How Do I Spend My Time?

Perhaps the most frequent question I’m asked is how on earth do I find the time to do all of the stuff that I do in a given day? I thought the best way to illustrate this would be to give an outline of a typical day so you can see what I do during that time.

4:15 AM I wake up. This is usually followed by a bit of stretching, a cold glass of water, a multivitamin, and a splash of water on the face. I usually try to eat something healthy for breakfast here, and do a quick puzzle.
4:30 AM I settle in for a writing and research session. This usually lasts for two hours.
6:30 AM I take a quick shower if I didn’t take one the night before, and start getting the children ready for daycare.
7:15 AM I drop the kids off at daycare. I’m usually either listening to NPR or an audiobook on my commute, and I use a small voice recorder to record thoughts and ideas.
7:30 AM I arrive at work and begin my typical work day. This day usually contains a half-hour long interlude in the middle, where I either eat with coworkers or answer my personal email.
4:00 PM I leave work. If needed, I run personal errands right after work – a stop at the grocery store or the library, for example.
4:30 PM I arrive home and meditate/pray/stretch for fifteen minutes or so.
4:45 PM I settle in for another hour of writing and research and perhaps some email answering as well. I might also start supper during this, if something needs to bake in the oven for a while or something.
5:45 PM Family arrives home – my wife picks the children up from daycare. I’m devoted to them for a few hours.
8:00 PM I usually write some more starting about now as my children are in bed.
9:00 PM I engage in personal activities: spending time with my wife, cleaning, reading for pleasure.
10:15 PM Bedtime!

Weekends are usually more relaxed. I usually spend half of Saturday and half of Sunday locked in my office writing, with the rest of the time devoted to personal activities, like cleaning up the house, doing family things, etc.

In a few weeks, I hope to transition to something more like this:

4:30 AM I wake up. This is usually followed by a bit of stretching, a cold glass of water, a multivitamin, and a splash of water on the face. I usually try to eat something healthy for breakfast here, and do a quick puzzle, then a half an hour to an hour devoted to exercise.
5:30 AM I take a quick shower.
5:45 AM I do a morning email session to get any communication out of the way, and sketch out my writing for the day.
6:30 AM Children wake up. Depending on the day, I’ll either get them ready for daycare or start going through our normal day routine – we’re not sure how many days of which I’ll be doing quite yet. We’ll focus on the former.
7:15 AM The morning will consist of a research and writing session.
12:30 PM I break for lunch and do my prayer/meditation/stretching, then spend the afternoon hitting the grindstone again. At the end, say at 2:45 or so, I do a second email session.
3:30 PM I stop and do household chores until the family gets home – cleaning, cooking, etc.
5:30 PM Family arrives home – my wife picks the children up from daycare. I’m devoted to them for a few hours.
8:00 PM I engage in personal activities: spending time with my wife, cleaning, reading for pleasure.
10:00 PM Bedtime!

Ideally, this leaves weekends completely free.

The Principles

Obviously, my days for the last year or so have been really packed to the gills. There’s not much time at all for rest and relaxation in that schedule, and there have been many times where I’ve chosen to work or to write over other things. Here are the guiding principles that really made all of this work.

This doesn’t work without passion. If I wasn’t passionate about my main job, my writing, and my family, this would have never worked. I would have found reasons to let something down. If you’re going to try to effectively juggle so many activities at once, make sure they all fill you with passion.

Some sacrifices are needed to bring success. Because I was engaged with so much, I had to often abandon things that I wanted to do, like spend weekends with family or engage in leisure activities. This meant that I had to be willing to make some very hard choices, and I had to keep personally motivated at all times to keep it up.

Free time is valuable. Of course, giving myself very little free time meant that it was quite valuable to me. I always wanted to maximize the value of it – but, surprisingly, that didn’t mean going out and doing expensive things. It meant simply seeking out the things that made me feel the most fulfilled over the long haul. Instead of golfing, for example, I’d take the kids to the park.

“Winding down” time isn’t as necessary as you think it is. I used to think that a “winding down” period after work, where I’d do something completely mindless for an hour, was essential to my life. What I found was that I felt substantially better if I didn’t do that. Instead, now I just stretch and meditate for a few minutes after my work is done and I find I feel substantially better than I ever did “winding down” by watching television or something.

