Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Your 168 Hours

I just finished reading a great time-management book called 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam. It turns out that we all have 168 hours every week (24x7). As a game designer, assistant pastor and homeschooling father of 3 (4 in mere days), my schedule can get a bit hectic and disorganized. Vanderkam urges her readers to reevaluate their priorities and restructure their lives to accomplish what they truly want rather than just taking the path of least resistance.

I followed along by keeping a spreadsheet time diary, logging each activity and how long I spent doing it. I feared discovering 168 hours packed with wasted time and useless web-surfing. I discovered that I sleep about 8 hours a night (the average/recommended amount) and that I work 30-40 hours a week. This week I also spent over 15 hours reading (more than I intended, but it could be worse). I spent about 10-12 hours interacting with my family and about 8 hours attending church and related events (some of this counted as work). I spent 10 hours watching TV with my wife (this number could be a bit lower). One obvious area in need of improvement: 0 hours spent exercising.

Overall, I discovered that things are going better than I thought. The book had many other great ideas for tweaking your schedule to get the most out of life. I definitely felt more intentional about my time when I had to keep a log. That step alone might help you get control of your life. So, are you really doing everything you want to be doing with your 168 hours?

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