Did You Ever Ask Yourself Where Did the Time Go?
We all have 168 hours a week to accomplish what we want in our lives. Some people get so much done in that time, yet other of us just don’t. Do you know where your time goes? If you are like most people the answer is no, I don’t.
Do You Measure Time Usage?
If you aren’t getting the results you like everyday it may be time to plot on a piece of paper, a spreadsheet, or your favorite device where the time goes. Plot out your waking hours in 15-minute increments. At the end each segment briefly fill in what you did. This is not an onerous task and takes practically no time. If you are working with larger project, say two hours at a time simply block that in after the section is completed. As is often said, “what gets measured gets noticed.”
Do the Math
If you sleep the often-recommended 8 hours a day you still have 16 hours a day or 112 hours a week left over. Allow 3 hours a day for recreation and eating. That leaves 91 hours a week to “do stuff.” Take out 55 for work and commuting (± a little) that still leaves 36 hours. Think of what people have accomplished in the standard forty-hour workweek. Imagine the reading, learning, new skills (some recreational of course – that new musical instrument), and other things you can accomplish in that time frame. Think of the life work balance you would be able to attend if this was balanced.
How Much TV & Computer Are You Watching?
Thestar.com reported in 2013 that Canadians watch an average of 4 hours and 20 minutes a day of TV. This is falling as people spend more time surfing. I personally try to justify that surfing is better because I am learning more. At least that is what I tell myself (and my wife) to feel better about lost time. Now if you are not a surfer but just watch the average amount of TV your golden 36 hours of opportunity has just become 6 rather than 36. Think about this when wondering where the time went. Time cannot be recovered. You cannot make up for lost time.
How Are You Going to Use Those Hours?
As you can see even after working long hours you still have more non-working hours to do what you like. Only you can chose. Write a comment or an email and let me know what you would do if you harnessed 10 of these hours. I await your answer.
Bill is a life coach in Ottawa working with life work balance.