Life, Productivity

An audit of the week

I was listening to a short Before Breakfast episode this morning while I put my contact lenses in, and Laura mentioned the idea of doing a brief review of your previous week on Monday mornings, to reflect on what went well and what didn’t the week before.

Since I keep my little daily journal tracking pages, this is quite easy for me to do. (If I didn’t, I’m pretty sure I would barely remember any details of what I did! Not joking. 😬)

This past week I generally had the feeling, in many different moments, that the week was “nice”. Something felt “good” about the week, overall. Did I achieve the ever-sought after “Balance”, maybe???

Upon some review, I think that what it was was some balance, across my “important to me” categories. (Meaning, I didn’t have a huge tilt in one category or another- most areas of my life got pretty equal attention, and I guess that felt good!).

Here’s what I came up with:

1. Time Alone/ Quality Time for Myself

  • library time to read (T)
  • solo walks + podcast (T/R)
  • went out for tea alone during A’s swim practice (W)
  • read in the car during lesson (R)
  • had a quiet afternoon/ watched Packer game mostly alone (Asher was in and out) while E/I at soccer (Sun.)

2. Quality Time with Husband

  • He worked from home both W/R this week (virtual conference) and we got Chipotle take out and had lunch together at home alone (W).
  • watched the movie The Glass Castle while A was at a sleepover/ E playing w/ friends (Friday night).
  • hot tub alone with Ivan (S morning)
  • went out for lunch/ ran a bunch of errands together, just the two of us. (S)

3. Quality Time with Kids (1:1 time)

  • walked them home from the bus/ talked with them (W)
  • went to a benefit night for Asher’s swim team (alone) with him at Rocky Rococo’s for pizza, then out to Goodwill and the hardware store to get stuff for his Halloween costume! (R) *This was a really fun evening!!
  • went to the corn maze/ pumpkin patch with the boys (F) on no school day
  • bonfire with Ethan/ hot chocolate/ read together outside (F)
  • went for a walk with Ethan on Sat. afternoon- a gorgeous fall late afternoon
  • watched a bunch of Skate America figure skating competition on TV w/ Asher while E/I at soccer (Sun.)

4. Family Time (all of us together)

*This is probably the lightest category, but we weren’t often all home at the same time…

  • Watched The Babysitter’s Club x2 episodes all together on (W) before bed
  • Had a family movie night and watched the 2016 Ghostbuster’s movie (with Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon- this was so funny!!! We had never seen this version. We liked it! Those actors are, obviously, hilarious.) (Sun.)

5. Exercise

  • Gym x3! (= met my goal!). M= shoulders/tris, W= legs, Sat= back/biceps
  • Morning Meltdown BB workouts x3. T= cardio meltdown, Th= Upper Body, Sun= Core Inferno
  • Walks x4 (2 solo, 2 w/kids)

6. Life Admin/ Productivity/ “Getting Stuff Done”

  • hot tub maintenance & ordered new filters/ chemicals
  • went to an eye exam
  • made several meals (butternut squash soup, ground beef/potato/salsa mix, spaghetti/garlic bread, veggie tacos)
  • ordered new piano books for Ethan
  • oversaw kids chores/ bathroom cleaning
  • DROVE people many places
  • typed up a trip itinerary for our Vermont/ New Hampshire/ Maine trip for a couple people who asked for it, with details of what we did, where we stayed, etc. (Anyone else want it?? LMK and I can email you!)
  • ran errands (see above…Halloween stuff, also household errands on Saturday)
  • cleaned a sticky residue off of our fireplace hearth!! (deserves a spot here, bc it took forever!)
  • did a massive email clean out! (much needed)
  • some misc. yard stuff while Ivan power washed our siding
  • got another month of my photo project complete

7. Work

*Putting this last, because it kind of just “is what it is”….I worked a typical workday everyday, except for a partial day on Friday. But I actually made those hours up on Sunday afternoon/evening! So I didn’t have to use vacation time.


Reflecting on this, I think it looks pretty good! Obviously #6 looks a bit heavy on paper, but I think that’s to be expected when you are raising a family and running a life together. I think there was a nice mix overall.

I feel that sometimes the 1:1 or “Quality Kid Time” category can get light many weeks, especially as the kids get older, and I was happy that this week we definitely had some very CLEARLY delineated quality time together (i.e. not just a quick drive to soccer practice).

