“Work takes up all my time. I don’t have any free time to work on my life, my goals and dreams.”
What if I told you that you have more free hours in a day than you work? Yes, you have more non-working hours in a day than you have work hours. Let’s do some math here. There are 168 hours in a week.
168 hours / week
– 45 hours of work (40 hour work week plus commuting)
– 56 hours of sleep (8 hours per night)
67 hours left
That’s 67 hours that you are not working or sleeping. Divide that with 7 days and you have 9.57 hrs per day!! You have over 9 hours of free time per day!
How many hours in a day do you spend showering, making dinner, grocery shopping, exercising, and taking kids to activities? Not 9 hours a day I hope.
So where are all those hours going? They disappear because we are not intentional about how we use them. Time is like money, if we don’t track it then it has a tendency to just disappear.
I’m a big fan of Dan Miller. Years ago when I started following him I remember how he kept mentioning that we all have 168 hours in a week. That really stuck with me. I started being more intentional with my time and how I use it. It’s a struggle at times but the more I work on it the better I get at it.
Something that works for me is to block out time in the morning for quiet time and exercise. I also read, write, check things off my to-do list and cook breakfast. I do these things before I have to get ready for work. If I start checking emails, social media and turn on the morning news my morning literally disappears. Those mornings I don’t feel as if I accomplished anything because my morning was filled with what I call “junk” instead of good stuff that fuels my brain and gives me good energy.
So what are some ways to start using time better?
– Turn off the TV. Ask yourself what programs will give you a good return on your time investment. Is sitting down mindlessly in front of the TV a good investment of your time? What better things could you do than watching TV? If you watch the average amount of hours a day that people watch TV you’ve watched well over a decade of TV during your life time! That’s well over 10 years of just watching TV non-stop! That’s how your daily action can add up.
– Make a list of the things you want to accomplish that week. I have a list of things I want to accomplish each week. I do most of them in the morning because that’s what works for me. Key to success is to do the things you need to do first before doing things that is not on the list. If there’s any time after that, reward yourself with some goofing off time.
– Limit social media time. Facebook and Twitter can be huge time suckers if we don’t pay attention. I know some that use a timer, set it for 15 minutes and when that time is up they log out. I have recently started doing that and it really helps.
– Track where your hours are going by using an hourly schedule (you can print on off the internet). Write in what you are doing in 15 or 30 minute blocks. Do that for a week or two and then take a look at how you are spending your time. It’s a great visual to see where your time is going.
I’m aware of that after running errands, doing house chores and all the other things we need to do that we don’t have a full 9 hours of free time but if you plan your time better you will find a lot of extra spare time. Often hours a day!
Think of what you could accomplish in a week, a month or a year if you used those extra hours or even just 60 minutes a day. You can easily find one hour a day by watching less TV or spending less time on the internet.
60 minutes a day equals 365 hours in a year. That’s a lot of hours! Divide that into a 40 hour work week and you suddenly have over 9 weeks!
Think of all the things you can accomplish with an extra 9 weeks of free time in a year. I don’t have a crystal ball but I’m positive you can accomplish a lot more by being intentional about how you use your time.
What tips do you have for being more productive and intentional about your time? Tell me in the comments.
Karin Tegeman says
Great tips! I have found that if I make 1-3 weekly/daily goals, I get more done and I feel less stressed. Amazing how something so simple can help.
Great tip! I break my list into daily goals too and I keep it short and simple so that I know I can accomplish them. If my list is too long I feel overwhelmed and stressed.
Rick Theule says
Over the last few weeks one common recommendation continues to surface: TV.
Ugh!! I LOVE watching TV! But, are those hours worth more to me than my BIG DREAM?
What if you planned your schedule and list based on a middle ground? You do the to-do list item first and then as a reward you get to watch TV. After a while, TV won’t be so tempting because your habits will change. Keep your list realistic too. If it’s too long then it gets overwhelming and it’s easy to not even bother working on it. Changing a habit takes time and you have to change it slowly to succeed. You can do it!
Garrhet Sampson says
“60 minutes a day equals 365 hours in a year. That’s a lot of hours! Divide that into a 40 hour work week and you suddenly have over 9 weeks!” This is a great post! I’ve found that by actually tracking where my time is going I can know what I need to be cutting back on much much better!
Thanks Garrhet! Glad you liked the post. Tracking hours is a great way to see where they are going and then adjust accordingly.
Leah Sannar says
I love the idea of setting timers for social media. I think this is one of my biggest time suckers. I’m not a huge TV watcher, but even still – that can always be cut back also. Thanks for sharing these tips! It was quite a wake up call!
Leah Sannar recently posted…Things My Kids Should Know About Me
Social media definitely is a time sucker. And it’s so easy to get distracted. I am logged out from all mediums while I’m working and try to only check during scheduled time. It’s not easy! The timer has made a huge difference. Hopefully it will work as great for you as it has for me. Thanks for stopping by!
Christina recently posted…Hardcore Sisters Episode One
Audra Rogers says
Social media is a huge time-suck, I love the timer idea! I use it to limit tv and keep the kids on task, so it’s a good example for me to use it too 🙂
Audra Rogers recently posted…Leading At Vacation Bible School