Try different things until you find what fits you. Not every schedule works well for everyone. For a while, I experimented with writing sessions in the middle of the night, which worked well over the short term but left me zombie-like after a while. Eventually, I came to find my current schedule made everything reasonably manageable for me, but I didn’t just get there on the first shot – I tried all sorts of things before I found that sweet spot.

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61 thoughts on “How Do I Spend My Time?

  1. Adding children to the mix certainly changes the schedule.

  2. DT says:

    All I have to say is you need to schedule in more time for sleep. Six hours is not enough to be healty!!!

    You have been writing about Investing in Yourself- you should know that adults need AT LEAST 7 hours and up to nine.

    You should look into trying to get some more sleep, you will be amazed at how much better everything else will start working!

  3. Jen says:

    Dang. I mean – DANG. Your day goes from 4:15 AM to 10:15 PM? And I thought I was doing well @ 6:45am to 10:30. I don’t think I could survive on that little sleep.

  4. Tas says:

    Wow, only 6 hours of sleep?! I need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep to not be completely zombie-like all day long and to be capable of engaging in activites demanding brain power. Do you drink lots of coffee to manage this or have you trained your body to only require that little sleep?

  5. Megan says:

    Trent,

    Do you function well on 6 hours of sleep every night? Did that take some getting used to, or have you always slept that little?

  6. Michael says:

    I am a slow-moving person, and sometimes I convince myself I’d quickly exhaust myself if I picked up the pace. A list like this helps me remember what ordinary people can do.

  7. Lise says:

    How I wish I could get by on that little sleep… seems like I need 10 hours or so to feel refreshed.

  8. boardmadd says:

    Trent, your schedule reads a bit like mine, only when you are awake, I am out the door (I’m awake about 45 minutes before you are :) ). I have also found that my best thinking hours are early in the morning, and I have been fortunate to have a job that allows me the flexibility to get in early and work on the stuff that matters the most early in the day. I find that I can also function on about six hours of sleep as well and do pretty well, but every 10 days or so, I need a little more time to balance it out (or take a litle extra on weekends, although even on weekends, i’t really ahrd for me to sleep past 5:00 AM unless I put some effort into it).

    thanks for the breakdown. Oftentimes, just seeing how others utilize their time can give additional ideas.

  9. Rimantas says:

    Wow, that seems like quite a schedule ;) I wish i spent my time that effectively.. ;)

  10. Marta says:

    Where’s the time set aside for exercise? I know you like those mini-breaks, do you schedule those in, too? I find I have to make exercise a scheduled appointment otherwise I’ll blow it off.

  11. Andy says:

    Nice schedule. Mine is similar, up at 4, out the door at 5, home with the kids at 5, in bed by 9:30-10:30.

    As for all the comments on sleep, I find that usually by Friday, I need more than 6 hours, however, I can get by during the week. I would probably do better with 7 hours of sleep. I think I am older than you (almost 40) and my kids are older too (12 and 9). With the older kids comes a different kind of involvement (sports activities, homework, etc.) I do tend to feel like sometimes my schedule is crazy, and I have to force myself to take breaks and relax/spend time with the wife or kids just sitting around or focused on them.

  12. Ben Dinsmore says:

    It’s very interesting reading how other people “budget” their time! There never is enough time in the day, it seems, to accomplish all that I would like to.

  13. Dave says:

    What you said about “winding down” time is so true. Removing this time from my schedule has been the largest source of self-improvement for me; I am much more productive at work and at home.

  14. PF says:

    I have always been a 8-9 hour of sleep per night person….until I had a baby 4 months ago. I am pleasantly surprised at how well I function on 6 hours!

    So, having said that, Trent, whenever you post about your schedule and how you do it all, I always think that there should be some statement in there about your wife. Clearly, she is a huge partner in this and a key component to making it all work. We all owe her a lot!

    I know this is late, but I have a baby remember….I saw your quote in Parents magazine several months ago. It was so exciting to see you listed in there!!!!

