I recently discovered an interesting website called Wait But Why. What intrigued me was the combination of Minimalist design (simple-yet-effective stick figures!) and funny yet thought-provoking topics on its blog.
With the Christmas and New Year’s holidays only a week away and the custom to reflect on the current year and plan for the new one, this seemed like the perfect time to comment on a post called “100 Blocks a Day”. Here’s the premise from author Tim Urban:
Most people sleep about seven or eight hours a night. That leaves 16 or 17 hours awake each day. Or about 1,000 minutes. Let’s think about those 1,000 minutes as 100 10-minute blocks. That’s what you wake up with every day. Throughout the day, you spend 10 minutes of your life on each block, until you eventually run out of blocks and it’s time to go to sleep. It’s always good to step back and think about how we’re using those 100 blocks we get each day.
In this post, Urban provides a 10×10 grid of blank blocks, which you can download as a PDF and edit to see how you spend your 100 blocks.
100 blocks…interesting! How do I spend those blocks? I decided to take a shot at analyzing a typical weekday (weekends are too much of a free-for-all, so I opted for a weekday).
Here are my 100 blocks in mostly chronological order (from shortly after I wake up until shortly before going to bed):
- Blue: This is the time I typically spend going for a run or going to the fitness center, and then stretching, showering, etc. Some days might require more time, others less, but this is typically how I start my day.
- Green: Breakfast! The all-important meal of the day.
- Red: A typical 9-hour day at work. This does not include drive to/from time.
- Kids: This includes the time I have them during the week, or when I go to their sporting events, concerts, or other extracurricular activities. If it’s a night when I don’t have my kids, then I spend this time with my girlfriend, doing homework for grad school, getting groceries, or other things.
- Dinner: So, this is an odd one. When I have my kids during the week, I do feed them. And if I don’t have them, I still eat dinner.
- Gray: This is my “free time.” I don’t always have two hours to myself every day. This time may also be consumed by grad school. If it is truly free time, then I’m either playing my guitar, reading, or watching TV.
- White: Unaccounted time. This reflection wasn’t perfect. These categorizations of time ebb and flow. What is accurate, though, is I really don’t have a lot of time that is unaccounted for.
It’s no surprise that my job occupies the majority of my weekday time. On one hand, I’m impressed that I’m able to squeeze a lot into each day; on the other hand, I wish I had more time, or could better prioritize my time, so I had more time to do more personal growth activities (or blog!).
How do you budget your time? What would your blocks look like?