What if You Could Add 20+ Hours to Your Week?

Mar 25, 2010, Written by Sue Miley

Wouldn’t you like a magical secret that told you how to get more time to do all of the IMPORTANT THINGS that right now you just can’t fit into a 24 hour day?  Haven’t you heard people say that it doesn’t matter who you are, rich or poor, young or old, we all ONLY have 24 hours in the day.  Friends and family ask me frequently “How do you have time to do so many things?”

For awhile I was thinking that maybe I’m just a slacker.  I thought maybe my business wasn’t as successful or I wasn’t volunteering enough because I still had time to go to the event at church last night.  I still eat dinner with my family at least 5 nights per week.  I read several books simultaneously and usually finish at least one per week.  I don’t skip meals and most days I even go home to walk my dogs.  So what is up with that?

As a coach and counselor I ask clients if they would journal or do a mind map.  They usually answer “if I can find the time”.  I suggest action steps to take advantage of opportunities or to help solve a current issue and many will say “if I can find the time”.  Then I think again about my time and wonder why do I have time?  Why do I have time to write blog posts, to volunteer to help someone else, to cook dinner for my family, to be involved in two bible studies per week…….

I am on twitter and facebook ….. and that isn’t killing all of my time.  What is it?  Then I finally figured it out.  I have the secret that will free up more time for you to do the IMPORTANT THINGS THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR!!  I even looked up statistics to see if I was grasping at straws again for the answer to why I still had time…..okay, first I have to admit that I am not real organized.  I think getting and staying organized DOES take time.  I can’t say that I don’t have time to be organized, although if I tried to get organized I may no longer have any extra time for the IMPORTANT THINGS.  But I don’t have strong organizational skills and I do try and in some ways I think I might have MORE time if I was organized because then I wouldn’t be looking for my keys all of the time or for that phone # or check, etc., etc.

But assuming you are already organized and you still don’t have any time, then maybe this SECRET ANSWER really is the answer for you!  Okay, according to Nielson Research “the average American watches approximately 153 hours of TV every month at home.” Did you catch that?


THAT IS 38.25 HOURS PER WEEK.  The average American has another full-time job watching TV every week. This is the average, so I know it isn’t all of us.  The scary think is that if this is average then some of us watch MORE than 38 hours of TV per week.  Assuming that some of you are average or even half of average then you are watching at least 20 hours of TV per week.

Have you ever tracked it?  I used to say I don’t watch TV but that wouldn’t be true anymore.  I watch LOST, The Good Wife, and House if they aren’t re-runs.  On average I watch 3 hours of TV per week.  Occasionally I won’t watch if it is a re-run and sometimes I may rent a movie with my kids, but on AVERAGE I watch 3 hours of TV a week or 12 hours a month.  Doing the math that means that I have on average 141 hours more per month than the average American according to AC Nielson.  That is 35 more hours per week that I can read books, write blog posts, cook for my family, read the bible, pray, paint, walk my dogs, and even work if I have a great idea I want to pursue.

Have you ever measured how many hours you watch TV?  If you tracked it for a few weeks and found out it is in the double digit hours would it be worth it to reduce television consumption to do the IMPORTANT THINGS we never have time for?  At least think about it.  The next time you think about something important you need to do and then you tell yourself you don’t have time will you look back at the TV log and see what you can give up to get the IMPORTANT THING done!

If this isn’t you, and you are with me on the TV watching, maybe you can help me figure out how to fix this organization thing in my life.  It still haunts me in my free time!

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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