    Paula

  15. Frugal Dad says:

    Trent, perhaps when you are self employed you could sleep in another thirty minutes to an hour to get closer to seven hours of sleep a night. With large blocks of time available after seeing the family off I’m sure you could crank out enough work that it wouldn’t require much be done so early in the mornings. Then again, if it has been sustainable this long there is no reason why you can’t keep it up.

  16. Madame X says:

    Wow, that is quite a schedule. Like the others, I am amazed that you don’t need more sleep. At less than 7 hours, I just can’t wake up, and if I was trying to do it at 4:30am when it was still dark, it would be even worse! I wish I was more of a morning person…

  17. Vixen says:

    I admire your ability to come up with a functioning schedule. In fact… I predict a future goal for myself!

  18. Trent says:

    I usually sleep more on weekends – as much as eight hours a night. Plus, I think that the meditation makes a world of difference – I feel like a completely new person after meditating.

  19. John says:

    I don’t care what kind of situation I am in. I can never get up at 4:15 am. Good luck to you.

  20. Pam says:

    It appears that currently your children are in daycare about 10 hours per day. Once you start working from home, I would encourage you to try to keep them home with you as much as possible.

    My older daughter was in daycare a similar amount of time until she was 3 years old, at which time my husband took a year off before changing careers. While she was in daycare, she was almost constantly sick. Once she stayed home with her father, she was very healthy, learned more [because he spent a portion of the day teaching her], and was better behaved because she was not influenced to behave poorly by other children.

    My mother-in-law watched my younger daughter the first two years & she was much healthier & happier than her sister had been at the same age[even though in general she is more tempermental than her older sister]. Even when she began to go to daycare, she was not nearly so clingy when we would drop her off in the mornings. And, she never cried as did her sister. Since my husband’s new career as a teacher allowed him to pick her up earlier, she was only spending about 6-7 hours a day at daycare compared to her sister’s 10. At the end of the day, she was in a much better mood – not cranky; no complaints about having been away from us for so long.

    You will never regret spending time with your children, but you might regret letting daycare workers spend more waking hours with them than you do. I know I do.

  21. Lisa says:

    I’m an early riser myself, but I still find that, since starting my blog in January, I haven’t enough hours in the day. You have a good system going.

    Lisa

  22. Mrs. Micah says:

    Wow. I think there might actually be something wrong with me that I need so much sleep.

    Your ideal schedule is inspirational. I hope to come up with schedules for my days soon…I’ve been putting it off because each day has a different work schedule (times that I have to be at a certain job site). So I can’t have a set routine because sometimes I need to be 45 minutes away at 9, sometimes 30 minutes away at 6:45, sometimes 10 minutes away at 10am or 5pm. Plus I take bus, metro, or drive depending.

    Have to get a handle on this before I go nuts. I don’t currently feel in control of my weeks.

  23. Penny Squeaker says:

    Trent,

    A clear map of what’s important, and dedication to personel growth as self employed, family, and running a household.

    By keeping a focus map, there are no distractions to spending money on the wants intead of the needs + priorities.

    Keep up the great wk.

  24. When you transition to your new schedule, I would look to break up that 5 hour span of work before noon. It might be something as simple as a meditation period, a puzzle, or some quick household chores. I find that when I stop to do something else, I get the best ideas.

  25. fathersez says:

    I wanted to ask you about how you manage your time when you posted your invitation to ask you anything.

    You have answered it.

    You clearly have a packed schedule and like you said it needs passion and great discipline.

    I am not sure I can emulate you, but I try to have my most important priorities for the day sorted out. I am now working on scheduling my priorities better.

  26. Brian says:

    An hour and fifteen minutes a day for reading (among other things), and you’re able to review two books per week?

  27. Chris says:

    Holy cow! Like others, I *so* wish I was able to get buy on 6 hours of sleep a night… I have a friend who only needs *4* hours! Unbelieveable. I wish there were a way for me to *healthily* sleep that little.

  28. Lori says:

    Been a reader of you blog for a year, first time posting. I wish I could be as organized as you. I always thought you didn’t sleep! I only need 4 to 5 hours of sleep per night to be totally functional. I have found that I’m more functional at late hours of the night, so now I’m trying to do productive things during those hours of the night that I’m not sleeping, but instead I waste my time surfing on the internet (except when I have to do papers for school).

