The 168 Hours Challenge: Ready, set…

Tomorrow morning the 168 Hours Challenge begins! For a week (168 hours), several dozen of us will be logging our time to see where the hours really go. We'll be discussing how things are going here, and over at the Facebook 168 Hours page (you can RSVP at the events page for the Challenge). You can also tweet about your progress (#168Hours), or post on your own blog and send me a link. The 168 Hours Challenge runs from June 14-20.

How do you keep a time log?

First, go to the Manage Your Time page of this blog. There, you can download a PDF or Excel spreadsheet with 168 hours on it. You can create your own spreadsheet, too, if you think there's something wrong with mine. Or you can just write down in a log what you're doing (this is actually the approach I prefer, and probably how I will share my logs over the next week).

You don't have to record what you're doing every 5 minutes, but try to do so as often as you remember. Break activities down into categories if you can: sleep, work, housework, childcare. Sometimes it helps to think of yourself as an attorney billing time to different projects.

Why are we doing this? Well, for starters, most of us have no idea where our time goes. The first time I kept a time log I had double digits worth of hours that I simply could not account for. Knowing this has helped me be aware of how much time I spend on different things. By logging our time as a group, we'll help keep each other accountable.

We're also giving away some copies of 168 Hours as an incentive. We will be giving away a book a day during the week to randomly selected people who either post here, at Facebook, on their own blogs, or tweet (#168Hours) about their progress (email me at lvanderkam at yahoo dot com if you post on your own blog). We'll also give away 5 copies to randomly selected people who email me their completed time logs on Monday June 21.

Latecomers are allowed, so you can start whenever! (you just won't be eligible for the completed log giveaway). Just shoot me a note if you have any questions. This is going to be fun, and hopefully will give us all a better sense of our 168 hours. Knowing that my logs are going to be public is certainly encouraging me to think about what's going on the schedule for next week!

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One Response to The 168 Hours Challenge: Ready, set…


  1. Great project! I track my time using Harvest (right now I’m doing some freelance jobs) and some days I remember spending 3 hours on things that had to be done. And for the rest of the hours (with no appointments that day) I have no idea where they went. Quite helpful to track your time!

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