You’ve got 100 hrs a week, once you subtract sleeping, showering, eating.
Bill Gates has 100 hrs. Barak Obama. Drew Brees. Your neighbor down the road who seems ordinary but is actually rich, happy, morally inspiring, with an amazing family…
Everybody has the same 100 hours or so.
What are you spending your 100 hours on?
If you are like most of us, you spend your time about like this (and yes, I’m intentionally taking a cynical tone here so that in a few paragraphs I can shine some glorious light on the problems and make myself seem uber-insightful…):
- 45 hrs a week “half working”, going through the motions of your job, trying just hard enough to make sure you get a modest raise at your annual review, trying to not make mistakes, and neglecting to set your own goals, instead just doing whatever your supervisor directs you to do
- 5 hrs in the car, listening to junk
- 10 hrs a week watching TV, mostly off-color sitcoms or repetitive news, maybe 1 hour of pseudo-educational stuff and rarely anything that truly inspires you to become more than you are now
- 5 hours cruising the web, doing God-knows-what but rarely anything of real purpose
- Anywhere from 2 to 10 hrs hanging with friends, doing the same old things you always do
- Between 2 and 5 hrs doing household chores, and often doing them the same way you always have – inefficiently and incompletely
- 2 to 5 hours with your spouse complaining about your jobs, your kids, or your neighbors
- 2 hrs making a lame attempt at exercise, most of which is either spent doing ineffective cardio or talking to buddies in the gym, without any intelligent goals in mind
- 5 hours of unfocused time with your kids, where you aren’t really doing anything of purpose, and spend half of the time thinking about something else
- 5 to 10 hours that are simply “lost” – you honestly have no idea where they went; it’s just that when you add up your hours, you are less than 100 and you are clueless how you are losing that much time every week
So What Are Better Uses Of Your 100 Hours?
Obviously I’m going to say that it all starts with your goals: What are you trying to accomplish?
Part of The Goal Triangle philosophy is that there are 3 major areas of your life:
- Family (including friends and greater community)
- Fitness (physical, mental, spiritual – “fun” is included here too)
- Finances (including career)
If you haven’t written down your most important goals in each of these areas, stop reading right now. This article is useless if you have no goals.
Once you do have the right goals (read the other articles on this site for advice and tips on how to do so), then there’s an overly simplistic answer to the question “What should I spend my 100 hrs on?”
The answer: on doing what it takes to accomplish your goals!
It can’t be that simple can it? Actually it is. But it’s not easy. It only becomes easy after you have practiced it repeatedly. A regular review of your goals – daily, and even multiple times per day – will allow you to almost effortlessly start using your time more wisely.
So let’s revisit that list of what “most people” do with their 100 hrs. Except this time, I’m going to write it from the perspective of someone who has clear goals in multiple areas of their life.
The Goal-Oriented Way Of Spending Your 100 Hours
- 45 hrs a week working all the time you are at work, focusing on the things you want to accomplish to further your career and advance your income dramatically; not spending time at the water-cooler and not spending time on “busy work”; willing to take some risks because you know that accomplishing great things requires some risk; working with your supervisor to tie together your own goals, with her goals, and the goals of your organization
- 5 hrs in the car, listening to audio recordings that support your goals (for example, if you are a sales woman, there are countless recordings on how to improve sales; if you are a parent, you can find CDs at the library on parenting; if you have a goal centered around minimizing your angry outbursts, there are recordings for that too)
- 10 hrs a week reading books that help you learn things to accomplish your goals; if you watch any TV, it is uplifting positive shows; and you limit your news watching to just the headlines and only watch more when a truly important event is taking place
- 5 hours using the web not as “entertainment” but as a research tool to help you grow, learning more about fitness, finances, or family-oriented topics
- Anywhere from 2 to 10 hrs hanging with friends, but doing things that are both fun and growth-oriented; finding ways to inspire and challenge each other to be more
- Minimal time doing household chores because you do them so well and completely that they don’t need to be done as often; also incorporate a schedule that allows them to be done more efficiently (like batching them, or like doing them immediately when needed)
- 2 to 5 hours with your spouse brainstorming ways you can excel at your jobs, talking about your goals for your kids and the successes of your kids, or ways you can establish friendships with neighbors who are going to be fun and inspiring
- 2 hrs of focused exercise using established principles to accomplish whatever your specific fitness goals are; when you are working out, you are working out according to your plan and you don’t get distracted into socializing or slacking off
- 5 hours of time with your kids where you are focused exclusively on them, playing and talking about what is important to them (and helping them to think about the bigger picture of what they want their life to be like and setting goals around those)
- 5 to 10 hours that are available for other important goals that you’ve defined
So I ask again, what are you spending your 100 hours on?