What do you do in your free time?
Have you ever stepped away from your day-to-day grind and looked at how you spend your time throughout the day? The older I get (and I don’t feel that old yet) the more I realize how fast the time is really going!
What do you do with it?
How much time during the day do you actually have after you take out work, sleep and your other obligations like class and volunteering and social media’ing and all of the other things that make us all busy?
For me, the way I spend my time is always changing. As much as I try to be efficient with time, it seems that there is never enough of it. The importance on time management–or how you spend your time–will be incredibly crucial as you move into your career. The standard work week is becoming less and less structured around the traditional 40-hour work week and more around the availability of consumers and business people alike. This means that when you do work, you need to be as focused as ever.
Have you ever budgeted your time?
Let’s look at the average week of a college student. Your seven-day week consists of 24 hours x 7 days = 168 hours. Typically a semester consists of approx. 15 credits. In those 15 credits you are spending roughly 10-15 hours in class per week depending what type of class you are in.
If you take out class for the week and an average eight hours of sleep each night you would be looking at right around 71 hours.
This leaves you with 168-71 = 97 hours left.
Now what else can you include in that time?
Lets assume there is a job that falls into the picture and homework needs to be done as well. A part-time job will be around 20 hours per week, so let’s budget 25 hours for that. You should really give yourself a few hours each week for homework in each class, so let’s simply double the time we spend in class and add another 15 hours.
97 hours minus 25 for work minus 15 for homework = 57.
Now we are at 57 hours.
As you read this time is literally disappearing!
With 57 hours left, we should probably take into consideration time to eat and time to get ready for the day. How long does a typical meal take? Lets say 30 minutes for each meal, and an hour to get ready (30 minutes for morning and night)
So 57 minus 10.5 = 46.5 hours minus 7 hours to get ready for the week puts us at 39.5 hours.
In accounting, finance and many parts of business, professionals deal a lot with budgets. Budgets help us to determine constraints and they tell us items and services we can and cannot purchase both at the business level and at the personal level. Time can be budgeted as well. In this case we learned that we have almost a whole other work week after we factor out quite a bit of essentials for the week.
What can you do with 40 extra hours??
The reason I ask the question about free time comes from the quiet time I saw over spring break. There were a lot of people who got to enjoy a week in the fun sunshine, and while I think breaks are absolutely necessary, you spent 168 hours that you will never get back.
Once college ends, you have a few items that prove you did it. Your degree is the biggest certificate of completion, but you also have grades, hopefully a portfolio of accomplished projects, and a resume stacked with experience. But what else? Four years after all is a looooong time! if you include the leap day you are looking at 1461 days. This is 35,064 hours that you get to take advantage of.
Your mind is incredibly powerful. Macklemore has a song titled Ten Thousand Hours which refers to the time spent working toward his career in music. Google tells us the definition of the 10,000 Hour Rule: “The 10,000 Hour Rule is closely associated with pop psych writer Malcolm Gladwell. The principle holds that 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” are needed to become world-class in any field.”
So as you work toward that goal of graduation or your next step in life, think about what more you can do to learn your industry, excel at your trade, or make yourself more valuable.
After all, time is ticking …
Thanks for reading!
– Max T –