  29. Danielle says:

    @Pam-

    just started putting my kids in daycare a month ago (dd is 4.5 twin boys are 2.5) best decision I could have made. We are all so very happy. No one is sick….. I enjoy my time with them so much more. They are there from 830-5pm M-F. I was home with them until last month… every child is different!

  30. brent says:

    i’m glad that you schedule 3 hours of your day to being ‘devoted’ to your kids… given that you schedule 11 hours to sending them to the day-time orphanage.

    why bother having kids if neither of the parents are going to raise them??

  31. J.P says:

    I used to wake up at 4 a long long time ago. But i got up to go to the gym before classes. If i didn’t immediately do something active that early i wouldn’t have been able to keep myself awake.
    I love that you schedule your kids in, it sounds bad “scheduled” but most parents don’t spend enough time with their children. Or they consider spending time with them by watching tv while the child colors all alone.

  32. Deaksus says:

    I knew you had your kids in daycare, but 10 HOURS A DAY? Isn’t one of them an infant?! I am looking forward to an update on your schedule, and theirs, when you leave your day job.

  33. thehungrydollar.com says:

    I agree that the “winding down time” after work is not a necessity. I’ve found that if you do this it seems to stop your momentum that you gather throughout the day and it’s that much harder to get moving again. I’m more productive without this “winding down time.”

  34. reulte says:

    You know — I think the best part of this post to copy is the idea of writing a tentative activity schedule. Just knowing what you’re aiming for is a great step in getting there.

    Like others, I’m not crazy about the 10 hours of daycare for a child although you do mention that you’re not sure how many days they’ll be going. I’m a single mom and I never had my boy in day care for more than 4-5 hours any given day (he’s an only child and loves playing with other kids), even though I spent about half my (pre-tax) salary on a housekeeper so he could be home most of the time – with HIS dog and HIS toys and HIS blankie. Ten hours is a long stretch of time for anyone; for a child – it’s eternity! Hopefully it will work out for you and your family to have them home more often or earlier. Perhaps you could pick them up at the 2:45 end of day for you. Young children love helping out at the home when given age-appropriate tasks and learn that there isn’t a ‘cleaning fairy’ or ‘cooking fairy’ in the house who magically does these things.

    Now that my boy is in school on a daily basis – I only need to have the housekeeper pick him up at the bus and watch him for 2-3 hours before I get home from work.

  35. Margaret says:

    I think I want to find some financial tips from someone who’s not quite so Type A as you. Your schedule left me feeling very sorry for you, and especially for your kids. Many folks have mentioned the ten hours of daycare. In addition, I believe you said that you get some listening done while you’re driving them to that daycare, basically sending them the message that it’s OK to ignore another human being with whom you’re spending time. And there’s so little about your wife, too! I am really sad about the many people who wrote saying how great it is that you need so little sleep. I hope the frequent news articles about Americans’ huge sleep deficit counteracts the guilt they feel after reading someone brag (at least, that’s how it came across to me) about his overcontrolled, overscheduled life. It made me tense just reading about it, although I’m a very hard worker and get a great deal done in a day. I get my best ideas during unscheduled time, when the only thing I’m doing is thinking, and this is apparently very common for people. Have you left any time for inspiration to work its magic in your life? Fifteen minutes doesn’t go far, in terms of meditation. My wish for you is that you relax, leave some completely unscheduled time to find the unexpected little gifts that life throws in our way, and go golfing at least once a week.

  36. KellyKelly says:

    I think maintaining this kind of structure is amazing. I could never do it and be happy. It reminds of the time I went to an amusement park years ago with a friend of mine. He wanted to plan out the rides we would go on ahead of time. “First we’ll do the ferris wheel, then the loopdy loop, then the big roller coaster, then we’ll have ice cream, then …. x, y, z.”

    I felt really boxed in and unable to just relax and go with the flow.

    I have a close friend who is structured like Trent. It WORKS for her. She can’t sit still until a task (doing the dishes, for example) is done.

