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What Would You Do With 15 More Mins in your day? | 168 Hours

weekly wishes. Read Laura Vanderkam's 168 Hours book. What are you going to do with the 168 hours in your week.Pin

I’ve been seeing this quote floating around on pinterest lately: “You have as many hours in a day as Beyonce.” I don’t follow her life that closely, but she’s probably getting a lot done in the time that she’s been given. We’ve all been given 168 hours this week. No more, no less. I want to fill my hours up with only the things that deserve to be there. Every minute of that is a choice.

This is an older post, but I felt like it fit so perfectly in with how I’ve been feeling lately and with Weekly Wishes that I decided to dig it up:

SEPTEMBER 30, 2010

Whoa.  Already October 1st, huh?  Ever since we got married, I keep feeling like life is on fast forward.  This past week, among many things, we celebrated my dad’s 60th birthday and Carol’s 27th birthday, watched my friend Bruce bury his 49 yr old dad, and now we’re getting ready for one of my best friends to get married this weekend.  I’ll be both a bridesmaid and a photographer.  How about that?  I can’t help but think that life is not ever going to slow down.  Life here is really short and temporary, and it must be filled with only the people and the things that matter.

I, too, have fallen victim to the myth of the time crunch and constantly feel overworked with no time for much else.  If you had 15 more minutes in your day, what would you do?  Here’s my list in no specific order:

  • Talk to God
  • Learn to cook… starting with the slow cooker recipes
  • Teach myself another language.  On the queue is Italian, Spanish, French, and Greek.
  • Memorize a bible verse
  • Practice the guitar
  • Call my family to not only check up on them but deepen our relationships
  • Write a note of encouragement to someone
  • Go for a walk around the neighborhood to be healthier
  • Journal and blog more
We all have 168 hours in the week. Read 168 Hours the book by laura vanderkamPin

The truth is I fill my life with so much stuff that doesn’t matter, ie Facebook & surfing the net (with the excuse that my business relies on it), TV, I leave very little time for all the essential stuff.  Currently, I’ve been reading this book called 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Thinkand it has not only been a butt-kicking, but it’s also been giving me hope for living a more balanced life.

I’m not sure if it’s just the nature of my job or that I can work from home, but it’s tough to draw boundaries between my personal and work life.  Also, I’ve been living in the myth of the time crunch, and I need to stop lying to myself.  Facebook is not work.  Now, I’m beginning to see that not only drawing those boundaries is possible, but that I could probably fit in all the things I listed above and much more.  It will take some work and self-control, but let’s celebrate our 168 hours and fill it with all the things that matter.


Looking back, I can see that I have improved in certain areas but not others. Maybe I’m not on Facebook as much anymore, but I’ve been living on Instagram and Pinterest. I keep reminding myself lately that if it’s that important to me, I will never find time in my day; I need to make time.

168 hours. It's up to you. We all have 168 hours in the week. Productivity starts now. Read 168 Hours the book by laura vanderkamPin

Last week’s wishes (Oct 21-27):

  1. Clean desktop and keep it clean every day of the wk – had three messy days.
  2. Skype with parents and grandma once – totally blew this one bc I forgot to put it in my daily calendar
  3. Blog at least two travel posts and one recipe post. ✓
  4. Do an Insanity workout at least 4x this week. Push for 5. ✓ for 5!
  5. Write four things I’m thankful for in my gratitude journal every day. ✓
  6. Finish Rosetta Stone Italian Level 3 > Unit 2. ✓
  7. Finish reading Cat’s Cradle. ✓
  8. Start reading the Omnivore’s Dilemma. ✓ At 50%
  9. Read the Bible every day, even if it’s only one verse. ✓
  10. Buy stamps and send out mail. ✓
Weekly Wishes for my 168 hours (Oct 28-Nov 3):
  1. Keep my desktop clean all week. Take photos.
  2. Skype with parents and grandma. Put this on the calendar.
  3. Do Insanity 5x this week.
  4. Blog at least 3x this week.
  5. Write five things I’m thankful for in my gratitude journal every day.
  6. Finish reading Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  7. Read the Bible every day, even if it’s only one verse.
  8. Start taking inventory of all my clothes for 100 days of less.

What would you do with 15 more minutes in your day? What are some things that are important to you that you need to make time for?

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Erika

    I really enjoyed reading this and while I haven’t seen that quote, as a Beyonce fan, I have thought about that, too. I even have friends/peers that I see as Beyonce-Unicorns… I’m in awe of their efficiency and productivity, but I’m realizing that I just don’t LIKE to be productive all the time or using my time “wisely” at every given moment. That’s not to say that I can’t use it better — I think I could totally use a tune up for sure, but I know that I don’t want to be a woman who’s juggling everything either. I think I’d HATE having Beyonce’s schedule, if I am honest. There’s a reason why a lot of people don’t do it — haha! It sounds good on paper, but in actuality? Haha, not for this low-key kind of girl. THAT SAID, I really enjoyed your take on this and breaking it down, showing resources you’ve read about it, and wow, you got a lot done last week. Way to go, Esther! :)

    1. esther julee

      Thanks Erika. I always enjoy reading your comments and can always relate to what you have to say. I think I’m the same way.. I tend to swing to both extremes, but I would like to find some sort of middle ground. I know that I could use my time more wisely, but at the same time I would hate to always be “on”. That’s why I’m okay with scheduling a few things in my day and relaxing the rest.. Relaxing is also something I value, and time enjoyed is never time wasted. :)

  2. ooh, i like this flashback post. it really shows how far you’ve come and how you’ve working to reach your goals. =) i keep saying imma write a book some day but…-_- no progress.

    why take inventory of your clothes? my rule is every time i buy something new, i have to get rid of something old. that and the fact that the kids i’m around need new/used clothes often. (maybe you should be around kids more) =)

    1. esther julee

      That’s funny, because I feel like I’m stuck in the same exact place! I mean… I learned a language.. but I still need to work on all the rest. I think that will just be a lifelong process, though.. don’t you think?

