Do You Have More Time Than You Think?
Do you ever feel like there’s not enough in your day / week to work a full-time job, devote quality time to your family, spend time with friends, hobbies, run errands, manage investments, and so on…?
Every time I seem to ask someone if they’ve been busy, the answer is a resounding “YES!” Who doesn’t feel like they’re cramped for time? Obviously this is not a phenomenon exclusive to physicians who are well-known to work extended hours both in and out of training. Ask any mother, working or stay-at-home, and they’ll tell you there’s really no such thing as “off-time". Now combine those two, the physician mom, and forget it, I have no idea how they’re handle things. I give my physician wife and mother all the credit in the world for juggling it all.
Given this struggle, I’m always on the hunt to figure out better ways to manage everything. That’s what initially led me to the book, the 4-hour Workweek, where Tim Ferriss preaches that you need to automate your life as much as possible, so you have more time for the things you love.
One of the readers of this blog recently suggested that I read the book, 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. I decided to pick it up for my current travels and although I’m not completely through it, it’s already given me some things to think about and I thought I’d share it for the busy soul, you.
You ever consider the number of hours you have in a week? 24 hours x 7 days = 168 hours. The idea of the book is simple - do you have any concept of how you’re spending that time and are you being deliberate about its usage? If you’re honest with yourself, it’s not “I don’t have time” but it’s really “it’s not a priority for me".
The book asks you to do an accounting. I’ll do a real detailed log soon but here’s a rough sketch of my week:
Sleep - My ideal is 7 hours although I don’t always get it
Work - Averaging in the occasional call night / weekend
Commute - usually average 30 min each way
Meals - count a rushed breakfast and decent dinner, average over the week
Sleep - 7 hours / night x 7 days = 49 hours
Work - 10 hours / day x 5 days = 50 hours
Commute - 1 hour / day x 5 days = 5 hours
Eat meals - 2 hours / day x 7 days = 14 hours
Church - 3 hours on Sundays
Okay, so far that’s 121 hours. That leaves me with 47 hours left in the week, what?
On my blog I mention that I’m hungry for more time to spend with loved ones doing the things I love. Well, outside of the current variables above I feel I can’t change, looks like I have almost an average of seven hours a days to do the things that matter to me. If I feel I struggle for quality time or time to hit a five hour round of golf in a week, I must be filling my time with things that aren’t a priority for me. Can I really say that I wish I had more time with my daughter if I average almost seven hours / day of “free time?”
I’m going to take a legitimite log and see where the time goes. Am I watching too much TV, am I wasting too much time surfing the internet aimlessly, how much time am I spending on this blog, what other things am I possibly doing? Yes, there are other time fillers that I haven’t mentioned that eat up your time, but that’s the point. What are they and are they truly important or can I figure out a way to get rid of them or even outsource them? I guess it’s time for me to figure it out…
What’s your time use look like? I’m curious...
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