How I spend my day: What would your pie chart look like?

I was practicing data visualization to teach my digital media students, and I created a simple pie chart about how I spend my day. I thought it would be interesting to share and see what your pie chart would look like. (I pasted the actual numbers below. The percentages are interesting though for perspective. These numbers are averages as they can vary day-to-day.)

On the pie chart it looks like I spend an inordinate amount of time sleeping. I estimated seven hours at night. I have been trying to get eight because then I drink less caffeine. But lately I’ve been lucky to get six hours.  The homework with kids number is closer to four some nights, and generally I am working with more than one child at a time.  (By helping I mean helping them organize what all they need to get done, checking on their progress, assisting with information if needed and then quizzing them for tests the next day. This is mostly spent with Walsh. His school is crazy hard.)

Activities Time in hours
Getting kids ready for school 1.5
Getting kids home from school 1
Doing homework with kids 3
Making meals 2
Sleeping 7
Cleaning 1
Working 4
Taking kids places 2
Exercising 0.5
Hanging out 2

I am trying to exercise four days a week an hour a day so I put that in at .5 hours each day. The hanging out is usually an hour at night with Michael and then maybe an hour throughout the day. Clearly I need to spend more time on cleaning. Although within the cooking number is some kitchen cleaning.

So what do you think: How would your numbers break down? What do you spend the most time on? How much driving around kids are you doing? How much homework are you helping with? How much are you sleeping? Where would you like to re-allocate time to?

25 comments Add your comment


November 15th, 2013
6:52 am

When I was at your stage of life, I did little homework. I was a consultant, but the homework was theirs. My work hours were about 9 per day, and I did not have much effort in getting them off to school(just making breakfast). I also had more “life chores,” being a single parent most of the time.

Mother of 2

November 15th, 2013
7:28 am

You definitely spend more time on homework than I did. I combined getting dinner ready with homework – I was preparing and the kids were at the kitchen table. This allowed me to be available if they needed help. Once the kids hit middle school, they were doing their homework in their bedrooms at their desks. I spent about the same amount of time driving kids around and getting the ready for school. I’m impressed that you get 30 minutes of exercise each day. My exercise typically involved walking the dog.

One thing my whole family wished for was the ability to do homework in the car. Everyone gets carsick, so we couldn’t multi task. However, those hours in the car were spend talking about all sorts of things, so it was time well spent.


November 15th, 2013
7:34 am

Five and a half hours each day related to driving kids to and fro school and homework sounds like an AWFUL lot to me. Mine take the bus and the homework they mostly do themselves (I help if needed, but I am not sitting right next to them).
Two hours a day “taking the kids places” also sounds pretty high. But I guess it can happen.


November 15th, 2013
7:40 am

Awwww, so glad those fast paced days are over! Life now is just about perfect. My oldest is moving out after the holidays. He and some friends are renting a house close by. One down, two to go…lol.

Since my kids are grown, hubs and I spend a great deal of quality time together now. I was laid off back in August, and I’ve never been happier. I don’t have to get up at 5:30 everyday, don’t have to fight traffics for two hours every, and the best part is I don’t have to cram everything into the weekends anymore! Yard work, errands, etc… I do those things at my leisure. Our yard looks great, I rake leaves once a week. The house is clean since I’m home all day. Everyone seems to be happier that I’m not working. I know I am!


November 15th, 2013
8:01 am

Where does eating fall? Under hanging out or preparing meals? It ALWAYS takes more time to make the meal than it does for the family to eat it and take off for the next item.


November 15th, 2013
8:43 am

self reported data is always suspect…..:) All of us always think we are working harder and giving more to others than we really are.


November 15th, 2013
9:39 am

The only thing more pointless than this exercise is talking about it.


November 15th, 2013
9:45 am

I was going to chart it, but found I didn’t have time allocated to do so.


November 15th, 2013
9:56 am

Have them ride the school bus – problem solved.


November 15th, 2013
10:01 am

I do not know how I would come up with a pie chart. Some days I am sitting in traffic for 2-3 hours and some days I never leave the house. I am in my pajamas now at my daughter’s apt. in Athens. I spent the night and she is off to class. I am off today.

I tell my friends that I have two speeds: fast and off. I am moving into more to the off speed now, as we approach the holidays and that is fine with me.

I never remember spending much time with my kids on their homework. That was their job. Unless it was one of those #$% projects.

Two hours for meals seems kind of slim to me. Especially if you are preparing, eating and cleaning up two meals each day.

I try to have at least 8 hours of sleep. I never sleep 8 hours straight, as I wake up all night long. When I do not get my sleep, I typically get sick as I am around so many germs in different schools.

I think I spend more than an hour each day cleaning but sometimes you would not know it. Oh well, there are other things I would rather be known for than a clean house. One of them is a being a good neighbor. I walk my dog a few times each day and end up talking to my neighbors, so that would probably be about an hour ( or more) out of my day. I also love to read and that would be at least an hour each day or more!


November 15th, 2013
10:03 am

Imitation is a form of flattery. Yes mine did ride the bus to school but I believe TWG mentioned that her kids cannot. I could be wrong.


November 15th, 2013
10:15 am

I don’t get why you are spending so much time on homework. If your son is in a hard school, he should be up to the challenge. I have a 5th grader in TAG and accelerated classes and the only time he asks for help is to look up something online. Otherwise, he’s on his own and rarely needs any attention. All I do is make sure everything has been completed since once in a while he’ll accidentally skip a problem. And why so much time shuttling kids to and fro? Have them ride the bus…best invention ever! That said, I wish I could get more sleep. I rarely get 8 hours…more like 6-7.


