Time Management and What’s Not

Recently I’ve been telling everybody that I am busier than ever. And everybody is asking, why, and what I am doing, and why I can’t delegate stuff to other people.

My friends who followed my previous blog are used to my “timing” posts with a detailed description of my day. It’s time to look at what has changed for the past several months.

Yesterday was a very typical day of mine as they recently are. Got up at my usual 4-45 and went to a gym for a relatively quick (45 min) workout.

Audiobook during a 5 minutes walk to the gym, emails, Instagram and Chicago Tribune on iPad while on elliptical, audiobook on the way back.  

WBEZ morning news on the iPhone while in the shower and putting the makeup on. 

Continuing with WBEZ during breakfast (prepared the night before and waiting in the fridge), leaving the house at 6-45 to catch the 7-57 train.  

A blog post and catch up on personal emails and social media comments during the train ride. 

At the office at 8-10; earlier than usual because of the 8-30 AM conference call. I agreed to be on the talk selection committee for one of the Postgres conferences, and since the talk selection committee is partially in Europe, the conference call had to be relatively early in the day. 

Work meetings from 9-30 to 11-00. Ordering pizza for the meetup, which is scheduled for that day after work (I am an organizer of the Chicago PostgreSQL User Group). Reviewing the list of submissions to the conference, which was just emailed to me, trying to estimate how much work it will require. 

Warming up a taken from home lunch. A stroll to Target (buying new dark eyeshades is just an excuse for getting outside). 

My manager and one of my direct reports are offsite, which means I have time to do some work. Working productively from 1 PM to 2-30 PM, actually producing some code, with only three or four interruptions. 

Work meetings from 2-30 to 4 PM. The second one is my office hour (or rather 45 minutes), and since nobody showed up, I used this time to put together my host presentation for tonight’s meetup. Running to the bathroom to fix my hair and to reapply the makeup. Double-checking that everything in the cafeteria is ready for the event. Pizza arrives 20 minutes earlier than expected, which means I need to keep it warm. Eating salads before everybody comes – I will need my mouth to talk later in the evening!

Meeting people, talking to the speakers, making sure their laptops can connect to the big screen, meeting more people, talking again. 

6 PM sharp I start my presentation on “what has happened since we met last time.” Then I give the floor to the speakers. 

Everything goes well; people listen and ask questions. In the end, I am making sure that the food is in the fridge, the room is clean. I put some of the salad into my lunch box so that I do not need to bring lunch the next day, I empty the dishwasher, and finally ready to leave at 8 PM.

My train back home is at 8-30PM. I am getting on the train at 8-20, calling Mom, then calling Igor. Then I am trying to figure out what to do next. There is an unanswered email from a person who found out open-sourced bitemporal library and wants to use it. That’s great, and I am trying to answer all the questions he has. That is my priority, then several emails to the people with whom I am trying to meet in two weeks on the other side of the pond. Social media feeds are neglected again.  

At home at 9-40 PM. The cooler by my door holds this week’s CSA delivery, and I need to take it in, along with the two Amazon packages. The vegetables have to be sorted and stored immediately, they’ve already been outside for six hours. And I need to water my lawn and the outdoor plants – I didn’t have time in the morning, and the temperature is in the 80’s. And the next day I have to leave super early. So I am going outside and watering the lawn in the dark:).

Making sure I have everything ready for the next day. Thursday is my personal training session before work, and I need to take the 5-11 AM train. That means I need to pack all my cosmetics and my breakfast and to cut the fruits to eat before I leave.

The last thing for today – I am sending an email to Boris and resisting the urge to call him because this will mean I won’t go to bed till 11-45 PM.

To summarize. I am an empty-nester leaving by myself. I didn’t even visit my Mom that day. I didn’t have to cook that day. Our CTO always tells me: Hettie, delegate! But I only worked for less than 2 hours that day! The rest work-related was planning – decision making-delegating. 

Running PUG is huge, although I’ve heard: you just need to find a speaker once a month, it’s easy! Well, not that easy! People have commented again, that they are learning from me how to run the User Groups. In any case: I wanted it, I know how to do it well, and I will continue to do it. And I want to continue to help with the conference. 

So, I guess I will still have to do work over the weekend:)

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