    I get lost on the way to the mailbox. However, there are good things about both ways of being. I rarely make people feel unwelcome, for example, whether they show up at my door or the phone. I am not saying that structured people do that, but many times my “hyper organized” friends give off the tone that they are waiting on a customer five minutes before closing time.

    Just my two cents!!

    (This post was not preplanned or scheduled by the way).

  37. TeensNeedParents says:

    Have been reading comments about keeping the babies out of daycare and spending time with them at home. I think we have it backwards… we Americans spend time with our little babies, but when our children become teens we decide they can “handle it” and off to work many parents go. But our teenagers need parents around WAY MORE than babies do. Teens are let out of school at 1:30 pm in some places. They have no parent at home, no supervision and are essentially left to their own devices for 5 to 6 hours before parents arrive back from work. Unsupervised teens get into a world of trouble, statistics show. No surprise to me that a 15-year-old gets in trouble: on-line, at the mall, in abandoned yards and street corners, messing with drugs, alcohol and sex, etc. My suggestion… leave our babies in daycare, go to work, earn lots of money and SAVE it. Then when your babies become teens, try to arrange a job situation where you can be home.

  38. Anne says:

    Ditto Brian.
    Are you a speedreader?

  39. Well I’m impessed.

    How on Earth do you manage with just over 6 hours sleep per night on a regular basis?

    Incidentally, would you mind doing a post on some of your research methodologies?

  40. Lindsay says:

    Trent,
    I find it humorous that many of the questions in your last post were people practically begging to see your schedule to know how you do everything, but now that you’ve posted your schedule, people feel the need to give you advice on how you should change what is obviously working for you. Also, I may need to re-read the post, but I don’t recall seeing where you asked for people’s opinions on how many hours to put your kids in daycare. I wish people would realize that the only people they can control are themselves and stop sharing their opinion when no one asks for it. Keep up the good work and schedule your life however you want to! I’m a frequent reader that doesn’t comment often, but I just couldn’t stay silent this time.

  41. Sarah says:

    You are an inspiration. Really–I’ve started essential, slow changes in my life because of reading your work…not finances, per se, as much as ownership of my time/life, and goal-planning. It sometimes seems difficult to institute changes now that will pay off in a few years, rather than a few days, but again, you’re an excellent role-model. Thanks for that.

    Also, I’d second the comment that every child is different, and add that all families are different. Daycare doesn’t have to be a problem to be avoided–I grew up with various daycare providers. Most of the time, it was the right mix of fun and stimulation. And I never resented my mom’s need for a career; she was always there for me. But again, every family is different.

  42. So the “research” time must include reading the huge number of repetitious and often dreary-sounding books you review? How do you stay awake to read that stuff? If I were as tired as you must be, I would instantly fall asleep over yet another tome rehearsing the same old and by now obvious personal finance principles.

    Guess when you live where it snows you can’t get much exercise. But…gee. I’m sure glad I live where I can walk an hour a day and then am forced to walk around a college campus and climb lots of stairs. Your new post-work lifestyle will not even offer opportunities for informal exercise on the job. Maybe you should work in more physical activity, for the sake of your health?

  43. Alexandra says:

    Ditto to comment #20. Prioritize the family as number one, scheduling in them(more) is an investment in the children’s future and the marriage. You’ll never be able to get back time with the children after they are grown, and they grow so fast!

  44. Dana says:

    I agree…where is the time for exercise? I know you’re passionate about your writing, but we can all enjoy your blogs every OTHER day if it means you are around to see your kids grow up because you haven’t had a heart attack or something.

  45. Diane Taylor says:

    I often wonder why people even have children if they are content to have others raise them. You are not raising your children if they are in daycare 10 hours a day, daycare workers are raising them. The values they are learning are those of the daycare center. When you have children they should be the #1 priority in your life..This the main problem I have with your newsletter, Trent, you write about the joy you receive from your children but you are content to have them spend 10 hours/day in daycare. Seems like they have to sacrifice an awful lot to “fit” into your schedule and provide you with a little joy in the evening. I can’t believe you would even think of adding a 3rd child to the mix. I would suggest adjusting your timeline for paying off your mortgage and arranging for a parent to raise your kids. In 18 years your kids will be gone..there’s no going back and there are no “do overs”…the mortgage payoff can happen “whenever”.

