168 Hours: Week One

insolence + wine



For those new to the website, here's part one of our 168 Hours series to catch up.



Lately, I've been reading a couple different books at once. One of them being I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam. This isn't my usual type of book to read, but I really wanted to see how women with both a family and a career do it all.

If you haven't read the book, here's the 411: Vanderkam collected hour-by-hour logs from women who make at least $100,000 a year with at least one child under the age of 18 living at home. While my husband and I do not have kids, I chose a career where the standard work week is 70+ hours and the salary to go with it.

When I launched insolence + wine, I recently had numerous conversations with friends who found themselves at a crossroad, just like I was. I'm newly married (under a year), work hellish hours and despite a six-figure income, there never seems to be enough hours in the day or enough money in the bank to take the next step in life. If I was still working at my former firm, without a doubt I wouldn't be married and my social life would be non-existent. I took a job outside of the Bay Area where I was promised fewer hours and the same salary I was offered from another employer. I'm not going to get into the financials, but the hours, while not quite as long, are still longer than what I had hoped for.

According to Vanderkam's research, the average workweek in 2014 was 34.5 hours. I don't know about you, but my work days tend to average about 10 hours and if I could go back in time to my previous job, I'm sure we'd find many days where I was at the office (or commuting to/from work) for a solid 14 hours a day sometimes 6 days a week. Whether or not I was being productive for those full 14-hours is another story (though other than WestLaw and Microsoft Office, our firewall didn't give us the ability to even use Google, let alone any social networking sites; perhaps I was doodling half the day.)

Currently, I'm lucky that I get to work from home most days of the week, but I still wondered where children could possibly fit into the equation. As I began making my way through I Know How She Does It, I felt the desire to log my hours and figure out how my day's stacked up against the women featured in this book. I logged onto Laura Vanderkam's website, signed up for her mailing list and got access to her mosaic time logs and began logging my hours the very next morning.

My first week of logging hours was a bit of an off-week. I had two day's where I had appointments or other engagement's that kept me from doing paid work and I had a full weekend of plans, Sunday's unfortunately canceled because of the weather, though because of that, I did lose working hours as I was scheduled to meet with a client.

As you can see, I spend an obnoxious amount of time reading and responding to e-mail. I used to read my e-mail first thing in the morning, sometimes while still in bed, but have made an effort to not do that anymore. Instead, I try to check it two or three times a day in an attempt to respond to clients within 24-hours of receiving the e-mail. Usually I waste time on Facebook or Twitter over breakfast or while I'm cooking dinner, if not at random moments throughout the day, never on either long enough to take a chunk out of a half hour.

I plan to do this a couple more times in the next couple of months, especially as I get into the busier times of the year. (May for example I was working from 5am until 11pm for over four weeks straight.) I'd like to see where most of my time is spent and how little time I really do spend at home or with loved ones.

One thing I definitely want to work on is spending more quality time with my husband, whether it's a date night or a photography adventure somewhere. 

If you have also done a time log, what surprised you most about how you spend your days? Is there anything you would like to change or do differently? Has my time log inspired your curiosity about how you spend your day, too?