Effort In Quadrant Two Powers Attraction

So following on from yesterday, the whole four quadrant thing is in my mind because I’ve been reorganizing my day. The adjustment from full time nursing and doing MMSL at night, to being at home and just MMSL has been a much bigger adjustment than I thought it would be. I easily get distracted and was finding that I simply wasn’t getting done what I really needed to get done. Oh I was certainly busy and active, just at the end of the day somehow exercise and book writing wasn’t happening.

I also cannot for the life of me write blog posts in the morning. 2.5 years of writing posts at night has basically programmed me to write posts that time of day. I just stare at the screen and eventually watch hours of YouTube if I try post writing during the day. But I was just leeching later and later into the evening. Jennifer edits my posts, so if I’m up, she’s up and then she’s over-tired and slightly… ah… starfishy… which is really my fault for keeping her up.

I’m also trying to rebalance between Jennifer and myself, who does what for chores and domestic duties. We’ve actually been mildly fighting about it in that she’s too stubborn to give some of it up. She’s all overhelping and needs to relax a little more. I’m technically a SAHD now, so there’s different ways I can help out now. Jennifer had been doing the morning routine with the girls once school started up again and wasn’t getting out of the house until 830-9am.

So anyway, my new daily plan for the week days. I’ll color all the Quadrant Two items in Red.

D1 = Eldest daughter.  D2 = Youngest daughter.  Also I set a number of alarms on my phone to prompt myself to start/stop things.

6am  Get up, wake D1 and shower. (Alarm set)

620am  prompt D1 and wake D2. Coffee, empty dishwasher, make lunches for D2 and Jennifer (she gets leftovers from dinner the night before), make protein shake.

640am  Email clear / Forum check

7am   D1 on bus. Prompt D2.

705  Start any laundry, eat breakfast and 30 minute walk.

750 am  Drive D2 to school

810am One housecleaning task.

830am-12pm  Writing book related material  (Alarm set)

12pm-1pm    Exercise  (Alarm set)

1pm  Shower, Lunch, playtime.

235pm  Pick up D2 from school.  (ALARM SET!)

3-5pm  Clear email, forum check, 30 minute walk (with Jennifer if possible)

5-8 pm  Free + Dinner

8pm   Homework Prompting   (Alarm set)

8-10pm MMSL Post writing, any remaining time on forum.

930pm  Bedtime Prompting for Kids

10pm  Kids to bed   (Alarm set)

10-11pm Free Time to hang out with Jennifer

11pm  Run Dishwasher, Bedtime

So, all in all, I’ve gone from about two regular hours of Quadrant Two a day, to around eight and a half. The house is about the same in terms of how clean as we weren’t living in squalor before, but the kitchen kinda sparkles now. Jennifer is getting to work earlier and getting home a little earlier and isn’t falling asleep on the couch late in the evening. The kids hear the 8pm alarm and they already have learned to just groan and get their homework. Same deal at bedtime.

The only downside is I’m on the forum a little less continuously, so I adapted there and created a 911 category for the issues that need genuine triage and get first dibs on my attention.

About 90% of my Alpha is coming from my Quadrant Two time spending. Physical health and fitness, smart guy generating income. That’s my attraction builder. All the help around the house + kids + Jennifer time is my comfort building Beta stuff.

So go plan your day.

Jennifer: It’s been an adjustment on my end too, but it’s working wonderfully. He looks happier for getting more book writing done and it’s so nice not starting my day in a rush and have more time together in the evening. It’s infectious too, I’ve found myself planning meals further ahead and prepping things in the morning. (Although I did just say to him that he’s thrown my whole sense of time off in the evening…It’s 9:18pm and I’m proofing something I am usually proofing at 11:18pm…now I feel like it should be bedtime.)


  1. So 6 to 6.5 hours of sleep is enough?

    Just. Sleep longer on the weekends.

  2. I really need start setting alarms for things. Sometimes it’s 3pm by the time I realize I haven’t eaten lunch. :/

  3. I like this plan.I need to get more writing and cleaning done and I also want to do more blogging both in Spanish and English. Although, in my defense I’m so very pregnant right now than staying in one position is uncomfortable now (baby is due in 3 weeks or less) but I can do the dishes really fast since is only the two of us for now and I reuse pots and dishes so is only a little unless I do something big and I can cook pretty fast too. Also need more time for eating.

    I’m stealing this plan! :D

  4. Aside from the schedule, there’s certainly attractive power in making a living in something you’re passionate about…kudos to Jennifer for having the patience and faith to give you the chance to make it happen while being on your team. Based on my reading here and elsewhere, a lot of wives would have nagged you to Bolivian and said “give it up already and get to work to put food on out table.”

