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168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

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In total, I logged 115 hours against 7 core weekly activities. That means I have 53 (168 - 115) hours of remaining time to do with it what I will, including possibly taking time from things like “watching T.V.,” or “social media” to do tasks of higher value. You don’t need to be a time management guru to appreciate the potential. If you take into account the fact that it only takes 20 hours to learn a new skill, you’ll be well on your way to planning more exciting and efficient weeks than ever before. You should now have a good understanding of why thinking about your time in 24-hour increments is not always the best solution. After all, I don’t mow my lawn every 24 hours, and therefore wouldn't normally think about reducing the frequency of mowing. Examples of things that are not core competencies for most people are laundry, cleaning the house, or making food (unless of course those things are part of your job, or a fulfilling hobby). Those are tasks you can either outsource, not do at all, or spend less time doing. Choose a small number of activities that bring you the most happiness. Make sure that one of the activities involves breaking a sweat given that your health is non-negotiable

hours is a time management strategy designed by Laura Vanderkam, author of 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think.Feel free to aim big. Few calculated risks end in disaster, and any investment made in a project you care deeply about is likely to generate some return.”

Not useful for very detailed planning and to-do lists: Because this is a time management strategy aimed more at determining how you’re using your time, and how you can do more of the things you want to do, you’ll still need to have other strategies in place as well to help you figure out the day-to-day, nitty-gritty details. Do you know how you are using your time now? Or, in an average week of 168 hours, where is that time going?Hours should be an eye-opener for every one of us who leads a busy, hectic life. Reading it made me appreciate how much “true” amount of time I really have and how to use it wisely and optimally to boost productivity, efficiency, and joy.” The book is primarily targeted at wealthy mothers that are either self-employed or have significant flexibility over their working hours. Since I am none of the above, I couldn't relate to a good portion of this book. Given the nature of my work, I cannot rearrange my work hours or delegate my tasks away. Also, the author's advice of outsourcing household chores, like cooking and cleaning, isn't feasible. Sleep for 7 hours, max. 8 if you're a real lazy-ass. You can sleep when you're dead. Don't "sleep in" on weekends. Wake up earlier and go to bed earlier since "nothing meaningful" gets done after 10p anyway. Except. Everyone is different. Some people have their best "brain time" at different times. More useful: adjust your sleep schedule around your best hours of the day -- plan to sleep when you know you're likely to have the hardest time staying focused. Have your personal assistant/executive assistant/secretary make your appointments, manage your schedule, and take care of the little tasks that add up. It’s perfect for those who think they face a constant time crunch. Until recently, I was one. Reading the book helped me realize I do have time to write that novel, start that blog, take that dance class, exercise every day — and still have dinner ready for my husband and spend quality time with my kids.”

this inspired a conversation between me & my partner. i asked him what he would do with an extra 15 minutes a day & he said, "tidy the house." we decided that we would each spend 15 minutes a day tidying up. as a result, our house is almost always pristine, like something from a magazine. it was eye-opening to realize how little time it really takes to do something that seems so insufferable but ought to get done anyway.Well, my dream job is to be an astronaut. It's not going to happen. I am in my mid-30s, have no science education and a 15-year career doing something else. Almost every book in this genre makes a similar recommendation. I find it useless. If everyone were doing his/her dream job, would we have janitors? Port-a-potty maintenance crew, etc. Granted, there are some "undesirable" jobs that appeal to a handful of people (i.e. podiatrists, those people who rescue alligators/venomous snakes from human habitats) but most of us aren't working our actual, honest-and-true dream job. Better advice would be how to find meaning in your work, how to stay motivated and focused when the work gets boring (even dream jobs come with a side of tedious tasks), how to move forward, grow and get new challenges/opportunities in your field. Now, if you h-a-t-e your job, that's something to look at but I feel like many of us are working jobs that are medium-ish -- they are not too hard/too easy, they pay enough to pay the bills, there's an ebb and flow between challenge and overwhelmed -- where's the advice on how to make the most of that kind of job? The kind most of us have? Get rid of non-core-competency tasks by ignoring, minimizing, or outsourcing them. Always seek work that improves your core competencies, and minimize the rest. There are 168 hours in a week—this is a new approach to getting the most out of them. It’s an unquestioned truth of modern life: we are all starved for time. With the rise of two-income families, extreme jobs, and the ability to log on to the world 24/7, life is so frenzied we can barely breathe. But what if we actually have plenty of time? What if we could sleep eight hours a night, exercise five days a week, and learn how to play the piano without sacrificing work, family time, or any other activity that is important to us? We can. If we re-examine our weekly allotment of 168 hours, we’ll find that, with a little reorganization and prioritizing, we can dedicate more time to the things we want to do without having to make sacrifices. I found her discussion of outsourcing household tasks (and the associated stigmatism) fascinating, particularly the opportunity costs of hiring someone and the concept of specialization (disguised as “core competencies”) in the assignment of household tasks or in choosing to support local task-specific businesses. While certainly hiring someone to do those loathed cleaning chores may be financially challenging, she offers a few ideas when considering your budget. From her outlook, prioritization is key, and her theme that “you can make what you want most work” rings strong throughout the book (and she certainly admits “no one said having it all would be easy”).

Vanderkam argues that you can have it all, all at the same time. She says it's easy to find the 20-30 hours a week that you absolutely require (she asserts) to develop and maintain a worthwhile career. What you need to do is give up (or outsource) housework and stop watching TV. You'll only have a couple of hours a day to spend with your kids, but that's okay, because you can plan exciting and enriching activities to do in those hours. No just slouching around hanging out with your kids. (Goodness knows, they might start talking to you about their lives if you do that, and what a waste of time that would be.) Use bits of time for bits of joy. Plan on how to use your time when you are idle or when the unexpected happens. I might not be the best at all of these skills but nobody else can do them for me seeing as they are things that fulfill me, or that I want to get better at doing (photography and microscopy).When I flip over to the reports tab, the first thing I do is change the report so that I only see data for the week of April 26 - May 2. The truth is, money, like time, is a choice—and often a related choice. Just as you need a “work team” to support your career, you need a “home team” to help you focus on your core competencies and save time in your personal life. If you’re rolling in cash, this may literally be a team.”

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