Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Back in Session

Classes are finally back in session and while Rob is taking the semester off, I'm teaching more than I've ever taught.  Nearly five hours of non-stop blah-blah-blah to a crowd that totals around 175.

In order to get enough work done, I need to work about 10 hours a day.  There's just no getting around it.  However, except for those five hours on teaching days I'm blessedly on my own schedule.

One option, which we've tried often enough in the last few years to know simply will not work, is for me to work at home.  I am a multi-tasker at my very core, and working at home means I do five minutes of work for every 25 minutes of "Before I read this, I'll just pop some bread in the bread maker.  Oh, and the dryer is done so I'll move laundry.  Did you want something for lunch?  I'm feeling snacky while I'm in here.  Maybe I should take a shower before I wash towels...."  And once the kids are home, forget it.

So, no.

The second option is to get up with the big kids around 7, drop them off at school at 8:15, get to my office around 8:30, and then work until 6 or so.  Get home by 6:30, which lately is when the kids are snuggling into bed because they are zombies on less than 12 hours of sleep, so effectively I'd see the kids for 20 minutes total each day.  I could then watch TV or chat with Rob for a few hours and go to bed.

Option 2b is to do the mornings as above but come home at 4 or 5 and then finish doing work after bedtime.  This never works.  I'm burnt out after a 6-7 hour day and the battle at the home front and just can't power back on from 8-10.  I used to, but I just can't anymore.  Plus, this option just feels like non-freakin' stop work.

So we're exploring option 3 right now.  I get up and go in around 5AM.  Rob gets the big kids (and August) up and off to school and then I come home around 3:30 or 4 either with or just after the big kids.  We all putter around, have dinner, do bedtime, and then I flop stupidly on the couch to rot my brain for a bit before going to bed around 9.

So far so good.  I got a ton of work done today before teaching started and that momentum helped me make the most of working during my lunch break.  After teaching I wrapped up my details for the lectures and came home by 4:30 (stopped for groceries) and had dinner and bedtime and have no guilt about not doing more work this evening.  Score.


  1. High five! I need to take a tip from you and learn that multi-tasking has its place.

    One of the ladies in my neighborhood once told me, "There's something magical about 5 am! And there's something incredibly tiresome about 9 pm".

  2. This is exactly why working at home would be a problem for me. Focus? When x, y, and z need to be done too & are right in front of me?

  3. Definitely can only work at home if everyone is gone during the day. It is hard fitting a 60+ hr per week job into the 8-9 hrs of a work day that child care provides. The good news is it is a flexible job, the bad news is that you still have to do a lot of work no matter when it gets done.

  4. Shelly - exactly. I often think I'm getting ahead if I work on a weekend or a holiday but really it's just an endless slog through an endless list. At the same time, how many thousands of times have I spent 6-12 hours on something and had nothing more to show for it than "none of this stack of stuff applies"? Or spent 10 hours on something only to discover there was a 15 minute way to do it? I never know if I'm ahead or behind, but I should assume behind. :)