    I think I’ll cover the nagging in today’s post. We actually have the reverse issue, where she doesn’t speak up when she should.

  5. @Badger, that is the best typo I have ever seen. Well played, sir.

    @Athol, do you find that the alarms are enough to keep you on track? In the past, I’ve attempted schedules like this, but usually end up distracted by something shiny to the point where I just scrap the plan. How do you recover if/when you miss a beat?

  6. Covey’s time management principles made a very big difference in my life when I read his First Things First book, and not just in terms of productivity. I also like his ideas about goal setting and organizing time in relation to your various roles in life. Before the age of smartphones I used Covey’s Plan Plus software quite a bit on my Palm Pilot. When I switched to an iPhone there was not a good port for Plan Plus on that platform. I’ve cobbled together various other task lisks and scheduling systems since then, but I really miss Plan Plus, nothing else works quite like it… unfortunately the only version they have available for smartphones is an online version, and I really need one that is native to my phone. If you can use the online version, or if you are using your time management software primarily through a desktop/laptop… you should definitely check out the PlanPlus software. I’ve even considered going back to a paper based Covey planning system, just so I could have better access to their resources.

  7. I feel your pain Athol, I am basically in the same boat as you. I work from the house so I am the defacto SAHD. I don’t really think of myself like that but I have to get the kids up and on the school bus. Make their lunches, make breakfast. Pick them up after school and run them around to soccer practice and then get dinner started. Do I want to do that? Not really, I just wrote a post on my blog about this a couple of days ago. While I don’t mind working from home, it’s all the domestic chores that I don’t appreciate. My wife does expect a level of clean. I have a super flexible schedule so much of the grocery shopping and errand stuff falls on my shoulders. It can be a HUGE time suck if you don’t prioritize for yourself! Would I do this again? Probably not… It has been frustrating but rewarding too. I just feel like I am more productive in an office setting. YMMV!

  8. I’ve used a lot of time management techniques over the years, you almost have to to get all your work done but the household stuff still seems to intrude. Working from home can work quite well as long as the income exceeds outgo, but even then some women have a hard time with the idea of them working and “You at Home”. With my business it was sometimes quite a struggle to make ends meet and in the end I feel played a large part in the failure of my marriage. I think the potential my wife saw in me just didn’t pan out like she’d hoped and set her sights on someone else who appeared was going somewhere. I don’t regret the extra time I got to spend with the kids, or even chasing my dream, but I often wonder if my marriage might have survived if I’d rented a small office to work out of or gave up self employment.

  9. This is off topic, but I picked out what seemed to be a good “Red Pill” birthday card today for my wife.

    It says” On your birthday, remember, I stand beside you as your partner. I stand before you as your leader and defender. I stand behind you as your…. Hey! Nice Butt!”

    OMG I got that exact same card for Jennifer’s birthday!

  10. 2manypasswords says:

    Thanks Athol – this post is a good reminder about the fundamentals of time management.

    @ alphaguy – I totally understand where you’re coming from, as I’m in pretty much the same situation myself. I’ve been a work at home dad for many years & want out of the role, but my son has a medical condition that complicates things. I also feel the pull to do household stuff during the daytime, and then have to spend evenings running one or both kids around to piano, soccer, etc. If you’re on the forum, feel free to send me a message sometime.

  11. Athol:

    I can see how most SAHDs out there might struggle with maintaining enough external alpha in their lives. Superior personal fitness is probably not enough. If the SAHD has little or no breadwinning work at home, I would recommend seroiusly considering joining the Reserve or National Guard. A Reserve/NG career can be extremely rewarding, and of course there’s nothing much more alpha than a warrior defending his country.

    Though I’m not a SAHD, I enlisted at age 34, and my Reserve career has made me a much better man. And my LTR tingles EVERY time I come home wearing camouflage.

  12. Wow, I’d really have to pack on the under-eye makeup if I only got 6 hours a night! But I’ve known people that can be fine with that. They’re usually hyper ADD types. :)

    Excellent schedule. Now I feel compelled to make a schedule of my own. I’m busy running around all day long, but sometimes at the end of the day I’m so foggy and tired I don’t really know what I did.

    @Chuck and Athol – awesome bday card. I would have loved it!

  13. @Chuck/Athol – WHERE DID YOU GET THAT CARD?!?!?!?!?
    (Need to know asap, wife’s birthday is just around the corner! :)


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