“I don’t have time”

Time. The most precious resource we as humans have. However, I would bet that you have heard that sentence before: “I don’t have time”. I recently decided to calculate how much free time I actually have.

There are 168 total hours in one week.  We’ll subtract to that 7 hours of sleep for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, although as a high school student I know that many of my friends and acquaintances don’t sleep that much every night, but let’s go with it. I’ll also subtract 10 hours of sleep for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 168-28-30 = 114 hours.

Now, I am a student, and will treat the entirety of my time at school as a non-stop work period, although many of us don’t actually work during our study halls, or don’t necessarily want to work during our lunch hour, but let’s assume we do, for a minute.

The school day in the school I currently am at lasts from 8 to 3h30, with sports until 5h15. That’s 9h15 per day, 37h per week. 114-37= 77 hours. Now, I know I spend about 1h15 in the car for transit every week day, which is 5 hours per week. We’ll count it as busy time for now and subtract it: 77-5= 72 hours.

So far, we’ve counted the hours that sleep, school, and transit would take every week, and ended up with 72 hours, A.K.A exactly 3 whole days’ worth of time. Although hours of transit could be used for productivity, we won’t count them as such here for sake of argument. Bear with me.

We’ll do a couple of final subtractions. I’m doing track this year, and we have a meet every week, that can take up to 4 hours off my schedule. 72-4= 68 hours. Next, we’ll subtract to that about 3 hours of homework every single day consistently (including on Saturday and Sunday, and assuming that some of your work was finished during your school hours). 68-28= 40 hours.

40 hours of pure free time.

Add to that 6 hours of homework if you want. Hell, even 10 hours is fine. You’d still have 30 hours of free time every week. That’s 120 hours per month.

If you’re motivated enough, there’s no excuse. You can find time. Keep in mind that I counted transit as busy time, but a lot of us are taking the car in the passenger seat, or sitting in a bus, and could make that time productive. And hell, unwinding with a high quality audiobook while driving your car is a really good idea too. Even just listening to one hour of that in your car every day could result in 16 hours per month, which could result to having listened to 15 books in a single year only using your time in the car.

I could add that I know that I don’t always use all the free time at school. Sometimes, watching a Youtube video is a lot more attractive than doing homework during my daily free time. Plus, I counted 7 hours of sleep for 4 days and 10 hours for 3 days in the week, but many of my peers only get 4 to 5 hours four days a week, which really increases their time being up. I also know that many of us take extremely long to do homework because we don’t actually put all our energy into it in bursts, but instead spread it out and let our phones distract us throughout the task. If you’re motivated enough to finish all that homework you have to get done, but don’t want to go to bed at 2AM, you might want to look into the Pomodoro Technique.

Don’t focus on the time you have for a certain task, we have plenty of it. 40 hours in this case, to be exact. Instead,  concentrate on the amount of energy you put into it. You’d be surprise of the amount of time you could save.


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