“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.”
– as attributed to James Michener
In a previous post I posed the question Where Did My Money Go? and realized a few days later that I could pose the same question about my time.
Time seems to sift through my fingers like the sands of, well, time. If time is constant, but seems to fly by, and if time flies when you’re having fun, then logic would determine that I am having a lot of fun. However, at the end of each week, I don’t necessarily find myself reflecting on what a fun week I had. Most of the time I am trying to figure out:
- where the time went,
- what did I actually accomplish, and
- what did I not do that I ought to have done (like exercise or call my parents)
So what if we budgeted our time like we budget our finances? We all get 60 secs per minute, 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, or 168 hours a week.
Sleep = 50 hours/wk on avg
Work = 50 hours/wk on avg
Eat = 15 hours/wk on avg
Commute = 15 hours/wk on avg (including errands, etc.)
Exercise = 10 hours on avg (including travel time)
That’s 140 hours out of 168. What do you do the other 28 hours? A quick Google search turned up this news article discussing the 2012 Neilsen survey figures showing that the average adult watches about 34 hours of television per week. Whoops! That’s more time that we had left…
So, if your typical week looks like this one your time is pretty much spent for the week. Did you get done what you wanted to accomplish? If you did, what, if anything did you give up to get it accomplished (lunch, tv, exercise, sleep)? If you worked more than 50 hours this week, was it worth what you had to sacrifice doing elsewhere (lunch, tv, exercise, sleep)?
There are a lot of theories out there on how to be more productive, but the one I think is most valuable is the practice of setting specific time limits on different activities. Time limits force you to focus and get things done, where without a specific time, we tend to procrastinate or stretch a task out to fill up the time we have – see this earlier post for a great quote.
I have started scheduling my day with this concept in mind – setting limited times to produce a blog post for instance. It is my “Ship it” deadline ( a concept I learned from author/blogger Seth Godin). Speaking of which, my deadline is up, so I hit publish.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”