I often feel like one week just does not have enough time to work towards my goals and the life of my dreams. Often, on a Sunday night, when I sit down to think about my achievements of the past week and set my focus for the next one, I realise that I haven't really done anything - the week just flew by and I, again, didn't get any closer to the life of my dreams.
That got me wondering: How much free time do I have in a week and where does it go?
A week has 168 hours. Subtracting 7.5 hours a day for sleep leaves me with 116.5 hours of time awake.
> 116.5 hours <
I work a 40-hour week (+ 1 hour break/day) and commute for 1 hour.
> 66.5 hours <
Assuming I am an average person, I spend 30 minutes/day in the bathroom, 37 minutes/day preparing food, and 1.5 hours eating it. I also go grocery shopping for 74 minutes/week and spend 6 hours/week cleaning my apartment and doing laundry.
> 44.5 hours <
On top of that I have some habits I want to stick to. I read for 30 minutes before going to sleep, meditate twice for a total of 20 minutes, and go on a 10-minute walk after dinner.
> 37.5 hours <
I also want to stay healthy, so I go for a run, bike ride, or to the gym for 1.5 hours at least 3 times a week and do 10 minutes of yoga every day.
> 31.8 hours <
This leaves me with around 32 hours of true free time. I slept, went to work, and took care of surviving in a healthy manner. These are the hours in which I can do whatever I want.
I was surprised, 32 hours seemed more than I was expecting. But then I thought about how I normally spend this time.
On average I spend 2 hours/day on social media, watch 1-2 episodes of Brooklyn 99 to relax , play video games for 1 hour/day, and have to watch my favourite football team for 2 hours a week. I also like to follow Formula 1, which is a 2 hour race every other week.
> 0.8 hours <
That leaves me with only 48 minutes to meet my friends, visit my grandparents (who life 3 hours away), or hang out with my siblings and parents. I also want to finally get my own business started and, most important of all, I want to spent time with my wife.
My goal is to live an amazing life with the person I love the most. This is my motivation to go to work every day and stay healthy ... and all of this leads to only a few minutes of quality time together?
I know shouldn't calculate things like this. A lot of my social media time, for example, happens on my commute to work and I can watch TV while eating a dinner I cooked with my wife. It is impossible to track every second of my day.
But, by really thinking about my available time in the week, I realised two important things:
- Time is my most valuable currency. It is the one thing I can never get more of, even if I would be a millionaire, and it continuously runs by.
- It is easier than ever to spend (waste?) this time. I have an endless supply of content to consume, games to play, and news to read. If I don't pay attention, I won’t have time for the things that really matter to me.
This calculation should be taken with a huge grain of salt - but the message should not be disregarded.
I have to be mindful with my limited amount of time in a world competing for my attention. I will value my time - my currency - more and will be more selective in the ways I spend it.
I don't reach my goals because I choose to spend my time on things that do not bring me closer to them. A bit of social media, scrolling around my phone, or playing a game add up to the point where I only have a few minutes every week for the things that are actually important to me and it doesn't help, that tech-companies design their programs to be as addictive as possible.
“It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. ... The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.”
_ Seneca, de brevitate vitae _