I do catch one. I have always done my facebook, blog reading and such at work on my breaks or lunch and with the economy work is very slow so I have time to not only check those sites but read as well. I read more before my son was born this year but I will say I am reading more than I had anticipated.

    It’s like you said, it’s a balance that should correlate to your priorities! Plus, multitasking (reading while waiting, etc) also helps out!