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Logging my time (Week three of Spring Semester 2018)

About a week ago, I reported on my time log for the second week of spring semester. In case you’ve forgotten, the College now seems to care about how I divide my time during the summer [1], so I’m now trying the experiment of recording my time during each week of the academic year.

During that week, I spent sixty-six hours on work-related stuff. I thought that was too much. During week three of spring semester, I found time to go out to Andi Tracy’s learn about your tastebuds event and to spend most of a day following Youngest Son to activities. But I also worked. A lot. As far as I can tell, I spent about seventy-five hours on work-related activities. That’s not reasonable.

Where did the time go?

  • I spent nearly fourteen hours on activities related to my role as SIGCSE Student Volunteer co-Coordinator. Most of that was dealing with smelly code [2] or trying to set up a 200+ line spreadsheet of activities that need student volunteers [3].
  • I spent a bit over ten hours on electronic mail. That’s up two hours from the previous week. It may be that I was less good about doing specific categories of email in sequence, and so things I previously logged as student volunteer or department or CSC 151 were logged as just email.
  • The amount of time I spent on my classes went down slightly. I spent over ten hours on CSC 32x and almost eleven on CSC 151. But that doesn’t count the small emails, the office hours, and probably some informal conversations.
  • I spent nearly five hours on research, mostly working on a presentation.
  • Almost all of the other time was on assorted work or administrative stuff: Meetings, preparing for meetings, paperwork, office hours, and so on and so forth.
  • I spent almost six hours musing. That’s how much I mused the previous week, too [4]. Should I count musing as work or hobby or …? For now, I’m counting it as non-work.

I definitely need to find things to cut. I’ve been spending way too much time on the Student Volunteer Coordinator role [5]. Fortunately, SIGCSE comes soon and, while I’ll spend even more time during SIGCSE working on SV [6] stuff, after the conference my tasks are mostly done [7].

I may also need to unpack what my administrative and work hours are being spent on. But that’s probably a task for another month [8,9].

I should look for a way to spend a bit more time on my classes. I’m guaranteed to spend more time this week: I have a CSC 151 exam out, and that means that I’ll be spending much of the weekend grading [11]. I also have the CSC 322 mentors on campus this week and will be spending time with them. But there are other class-related activities I’d like to be doing, particularly catching up on some past grading and some new prep.

Will this week be more reasonable than the last two? I hope so [12]. Time will tell [14].

[1] Or at least about how I divide my time between activities for which I receive pay. They may also care about what percentage of my work time the paid activities occupy.

[2] Software designers talk about code smells. Code smells are usually bad. I may muse about the code smells I dealt with.

[3] By the time I got to line 120 or so, I figured out how to automate part of the process. But some things still had to be done manually. Then I had to go back and add a bunch of other events that were not in any of the data sources I had to work with.

[4] I did not count the musing hours in work hours. I worked seventy-five hours and mused for six. In some worlds, that means that I worked for eighty-one hours.

[5] I’m trying to decide whether or not to be happy that I did not log the SIGCSE work in December and January. On one hand, it would be nice to know how much work I really did. On the other, it would likely also be very sad. I do know that, to date, I’ve dealt with about 900 messages related to SIGCSE.

[6] SV is short for Student Volunteer. But you probably guessed that.

[7] Oh. Wait. I think we have a responsibility to report session counts for every conference session. And, um, tell the registration folks which students actually worked their shifts so that we can refund their registration.
And I should probably rewrite the bad parts of the code now, when it’s fresh in my mind, rather than when I’m back in panic mode.

[8] Or another musing.

[9] What meetings did I do last week? A PossePlus discussion. Faculty Fridays. Faculty meeting (and some prep). The Faulconer Advisory Committee. A department meeting. CS Table. CS Extras [10]. A few others I won’t record in a public forum. Yeah, my meetings might make a good topic for a broader musing.

[10] Does that count if I was presenting? Since I try to attend each week, I counted it as department work. I suppose I could have counted it as research time.

[11] Six problems per exam. Five minutes per problem. Thirty-four exams. Um, that’s seventeen hours. I can probably spend a little bit less. But there’s also some overhead for getting the exams in order, writing an answer key, recording grades, and so on and so forth.

[12] It doesn’t help that I spent nearly ten hours on SIGCSE SV projects yesterday and today. My estimate of the total amount of time I will spend on SV activities just keeps going up and up and up.

[14] Sam will probably tell, too, but in a future musing.

Version 1.0 of 2018-02-13.