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168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think |LINK|

There are 168 hours in a week. This book is about where the time really goes, and how we can all use it better. It's an unquestioned truth of modern life: we are starved for time. With the rise of two-income families, extreme jobs, and 24/7 connectivity, life is so frenzied we can barely find time to breathe. We tell ourselves we'd like to read more, get to the gym regularly, try new hobbies, and accomplish all kinds of goals. But then we give up because there just aren't enough hours to do it all. Or else, if we don't make excuses, we make sacrifices. To get ahead at work we spend less time with our spouses. To carve out more family time, we put off getting in shape. To train for a marathon, we cut back on sleep. There has to be a better way-and Laura Vanderkam has found one. After interviewing dozens of successful, happy people, she realized that they allocate their time differently than most of us. Instead of letting the daily grind crowd out the important stuff, they start by making sure there's time for the important stuff. They focus on what they do best and what only they can do. When plans go wrong and they run out of time, only their lesser priorities suffer. It's not always easy, but the payoff is enormous. Vanderkam shows that it really is possible to sleep eight hours a night, exercise five days a week, take piano lessons, and write a novel without giving up quality time for work, family, and other things that really matter. The key is to start with a blank slate and to fill up your 168 hours only with things that deserve your time. Of course, you probably won't read to your children at 2:00 am, or skip a Wednesday morning meeting to go hiking, but you can cut back on how much you watch TV, do laundry, or spend time on other less fulfilling activities. Vanderkam shares creative ways to rearrange your schedule to make room for the things that matter most. 168 Hours is a fun, inspiring, practical guide that will help men and women of any age, lifestyle, or career get the most out of their time and their lives.

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

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So, it's not that we're overworked or underrested. Maybe it's just that too many hours each week get lost in the shuffle. What if you started out each week with a blank slate and the clear choice as to how you wanted to live out those fleeting 168 hours? You might be surprised to find that you have more time than you think. Once you provide for 8 hours each night to sleep, and let's say you commit to working 50 hours that week, then that leaves you with 62 hours for other things. The well-lived life will be ever elusive unless we harness our working hours and our free hours to our dreams. That clarity of purpose and disciplined use of time will get us there.

Before you get started constructing how you want to plan for your 168 hours, it's important to figure out how you are spending them now by keeping a time log, which is available at the website I was not pleased to discover how well I have learned to procrastinate. I check my e-mail way too often, as well as surf my favorite websites. I might be able to get away with the claim that I was surfing for ideas for future articles, but I know better. I'm really just doing the easier thing. Actual writing is hard work. As I have three young children and limited working hours, it's disappointing to realize how much of my writing time I'm frittering away, but also inspiring to realize how much more I could be accomplishing with a little more discipline.

The promise here is that you can reach your professional goals without relinquishing what you value in your personal life. If nurturing your children is one of your core competencies, then you'll need to spend some real quality time with them. The good news is that parents today are doing just that. Both mothers and fathers now spend more time with their children than parents did back in 1965, even though more than 50% more mothers are now in the workforce. What gives is the amount of time spent on housework.

While 168 hours takes a slightly more condensed approach to time management than Gates' Law (see the quote above), the point is the same. You can get more done than you think if you understand how you are utilizing your time now, and make the necessary changes.

If you want to track your time for longer than a week, by all means, do. I know that my weeks certainly have a different cadence depending on what is happening at work, or outside work. Some weeks I will work less, and others much more. By that same token, some weeks I sleep a lot less and probably consequently have less energy to exercise.

This assignment's activity is based on a book by Laura Vanderkam "168 hours: You have more time than you think". In this assignment I would like you to log what you are doing every 6 minutes for an entire week. We choose 6 minutes because that is 1/10 of an hour and should make it easier to keep track. For example if you sleep 7 hours and 30 mintues that is 7.5 hours in your log.

Consistently, we require more time in a day, right? We would like to have more nice times together with our partner and kids, exercise without quitting, even finish writing our book or rest for some time, would not we?

What does eating a frog have to do with saving time? According to author Brian Tracy, writer Mark Twain said that if you eat a live frog in the morning, it will be the worst thing you will do all day. Hence, the rest of the day will be much more productive. This book helps you save more time by encouraging you to tackle the most important tasks first. It addresses issues many of us face: poor productivity, self-discipline and working practices.

If you want more free time and to become more productive, you have to make the time, rather than waiting for something to happen on its own. The authors propose four-step system for making this happen. Instead of focusing on making radical changes, they suggest small changes that anyone can implement.

You may have heard about the Pareto principle, which suggests that 80% of our results come from 20% of work. That forms the basis of this book, which was written more than a decade ago, but remains relevant in 2020. It teaches you how to focus on that 20% to get the most out of your work and win back control of your time. Focus on what really matters to get the best results.

According to Gary Keller, the secret to getting more things done, freeing up more time and increasing your income lies in focusing on less. More specifically, if you want to become truly productive, you need to focus on only one thing at a time. Learn why the benefits of multitasking are a myth, why top performers have a clear sense of priority and why focus is the key to success.

Will you carry on working 40 hours per week? If you do, your weekly pay will be six times higher than before: $3,600. Or will you decide that you are satisfied with the goods you can buy with your weekly earnings of $600? You can now earn this by cutting your weekly hours to just 6 hours and 40 minutes (a six-day weekend!), and enjoy about 26% more free time than before. Or would you use this higher hourly wage rate to raise both your weekly earnings and your free time by some intermediate amount?

The idea of suddenly receiving a six-fold increase in your hourly wage and being able to choose your own hours of work might not seem very realistic. But we know from Unit 2 that technological progress since the Industrial Revolution has been accompanied by a dramatic rise in wages. In fact, the average real hourly earnings of American workers did increase more than six-fold during the twentieth century. And while employees ordinarily cannot just tell their employer how many hours they want to work, over long time periods the typical hours that we work do change. In part, this is a response to how much we prefer to work. As individuals, we can choose part-time work, although this may restrict our job options. Political parties also respond to the preferences of voters, so changes in typical working hours have occurred in many countries as a result of legislation that imposes maximum working hours.

So have people used economic progress as a way to consume more goods, enjoy more free time, or both? The answer is both, but in different proportions in different countries. While hourly earnings increased by more than six-fold for twentieth century Americans, their average annual work time fell by a little more than one-third. So people at the end of this century enjoyed a four-fold increase in annual earnings with which they could buy goods and services, but a much smaller increase of slightly less than one-fifth in their free time. (The percentage increase in free time would be higher if you did not count time spent asleep as free time, but it is still small relative to the increase in earnings.) How does this compare with the choice you made when our hypothetical employer offered you a six-fold increase in your wage?

While many countries have experienced similar trends, there are still differences in outcomes. Figure 3.2 illustrates the wide disparities in free time and income between countries in 2013. Here we have calculated free time by subtracting average annual working hours from the number of hours in a year. You can see that the higher-income countries seem to have lower working hours and more free time, but there are also some striking differences between them. For example, the Netherlands and the US have similar levels of income, but Dutch workers have much more free time. And the US and Turkey have similar amounts of free time but a large difference in income.

In Figure 3.4, we see that students studying in poor environments are more likely to study longer hours. Of these 42 students, 31 of them have high study time, compared with only 11 of the students with good environments. Perhaps they are distracted by other people around them, so it takes them longer to complete their assignments than students who work in the library.


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