  46. KellyKelly says:

    Wow Trent, you are a brave guy to expose so much of your life on this blog. The amount of criticism you are receiving blows my mind.

    And comment #37 — YES YES YES. Everybody wants a baby … they don’t seem to realize they actually give birth to a teenager who is small for a very short time. I love those commercials that say “life comes at you fast,” when the parents are in the front seat and their baby in the car seat changes into a teenager.

    Most people don’t want to think beyond the “Hallmark” giggle and bib years.

  47. FIRE Finance says:

    Beautiful schedule! Keep it up Trent.
    Cheers,
    FIRE Finance

  48. S says:

    I was one of those who requested Trent for his schedule.

    My day’s gets pretty full too, though not as much as his. However, I’ll take his post in the spirit it was intended, an honest effort to encourage others to utilize time more effectively, even if it is just by relaxing :-)

    Trent – thanks for posting this!

  49. Tori says:

    To all the commenters who castigate Trent and Mrs. Trent for putting their kids in daycare:

    You must not be long-time readers of The Simple Dollar. A couple of weeks ago, Trent announced he was quitting a job he enjoys to be a stay-at-home dad and writer. (The post is called “I Quit.”)He has also alluded to his wife getting a job closer to home. This means his children will spend less time in daycare. Relax.

    I have no idea why you’re all coming out of the woodwork to criticize him and his wife for putting their kids in daycare in the first place. Are Trent and Mrs. Trent are the first two-career household in American history? I think not.

    Finally, I want you to chew on this: I never stepped foot inside a daycare until I was a newspaper reporter in my early twenties. Why? My mom stayed home with my brother and I. Being raised by my mother hurt us more than it helped us.

  50. Amy says:

    So many people on here are judgmental. Day care doesn’t work for YOU but those are your values and opinions. I don’t think just because a child goes to daycare means that the daycare providers are raising them. I had babysitters and daycare growing up and my sister and I turned out great. I grew up with a strong mother with a career as a role model. I think it’s important for parents to have more in their lives than just their children. It’s not healthy for children to think they are the center of the universe. I never felt slighted in the least to have parents that both worked. My feeling has always been that the children don’t lose in this situation, the mother does (assuming a fairly traditional breakdown of responsibilities at home). My mom had so little time to herself that I’ve always felt that if I have children I would stay at home mainly so I could have a little bit of my own life.

  51. Hi Trent,
    I think its great that you have a schedule that you stick to really well. Now we know how much time this blog really takes up!

    In terms of the comments about sending your kids to daycare, i don’t see a problem with that. Its like sending a kid to school .. so what is the difference?

    If part of what you are doing, is ensuring that they will have a better future in the end .. then you are doing what needs to be done.

    None the less, i think the most precious gift that you can give your children is time. That is something that no one else can give and no one can take away.

    Goodluck with the new schedule!

    Young Investor

    http://www.investmentrealty.blogspot.com

  52. Vera says:

    Dear Trent -

    My reaction was exactly that of a few other posters: Please thank your wife for making this schedule possible!

  53. Catherine Neff says:

    To comment #37- YES, 100%. A good daycare provider (& Trent has indicated in earlier posts that his family has excellent daycare for their children) can change diapers, feed & play with your children. If a working parent has the energy to focus on those children for a couple of hours a day as well as seeing that they are taken care of by nurturing, competent providers the rest of the time, they are doing probably doing a fantastic job of parenting. The older those children get the more they need their parents to be involved- to know who their friends are, where they are, what their interests & problems are, etc,etc. In my opinion, when your teenager/young adult wants your help/opinions that’s when you had better have that flexible schedule so you can listen. A young child will keep asking; an older child will just go somewhere else.

  54. Michelle says:

    Your comment about “winding down” time really struck a nerve with me. I now realize I have thought this subsconsciously for quite a while but didn’t truly realize it and implement the lack of “winding down” into my life until a few days ago due to a medical situation.

