Every Minute Is a Choice

June 17, 2011

On impulse, I began reading an interesting book this morning after watching this short video (I was able to download it electronically from my libary system—how cool is that?!): 

 The book, 168 Hours, by Laura Vanderkam, explains that everyone is given the same amount of time per week: 168 hours. What we do with that is up to us. I’m only a couple of chapters in, but already I’ve had my thinking about time shaken up a bit. The point of the book: “You can choose how to spend your 168 hours, and you have more time than you think.”

I have to admit I was initially a bit resistant. Was this another attempt to get me to pack more into my days? And didn’t sleep matter? I mean, I need seven to eight hours a night and that only leaves me with about 119 hours a week… (Can you hear me starting to make excuses?)

Vanderkam states that for various reasons we overestimate the amount of time we spend working and doing chores. She recommends keeping a time log for a week to see where your time goes (you can download and print your own time log here). I absolutely know I squander a lot of time fooling around on the Internet (while calling it research…) and I watch more TV than I should, but mostly when I have the TV on, I’m doing something else at the same time—like cleaning the kitchen, making dinner or folding laundry. I also suspect that I do certain things than don’t actually need doing, or maybe, don’t need doing by me. I feel like I’m packing my days full with activities…and I am. But am I packing them full of things that are meaningful and important, and that I can do better than others? As one of Vanderkam’s interview subjects said, “Every minute I spend is my choice.”

One of my “Twelve Commandments” is There is time enough. I’m hopeful that 168 Hours will help me remember that, and use my time in a more meaningful fashion.

I’ll continue to read 168 Hours this weekend and I’m excited to learn more. I may find that the nuts and bolts of her approach don't suit my personality, or that her suggestions aren't practical--but even if I don't agree with her 100%, I'm sure I'll learn something.

How will you spend your time this weekend?

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  1. Her video definitely focuses on the positive, which is a good thing. I'm not sure I agree with her a hundred percent either, but I bet you can glean some good ideas from her book. I hope to catch up on sleep this weekend, do some reading, exercise and the regular chores! Have a great weekend!

  2. Thanks, Danielle. I'll be doing the same things you are this weekend. I got a good night's sleep last night, and will spend today doing some much-needed house cleaning, some exercise and, of course, some reading. Hope you have a great weeekend, too!