My 168 Hours

Jan 2, 2019

A couple weeks ago, I read 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam. Although I thought the book was a hot mess, there were some useful exercises in there. For example, one of the exercises was to record everything you did for an entire week. I love obsessively recording stats about my life so I jumped on it.

Here’s the raw data (rounded to the nearest hour):

Activity Hours
Sleep 48
Work 47
Ray 24
Travel 15
Internet 8
Socialize 5
Movie 3
168 Hours 2
Emily 3
Washroom 2
Breakfast 2
Get Ready 1
Church 1
Netflix 1
Pray 1
Journal 1
Dinner 1
Read 1
Investing 0.5
Stats 0.5
Phone 0.5
Weekly Review 0.25
Library 0.25

A visualization:

My 168 Hours

I’m not sure if this is a typical week. I spent a lot of time going out and actually being social for once. I hung out with a club from university, met up with some friends. There’s nothing really surprising here except for the fact that I spend almost as much time at work as I do sleeping.

My “travel” category is a little disingenous. I usually multitask. At that time I would always be reading on the train. But not all of my travel time is on the train (sometimes I’m walking, on the bus, or being driven) so it can’t all be counted as reading time.

Now I know this is an atypical week because most days I have dinner at home. I refuse to believe I only spent an hour in an entire week eating dinner. Maybe it got smushed into the socialize category.

Now that it’s a new year, I’m wondering about how to better spend my time. Ever since starting work, I’ve always had a feeling like there wasn’t ever enough time. I would have a lot of projects that I would want to work on but never get around to it.

So I blocked out a rough approximation of my typical week of things that usually do not change from day to day:

Ideal Empty Week

I technically have 50 or so hours of “free time” every week. That’s actually a lot of time. But then you strip out things like personal hygeine, chores, travel time to go do other things, then it gets dicey. Obviously, most of my free time is during the weekend. I try my best to do a lot over the weekend but sometimes it gets lost to socializing (is it really “lost” if I’m spending time with friends?).

I’m still trying to figure out a good balance.