Long-time readers know I spent the past year, April to April, tracking my time. I had mentioned a few weeks ago that I was nearing the end of my project, and I promised a series of naval-gazing posts on the findings. I assumed I would write about the findings here because I was not sure they would be of much interest to anyone else.
In happy news, it turns out I was wrong! My essay on my 8784 hours, “The Busy Person’s Lies,” is online at the New York Times now, and will appear in print in the Sunday Review section this weekend.
(Are you interested in tracking your time? You can sign up to receive a 168 hours time-tracking spreadsheet by entering your email in the box in the header that says “enter email.” There is no need to do a whole year! I find that a week, or even a few days, is enlightening.)
My basic findings: I work less than I think (shocking, no?) My average for the year was 37.4 hours/week. Subtract the vacation weeks when I worked much less than usual and this rises to 40 hours/week, but still, it was just 40.
I slept 51.81 hours a week, or just a little under 7-and-a-half hours per day. Subtract those two numbers from 168 hours and we get 78.89 hours for other things. Some of it was spent on housework and errands (9.09) and some in the car (7.84) but there was plenty of time for reading, and exercise, and some TV, though not much (a grand tally of 57.5 hours for the year, which is just a little over an hour per week. By contrast, I read almost an hour a day. I am proud of that ratio, if not the literary quality of what I read).
It was a full year and a year with plenty of space. Looking at the whole of my 8784 hours has convinced me of that.
We may have some new readers here this weekend and early next week with some other media I’m doing. If you’re just arriving, welcome! Please have a look around. Comments are always welcome as long as they are not attacking other readers. If you don’t feel like commenting publicly but have feedback or questions, you can contact me at lvanderkam at yahoo dot com.