Thursday, April 10, 2014

How We Split Our Time

I've probably sounded whiny lately about how much time I feel is wasted. I tend to dwell on this stuff when Sallie and I have been especially busy. And we have been jam packed since late February and will continue to be until late April.

I started thinking about this more when I read an article this week about the Swedish government testing out a 6 hour workday. (They already have a limit at 7 hours) They believe people will be more efficient and productive. I agree.

I'm great at my job. I exceed deadlines, nail my stats, win awards. But if I'm being honest, they probably only get about 5 hours of work out of me. The rest of the day is spent in meetings that go no where or staring out the window.

I broke down how many hours on average I spent on different things per week. (This was also an excuse for me to make a pie chart, which I haven't done since college when someone told me I would need to know how to do it for the business world.)

I'm sure this graph is at least close to most people.

I assumed that you work 8 hours, not including the 30 - 60 minutes wasted on lunch. I assumed that you spend at least an hour a day traveling, an hour eating 3 meals at 20 minutes a piece, 30 minutes showering and getting dressed, and an hour of general chores like picking things up, cooking food, etc a day. Basically, I went really conservative on these times. We all probably spend more time doing this stuff.

The amount of free time we as people have is not enough. If you have this ideal schedule, you're looking at 35 hours of free time a week. That's crazy. Only 20% of your time is actually yours.

I have many hobbies that I don't get to spend enough time on. I write, brew, play video games, and read. Things that I enjoy like guitar and drawing get pushed to the background, just because there's not enough time.

This isn't even including social interaction or those days where my brain is tired and I just need to stare at Netflix for a few hours.

Basically, if we go by the philosophy that you have to spend 10,000 hours on something to master it, it would take me almost 5.4 years to reach that goal, only if I spent all 35 hours of my free time on it every week.

This is the reason I'm not a master brewer, I'm not a published author, or whatever you become after mastering video games. When I start dedicating a lot of my free time toward one of these arts, I feel bad that I'm not spending enough time on the other ones.

This would also require I ignore my wife and friends. I like going out and having a beer. I like my wife pretty good. We need social interaction.

So, how do people do it? Do they just quit their jobs and mooch off of people until they make money with their art? Are these the people from my generation that live in their parents' basement voluntarily?