November 15th, 2013
12:00 pm

T – Are you doing other things while your kids are doing homework? 3 hours does seem a bit much.

I believe Theresa’s kids go to different schools and they don’t all have access to a bus. Plus if you add in sports, music lessons, church activities, etc. you definitely end up spending time in the car.

My time looks a lot different now that our son is in college. I spend that extra hour in the morning walking vs. getting ready and driving him to school (ok, that part changed when he started driving). I don’t have to spend time helping him with homework and sometimes I trade out prepping a meal with exercise (in which case dinner = leftovers and only takes about 15 mins). I probably spend way too much time on social media and the internet but some of that falls into my “work” time. heheheh… hey, no water-cooler breaks or socializing with co-workers though so I’m still more productive.


November 15th, 2013
12:54 pm

It does sound like you’re too involved in homework (3 hours of your time?). Isn’t homework meant to be done with less supervision than classwork? Helping them get it organized? If you’ve been doing that with your older two for several years now, it seems like they would be ready to take that on themselves. Homework should be primarily their responsibility.


November 15th, 2013
2:04 pm

3 hours of homework…..that’s for you? Are you actually doing the homework?

Once Again

November 15th, 2013
2:19 pm

In the 5.5 hours you spend with the kids on getting them ready, welcoming them home, and homework you could have given them all a superior homeschool experience to what they suffered from at the government school you sent them off to. Likely you could have spent even less time than that for a superior education.

Just saying.


November 15th, 2013
3:36 pm

@Once Again….Although what you say is true, More often than not that is not what is happening in many homeschool environments. There seems to be a new breed of homeschooling parent out there. The ones that are doing it for a status or to be a part of a movement. They are in love the idea of homeschooling, just not the work behind it. Their kids are no better off than they would be at the “government school” and in some cases are worse off. Your type of thinking is what makes people shy away from the homeschool choice. Its a hard enough decision and job (once you’v decided) without having to listen to people who sound like some sort of zealot or conspiracy theorist. Kids can get a great education in both homeschool and “regular” school environments. It’s all just a matter of parental envolvement.


November 15th, 2013
3:38 pm

Sorry for all the typos and grammar mistakes.


November 15th, 2013
9:59 pm

Why can’t the kids ride the bus?


November 15th, 2013
11:35 pm

you are such a helicopter parent. It is obvious you do their homework for them.


November 16th, 2013
7:58 am

Withy Woman and others: Since it has been brought up: I have been a public school teacher since 1973. While homeschooling is not common where I live, I can state unequivocally that every formerly homeschooled child I have ever taught has come to school years behind expected skill level. I know of one homeschooling family (both parents Ivy League educated, whose children came into the public high school with stellar academic preparation (although behind in people/social skills)). That is the ONLY case in my area where the students were appropriately academically skilled. This is just a small sample, from one teacher who has taught for 40 years.


November 16th, 2013
3:34 pm

@ catlady…I am on the same train…imagine it? I am not a homeschool advocate. It CAN work well but what have seen is not the best. Of course, we are only two teachers with only 70 years experience combined. What do we know?

Here is a question…If you want to have a career ( both parents) can you homeschool too?
Some folks do want to work outside the house and thus they need to send their children to school.
Perhaps I am the only one who thinks so?

Once Again

November 16th, 2013
6:44 pm

Two people who financially benefit from the government system that steals from everyone in society to benefit a limited number (including them) being opposed to a growing movement that undermines their power and their control over children’s futures. I am shocked. I guess the hundreds of thousands of homeschooled kids that get into college, win national spelling and geography contests, etc. mean nothing. And what about the tens of millions of government “educated” kids that are failing every day of every year?

If you have the ability to keep your kids out of the government propaganda machine and away from the negative environment that these schools breed, why wouldn’t you do everything you can to make that happen?


November 16th, 2013
7:57 pm

@ Once…some assumptions are wrong.

I do not work for the PS system. Never have. When I taught, it was in private school. My two children did receive an excellent education in PS. For that, I am thankful.

To me, education is a three legged stool…child, parent and teacher. When the parent IS the teacher, the pressure is on and some folks are not up to it. I have taught LOTS of children and teachers but never wanted to teach my own. They teach me things now!


November 16th, 2013
9:01 pm

@ Once.. as with MJG your assumptions are wrong. I actually am a homeschooler so I know of what I speak. My daughter has benefited from private, public, and now homeschooling. If you look at my post, it was not a homeschool vs public school thing. It was a statement about what how the parents are slowly moving away from what was once the rigor of homeschooling and opting for a more laid back, they’ll get it when they get it approach. Also, I use to teach adult basic education and GED classes. Guess who are some of the main students. That’s right homeschoolers. Why? Its because they were not prepared, so they go to the GED classes and let someone else actually get them up to where they need to be to pass the test. Their parents then take credit. This happens all the time and it is a little known dirty secret of the homeschooling community. When done right homeschooling is an excellent mode of education and I will not deny that. What I won’t do is sit here and pretend that it doesn’t also have major flaws that nobody wants to talk about for fear that someone that is a part of the “movement” will attack them.

One more thing. Your “movement” and “government propaganda “speak is what I was talking about. You sound like many of the bandwagon parents I have met. Everyone wants to be a part of something, then they get bored and wonder off. Homeschooling numbers are actually stagnant or dropping in most states, because many of the “movement” folks are moving on.