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Time creation

The 168 hour week

Have you ever thought about what you actually do in a week? You have 24 hours per day, 7 days in the week, so that’s 168 hours per week.

The Problem: I don’t have enough time for everything

If you have not already read the blog on focusing your time on the right things, here’s the link.

Do you never have enough time?

Do you never have enough time?

Otherwise, welcome to the common issue people have: not enough time in the day to do everything! My belief is that if others seem to manage to do all those things, I should be able to as well. That surely make sense. But what do I spend my time on?

The Plan:Breaking down the week

If I want to achieve my goal of leaving the office in the next 3 years, I need time to work on those very important projects on the side. That takes time. But how much time have I got to do them? Let’s look at a typical week.

We all have the same amount of hours per week, the difference has to be how we use them, so I decided to look at a typical week. You may want to do this for your own week but you can use the below as a guide:– Hours per week (pw) = 168 hrs

– If I sleep on average 7 hrs pd = 49 hrs pw, this leaves 119 hrs for other things

– Getting up and getting ready everyday (shower, breakfast, get dressed) at c.1 hr pd = 7 hrs pw, this leaves 112 hrs for other things

– Commuting is on average 45 minutes each way, so for 5 days this is 6.67 hrs pw, this leaves 105.33 hrs for other things

– Working an average 50 hrs, this leaves 65.33 hrs for other things

Actually, I’m thinking 65 hrs of free time sounds like quite a lot! So if this is my free time, where I “invest” that time because it never feels like I have enough hours in the day!

Here are some typical categories where time disappears (showed per day):

– Eating/ cooking (c.1hr)

– Internet surfing (c.1hr)

– Emails answering (c. 1hr)

– TV (c.1hr)

– Day dreaming (c. 1hr)

– Coffee/ tea break and chat (c.0.5 hr)

– Bathroom (c.0.5 hr)

– Walking (c.0.5 hr)

Admittedly these are approximations but amazing it all adds up to 45.5 hours per week! Quite a lot really and that leaves only 20 hours per week.

So 20 hours to fit in all the other activities I actually want to like seeing friends, working on projects, gym, etc.

Not to mention the things “I have to do” like household chores or food shopping.

OK this has now stressed me out, I need to do a clear out and optimise my time, there’s just too much wastage.

The Result: optimising time means more for fun things!

Having trialled various things over the past 3 months here are some suggestions from my experience, click here for a fuller explanation of each:

1- Use the commute to your advantage! TIME SAVING 6 HOURS PER WEEK.

2- Cut out internet surfing or minimise. TIME SAVING 7 HOURS PER WEEK.

3- Change your approach to emails. TIME SAVING 7 HOURS PER WEEK

4- Day dreaming and TV. TIME SAVING c. 10 HOURS PER WEEK.

5- Sleep 1 hour less and have a 20 minute nap instead during the day (commute or at lunch). TIME SAVING 4.6 HOURS PER WEEK.

So all in all, as we saw, of your 168 hours per week, you may only have 20 hours spare at the moment before social life, etc. By putting in place some of the strategies above you could create 20-30 hours a week for your chosen goal, without changing your life too much, just optimising it to help you do what you truly want to…

About patarcher

Office Escapee Entrepreneur Trainer & Coach TED enthusiast Family guy Primal & Barefoot


4 thoughts on “The 168 hour week

  1. Saving time in the bathroom!? Now that’s inventive… some good ideas though, really puts it in perspective, I’m definitely wasting about 2 hours a day

    Posted by Emily lol | July 29, 2012, 21:46


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