Do you ever do weekly reviews?? This really is an interesting exercise! I think it is helpful because it’s easy to “feel” in the moment like, “OMG I never have time for anything.” Or, “Ugh, my week was so crazy busy, waaaahhh.” But listing it out like this helps to see that I did a LOT of fun stuff, too. In fact, this week probably tipped more to the “fun” side of the scale than the “not as fun” side.

It was overcast/drizzling in the afternoon during Packer game. Ivan took Ethan to his soccer game (~2 hours away!) and I stayed home to get some stuff done and do some work catch-up.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for family movie nights.

12 thoughts on “An audit of the week”

  1. Laura posted about this process today – I don’t listen to the podcast so enjoyed reading about it! I am thinking about how to use my new W222 so will be incorporating this weekly review into the planner and then I think I’ll pull together a highs/lows review monthly. Kind of negative to focus on lows but it can show you what you’ve overcome/accomplished. Like hopefully in a couple of months, Paul will be better adjusted to his new bed (we had some tough bedtimes this weekend).

    now I need to go back and read your post series about how you use your w222. I’ll start using it next Monday since it starts in November! I like that I get a couple of bonus months as I’m excited to dive in. if I order it again for 2023, I won’t start the new one in November. But it’s nice to have that option this year when I’m excited to start using it!

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  2. It is so interesting to hear how you approach life because I’m the complete opposite, lol! I can’t tell you how many notebooks I’ve bought and logged just one day in, hahaha.

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    1. Lol! That’s okay!!!

      For me, it wasn’t until I got a desk job that I think I really got consistent on some of these things, because I now keep my notebook RIGHT next to me all day. So I am literally staring at it, which obviously I was not when running around the hospital all day.

      Also, I tried for YEARS to “journal” and never stuck with it. Until I started doing this very short journaling style (with just a few simple bullet points for different categories, which is very quick) and started having the notebook right next to me all day, I never was successful with it either. 🙂 I can’t say if I’ll do it forever, but I’m enjoying it right now! And I’m glad to have found a system that is working for me, FINALLY.

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  3. This is great!

    Listing things out is so helpful for perspective and to see patterns. I often get a distorted perception of where I think I might be “failing” (i.e. not giving the kids enough quality time); yet, when I take time to do a “Ta-da” list of sorts, I realize I actually have a lot of line items that fall under that particular category. That said, I don’t often take the time to actually list out my accomplishments or progress in a particular area.

    I always feel guilty whenever I hear Laura talk about time tracking because I’ve never stuck with it for more than a few days. But these general category summaries from the end of the week – I think I could get behind (and stick with them)!

    I love those weeks that feel “good.” I love that sensation and know that some weeks just end up not feeling amazing, so I try to really soak in those times where life feels normal and I feel relatively on top of what needs to/I want to get done. It’s a very satisfying feeling 🙂

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    1. I struggle too with the full out time tracking!! I’ve tried, and done it, a few times, but it is very hard for me. My little journal bullet points I usually just jot down quick in the morning right when I sit down at my desk, so it’s very fast. Every time I try time tracking, I get through maybe like, 1 p.m. and then I have a huge hole until I remember again at 8:45 p.m. haha!

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      1. I did the bullet journal for a while…but I just can’t seem to stick with it. I think I get bogged down in feeling like I need to record everything. Also, I despise clutter, but it feels wrong in some way to throw out a journal-style record of life happenings (I always get a pang of regret when I throw out our annual wall calendar when we reach December 31st, but I resist the urge to keep it)

        My father-in-law has been completing detailed DAILY journal entries for over 40 years and he has boxes and boxes full of daytimers (he does slim monthly ones). He can’t let them go…but they just sit there.

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      2. Oh, I’m totally with your FIL on this one! I’m 100% planning to keep my journals and planners! It’s actually a big reason I switched to the Wonderland222, because it’s much smaller than the big notebook I had been using. I figure I can save dozens of these in one big box!! And then, someday, when I’m dead, my kids can throw them all away. Bahahaha! 😉 (I do love looking back on them, though! I periodically look through the planners I have saved from the past 5 years or so, and it’s just neat to get little glimpses of what we were doing, what appointments were listed, what activities we had going on, etc.)

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  4. What a great exercise! I don’t know how to track everyday consistently to see what I did. Some days I start with the intention to do it but then forget later. How do you do it? It’s funny that you put solo time first, I’d definitely go that too. Ahhha

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