I've been tracking my schedule on MS Outlook for over a week now. The first thing that has been revealed to me is that I am tired. I don't mean "I could take a nap." I mean exhausted and drained of energy; to the core. Henceforth, I have decided to stop beating myself up for my lack of productivity on my weeknights.
I have about 5 hours each evening before I go to bed. Once I started tracking how long it actually takes to eat dinner, get ready for work the next day, and maintain a basic minimum of organization to my home and personal life, I realized I am lucky to blog and to return phone calls and emails in a timely manner. I now grant myself permission to "waste" the remaining 47 minutes of my evenings watching TV, messing around on Facebook, reading, or scoring Katerina some great catnip and watching the resulting amusement.
I know there are parents who do much more with their evenings, and many authors have managed to write more than one book with the same few hours. I admire them. Once upon a time, I was among the super achievers as well. My standards have changed. Those little color coded blocks of time graphically illustrate work, creativity, family, and church as my priorities. I can't force a clean house or a sold manuscript into the remaining sliver of white space. So I'm going to go watch TV with my cat.