      You should put a little post it note on your computer. and work on your book 5 minutes a day!!

      Taking inventory is something I read from a minimalist blog. I’m just starting with my clothes, but I want to inventory everything I own. They said being aware of what you have is a good start. I do throw away / donate something when I get something new.. but I feel like I still have too much stuff right now. And NO THANKS to kids. I’ve already had my fair share of exposure this year. haha :P

  3. Christine

    What an awesome post!!

    When you admit to filling up so much of your life/time with things like surfing the web, facebooking etc… that’s so true for me too. I feel like if I’m honest, I do have a lot of time on my hands, not being a mother or having a really demanding job (I’m a student) etc. But I’m constantly working towards spending my time a little more wisely and investing my time in things that are more important to me than Pinterest. It comes down to choices really, eh? Choosing to write a letter to your uncle instead of those extra 30 minutes on HuffPost. I have so much room for improvement here! ;)

    Good luck on all your goals! I would love to hear how you’re liking Omnivore’s Dilemma! Like I said last week, I’m a big-time Michael Pollan fan and I just love his take on these issues :)

    Have a great week, Esther!

    1. esther julee

      Thanks @disqus_0bMcsG89Dw:disqus! :)

      Exactly. I think we can all improve in this area. I feel like I need to stop telling myself I don’t have time for ____ and own up to the fact that I didn’t make time for it bc I was too busy pinning or browsing the web.

      This is my first Michael Pollan book, and it’s already been challenging the way I eat! Which book is your favorite? Hope you have a great week too! :)

  4. Kayli Schattner

    Love, love, love this!!! I’ve been seeing that quote floating around as well but haven’t thought about in the terms that you have and now I’m going to incorporate that into my daily routine (try to) as well! You can do so much in 15 minutes- it’s often forgotten. Congratulations on everything you’ve completed this week- man, you’re like a ninja warrior! I feel happy when I get my 3 goals done! Great job! I think it’s great that you keep a gratitude journal- I think that writing down what you’re thankful for on paper can be so satisfying, because when it’s floating around in your head with all the other nonsense, it often gets lost.

    1. esther julee

      Thanks Kayli! I can’t take all the credit for being a ninja warrior. haha It’s also because I’m not working this year. I’m trying to cram in as much as possible while i have the chance. I probably wouldn’t be able to do as much if I was also working / in school.

      And I agree, I know I can just list my gratitudes out in my head.. but I forget about them in a few days.. It’s always nice to write them down so I can look back and see all the good things in my life. :)

  5. I love this, Esther! It sometimes makes me feel anxious to compare myself to people like, you know, Byonce, who seem like this totally supernatural creatures who have learned how to ask for what they want, get it, and then dominate life. But it’s true, I can do more with my 168 hours than what I do. It’s so hard to find that balance between what is necessary for a fulfilling life, and what feels like it is necessary but is actually just fluff. Me, I could watch less Hulu and do more productive things, like reading my stack of books that have been ignored for far too long :)

    1. esther julee

      Haha yeah if you read the book 168 hours it’s filled with examples of women who do it all.. have successful careers, spend enough family time, sleep well, and still have their hobbies. The first time reading it was really discouraging, because I couldn’t relate to them. I saw them as superhuman too. I mean.. if I ever had kids, forget about anything else. I’m not sure how people handle everything all at once! Can’t say I’m anywhere close, but I’m slowly taking baby steps again to making the best use of my time and re-evaluating what’s important to me.

      Also, if you enjoy watching hulu, I don’t think that’s time wasted. As long as you enjoy it and get value out of it. I love being on pinterest and instagram and i find value in that… but I think I definitely pass the limit where I get lost on there and then I’m wasting time. What books are in your queue? :)

  6. Jamie

    I have to say I’m really impressed with your having so many goals and accomplishing so much of them. and I love how you shared an old post where you mentioned wanting to learn a language, and now you are doing it!

    1. esther julee

      Sometimes I’m hard on myself because I’m constantly looking forward at new goals, but I do need to remind myself to look back. And despite all the things I haven’t done, i have made progress. Thanks so much for reading & for the encouragement! :)

  7. Quick sidenote: your header might just be the cutest thing in the world. Love your reading list. You’ll have to tell me what you think about omnivores dilemma. Personally, I prefer In Defense of Food, it’s less technical. Good luck with the 100days of less challenge. It’s something I think more people should look into. Happy weekly wishing!

    1. esther julee

      haha Thanks so much Ali. :) I actually haven’t read anything else by Michael Pollan until this month bc of a blogger book club. :) I’m half way through Omnivore’s Dilemma, and it’s already making me want to eat more veggies and shop at the farmer’s markets now. I was afraid of that! I’ll have to put Defense of Food on my reading list too!

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