This is totally outside of the content I normally post on here…(Actually, I can’t even really say that, considering I haven’t been very good at posting regularly…aaaand the content I post isn’t necessarily consistent just yet)…BUT I’m doing it anyways. I’m totally experimenting with this whole blogging thing, and last time I had some inspiration, I sat down, wrote, and got an AMAZING response. If you want to read my last “writing” post, you can find it here!
Anyway, if you can’t tell from the title, this post is along the lines of what I want to call “Living Your Best Life.” More specifically, I’ve been reading a great little book called “168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think,” and it’s gotten me inspired to maximize the hours I spend in my week.
If you’ve never read this book before, I would recommend it HIGHLY. If you’re all about reading Self-Help books, feeling inspired for three weeks, and then probably going back to your old ways like I always do, READ THIS. And while this post is inspired by this book, I don’t want to summarize. I just want to give some of my thoughts on the subject, and some tips and tricks on how I’ve learned to maximize the hours spent in my week in order to start living a fuller life.
Americans, as of late, have developed an obsession with being busy, thinking they’re busy, and bragging about how little sleep they got last night. This leads us to convince ourselves that we’re exhausted – we cannot possibly have the time in our week to call our grandparents or meet up with a friend for lunch. We’re just too busy.
The most important part of maximizing your time during your week is changing your mindset. Instead of thinking about your life in cycles of 24 hours, think of your life in cycles of 168 hours, or how many hours are in a week.
Changing Your Mindset
1.) You’re not working as much as you think. You sleep more than you say you do.
This is a point that not a lot of people like to hear, but it’s true. If you calculate the amount of time that you’re actually present at your job, and you work or go to school full time, you’re probably there for about 40-60 hours a week, maximum. However, when you’re at your job, how often are you…checking your phone? Spending time surfing the internet? Eating meals? Reading the paper? You’re not working as much as you think you are. (Also, I would recommend actually calculating the time you spend at work. Possibly with a time log, or just write down and add up your hours.)
There are a number of studies that get at this. I will outline their findings: In one, a certain number of (maybe 100?) adults were asked how much sleep they got on average. Most estimated from around 4-6 hours. When an actual study was done, the adults were truly getting 7-8 hours- the recommended time. You’re getting more sleep than you think you are.
(If you’re looking for more elaboration on these points, let me know! I could make so many more posts on this subject- my thoughts are endless)
2.) Even IF you were working, let’s say, 60 hours a week (If you’re in school, this would be the hours you spend in class plus all the additional hours for homework), that STILL leaves 108 hours. If you are getting the recommended EIGHT hours of sleep a night, that leaves an extra 52 hours a week for free time.
3.) So, where is this time going?
Yes, it is true that a few of these hours goes to tasks like cleaning, cooking, etc…but these do not take up 52 hours of the week.
It’s really easy to look at the tasks you have at hand, and get overwhelmed and become convinced you have no time to do any of it. I am SO guilty of this. Just this past Sunday, it hit 2:00, and I had only checked one thing off my never-ending to-do list for that day. I felt like I had wasted my whole day, but in reality, if I decided I still wanted to go to bed early at 10:00, I could spend 8 hours straight (which I definitely didn’t need) focused on the tasks I had to get done. I put down my phone, and was finished by 6:00.
SO…Here’s why I love this so much:
Personally, I am not working 60 hour work weeks. It’s so refreshing seeing that I have all this extra time in my week to pursue things like working on my website, going to the gym, spending time with my friends, Facetiming family, going to coffee shops, and following dreams. I so encourage you to start working on changing your mindset, and realizing you have more time than you think. When you do, you can spend more time on the things and people that you love.
I am such a big believer in pursuing dreams, goals, hobbies, and getting things done that you set your mind to. So, with that in mind, I’m proposing we all try to waste less of those 52+ hours. We spend so much time debating with ourselves about what we want to do and procrastinating to avoid starting tasks that we need to do. If we each commit a bit of that time to making ourselves and the world around us better instead of sitting around, we can start working towards our best lives and a better world.
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