In support of my previous post, I'm going to show you what I do with my day. 

I am not a super-good housekeeper. My one-bedroom apartment is tolerable to me: the dishes get done after every meal, but I often leave them drying in the dish rack for days. My laundry gets done when I run out of clean undies, and I leave it drying in my office until I get a chance to put it away. My bathroom toilet and sink are clean; the tub is tolerable but could use a good solid scrub, and there's a bit of dust and stuff behind the toilet and the sink pedestal. 

I live alone, with the occasional overnight guest. I have no kids. I have one very fluffy cat.

My supposedly daily chores include the following:*

Clean cat box: 5 minutes
Clean area around cat box: 5 minutes
Cook meals and clean dishes (also including wiping down table, counters, and stove): Let's say 45 minutes per meal (I have quick breakfasts, if I breakfast at all, but I often make more elaborate suppers) × 3 meals/day = 2 hrs 15 minutes (that seems like a lot, so let's round down to 2 hours).
Water garden: 30 minutes.
Brush cat**

So that's roughly 3 hours of DAILY chores. Less if I don't eat at home, don't actually cook meals (eat leftovers, go out, whatever), or if it's raining so I don't have to do the garden (also in winter). 


My weekly chores include the following:

Vacuum apartment: 1 hour
Do laundry: 1.5 hours (1/2 hour to sort; 1 hour to hang. I do the hand washing while the washer is doing its thing)
Buy random groceries: 1.5 hours (this is challenging to estimate, because I often pick things up during the day, but it counts as time out of my week, and I do it several times a week. At least once a week I make a dedicated shopping trip.)
Clean bike chain and re-lube: 10 minutes
Spit and polish bathroom: 30 minutes
Take out garbage/recycling and green bin: 10 minutes
Put away laundry: 1 hour

So about 5 hours. 


My monthly or when I'm darned well feeling like it chores include:

Dusting apartment: 1 hour
Polishing wooden furniture: 1 hour? 
Cleaning drive train on bike: 1.5 hours
Vacuuming and dusting front hall of building, sweeping porch and steps (not actually my job; I do it when I get tired of nobody else doing it): 1 hour
Sorting, organizing, doing things I said I'd get around to someday: ???

Okay. So I do editorial work and teaching prep for about 6 hours/day, 5 days/week. I try to sleep 8 hours/night.  I teach for 3 hours/week. I work at the bike store for ~20 hours/week. Getting places takes time, as do getting dressed and grooming every day. There's a bunch of other stuff I do in a given week. A rough breakdown looks something like this:†


      Balance
Hours in a week   168  
Hours sleeping (ideally) 56 112
Editorial work/prep   30 82
Hours teaching   3 79
Hours at bike store   20 59
Time getting to and from bike store*** 3 56
Choir practice (including transportation to and from) 4 52
Daily chores   3 49
Weekly chores   5 44
Time spent riding my bike 6 38
Time spent baking tasty things 2.5 35.5
Time spent committing personal grooming 3.5 32
Hot baths   1 31
Yoga   4 27
Voice lesson (including getting to and from) 2 25
Time spent actually eating the food I prepare 7 18
Downtime (reading, futzing on the Internet, cuddling the cat, whatever).   10.5 7.5


So that leaves 7.5 hours/week to do some portion of the infrequent chores, spend time with friends, go dancing, knit, visit my grandmom, and deal with the random crap that comes up (making appointments, family crises, helping people with things, domestic occurrences), and maybe do something fun and different. 

And I don't have kids. And I'm fully physically able and psychologically functional. And I don't have an aging parent or spousal equivalent. And I don't really do anything very important. And I work from home, so I can sometimes combine work and other tasks like making a big pot of soup. And I'm still not Martha-ready

Now there are ways in which I could be more efficient. I could take fewer hot baths. I could spend less time preparing food, or do big batches of stuff. I could bake less. I could do yoga at home, rather than in a studio. But that would shave tiny amounts of time off the overall total: in order to live the way I prefer to live, I need to spend about 50 hours a week doing various different work-things. I need to sleep about 8 hours/night. I need to eat well, and I need to keep my apartment relatively tidy. And baking keeps me sane. 

My point is not that I could organize my time better, though that's undoubtedly true. My point is that all the things I do have a time-cost, and that in order to do something else, I need to acknowledge the time-cost, and trade things off accordingly. 


* Some of these do not actually happen every single day. For example, I don't water the garden if it's raining. And some days I don't eat at home. 

** This is for-real mandatory every day. Sometimes several times a day. Musetta is very bossy. 

†This is not as precise as it should be. Some weeks I don't bake. Some weeks I slack on the chores. Some weeks I work more or fewer hours at the bike store, and some weeks are heavier or lighter with respect to choir. However, it does provide an overview, which is all I'm trying to do here. 

*** About 25 minutes each way. 


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