    Learning the side effects of a medication I cannot be without and the reality of having to cope with a high pressure job (that I happen to love) was the kick in the pants that made me realize this it is essential that my daily “wind down” time must be limited. If I sit still for too long, I find I don’t have the energy to get up again and my contribution to my family decreases exponentially.

    Also, having raised two children and having two children still at home, I can tell you one thing: you have to do what works for you and your wife, no one else.

    Being in daycare doesn’t hurt children. What hurts children is a lack of quality time (not quantity time) with their parents.

    Quality time can be something as simple as the drive home from school. I pick up my kids almost every from school and it is that 30-45 minutes together that is their and my highest quality time of the day. They have my undivided attention and it gives THEM the chance to tell me things I might never hear otherwise. It gives me the chance to respond appropriately because it is one time during the day when I am not trying to juggle 100 other things.

    Good luck to you. I don’t sleep a lot normally and I find your schedule daunting! It has definitely encouraged me to make better use of my existing time.

    Michelle

  55. tabuxander says:

    wow!!how can you sleep at 10.15 p.m and wake up at 4.30? Usually at 10.15pm I don’t feel sleepy at all. Can you tell me your secret?

    And how can you wake up without feeling like a glue in your eyes at 4.30am?

    Lastly, great post! your schedule is my inspiration.

  56. Hey Trent,

    Thanks for giving us a peek into your daily schedule. For the last few weeks, I’ve been trying really hard to get up earlier. I’m currently able to wake up at 6 am for the last few weeks without having to struggle too much, but when it comes to waking up before 6, my body isn’t able to do it.

    I’ve read a slew of resources on waking up earlier to become more productive, but I think I’m putting too much pressure on myself. I think I’ll stick to 6 am for another month or so and then gradually ease into 5:45 am until I hit the ideal 5 am time of waking up.

    It’s interesting that you add in meditation/prayer as well. I find that once every so often, when I feel I have some problems on my mind, I lock myself up in solitude and sit in complete quiet for about half an hour and let my thoughts move freely. Usually I have the best and most effective answer as a result :)

    Finally, I feel that all of this flack and criticism you’re getting is unwarranted.

    Thanks again, Trent!

  57. Brian says:

    Trent,
    I’ve noticed a lot of comments giving you some grief about putting you children in daycare for so long or for sleeping so little. One of the financial folks I follow has a little saying, “you have to live like no one else, so that later you can live like no one else”. You’ll probably recognize the source…but basically, sure it is tough to make the (temporary) sacrifices you are…but look at the results so far. A short 2 years later, and you are able to following your dreams and spending more time with your children.

    Rather than living a stressed out life working long days every day you have chosen to make a temporary change so that soon you can work less and spend more time with your childred.

    Good for you and keep up the great work.

  58. Michael says:

    @tabuxander — You have the secret in front of you. To be sleepy at 10:15, wake up at 4:30. To wake up at 4:30, go to bed at 10:15.

  59. Sandy says:

    I would ditto what someone else said about picking your kids up at 2:45. One can still get household chores done with the children around, and they would only be away for 7 hours. Plus, you could have all that extra time to do the zoo for a few hours, a park, or the library together.
    I was lucky and have been able to stay home with my girls pretty much their whole life. When my oldest was a baby, I went back to work, and it hurt every time I took her to the sitter. It must not hurt your wife or you to have them in daycare so much of the day. Every family is different, and you do have to listen to your hearts and what works for your family.

  60. Monica says:

    I need to seriously sit down and do this. I feel like such a slacker now after reading all that you fit into a day. I was proud of myself for making a list of chores to do per day. I still waste a lot of time though…like I’m doing now.

  61. telly says:

    KellyKelly (comment #36),
    I absolutely loved your story about your friends need to plan out the details of your day at the amusement park. :)

    I used to be very much a Type A personality but have learned to be more spontaneous from my husband (and I can’t thank him enough for it). I too, get lost on the way to the mailbox these days as well, and you know what, I kinda like it. :)

    Trent, your schedule is impressive & obviously productive but I hope you take at least a couple days out of a month and toss the scheudle out the window to see what life brings you. Some of the best memories come out of unplanned events.

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