Many of you know of my latest obsession with time-management. I recently read (or at least skimmed) the book: I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam. In it, she argues that there actually are a lot of hours in the week (168 hours to be exact) and it's more about how you choose to use those hours. She advocates for people to track their time to see if it lines up with their goals. So, I did this for the last week. There are plenty of apps that make this relatively painless to do. I used aTimeLogger for Android. I broke my time down to sleep, work, transport, housework (including cooking, which I enjoy), getting ready (including getting the kids ready), hanging out with the kids, and play (mostly my own downtime - either the kids are playing nearby or are in bed and I'm hanging out in the evening).
On average, during the week I am putting in 8.4 hours of work per day, which is a 42 hour work week. I'm pretty pleased about this given the amount of research that demonstrates the effectiveness of this approach. Also, I like to bust the myth that academics are workaholics who are 'married to their jobs'. I love my job, but I have other stuff going on too and my tracked time supports this. On average I am sleeping 8 hours per night during the week and 9 hours per night on the weekends (woo hoo!). I spend at least 2 hours per day with my kids and much more on the weekends.
It took some time to get to this schedule. Having kids made me focus on the important stuff at work and to delegate as much as possible. This means I say no to a lot, like travel :( and reviews :). I also have a housekeeper, two babysitters, a lawn guy, and a handyman on speed-dial. I pay a lot for this stuff, but it makes my life run more smoothly than without.