Do Less, Accomplish More

Feeling pressed for time? A 2015 Pew Research Center survey found that 9 in 10 working mothers said they felt rushed. Join the 10% who don’t.

  • By Rachel Bellow and Suzanne Muchin
  • August 08, 2016

There are 168 hours in a week and we're all so busy.

We say it all the time. "I have so much going on. I wish I had time for that." We convince our friends, our children, our partners. The personal narrative perpetuates our perception of busy-ness.

We get it — you're talented, important, and a lot of people depend on you. Your calendar is chock full of colorful blocks stacked from 6am to 9pm. Your potential far exceeds your current life circumstances, and you're hell bent on proving to yourself and the world what's possible.

So, here’s the question.

Does being this busy really enable you to create the life you want, on your terms?

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As Laura Vanderkam, author and time management expert, wrote in the New York Times article The Busy Person's Lies, "I know that professionals tend to overestimate work hours; we remember our busiest weeks as typical. This is partly because negative experiences stand out in the mind more than positive ones, and partly because we all like to see ourselves as hard-working."

Now let’s go back to the numbers:

There are 168 hours in a week.

If you sleep seven hours per night, subtract 49 hours. If you work and commute 10 hours per workday, subtract another 50 hours. Also in charge of meals and kids? Subtract another 42 hours.

That still leaves 27 hours of unclaimed time in your week! 27 hours to read more, write more or simply lie on your sofa and do nothing.

If you disagree, you can argue with us in the comments.

Otherwise, discover along with us that you have more time than you think. We talk with financial advisor Michelle Smith about how all of us get so caught up in “busy-ness”...and how to unravel it.

Not so busy? Tell us how you manage.

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