128 hours per week is all the free time that the average full-time worker has outside of their 40 hour work week. Most people allocate these precious hours to numerous activities such sleeping, commuting to work, spending time with loved ones, etc in a very organic manner. But each and every one of these hours has a price tag on it in the form of opportunity cost.
Opportunity cost in this scenario refers to activities a person could undertake, but gives up, to take another course of action. For example, someone may prioritize getting more sleep but may miss out on socializing with friends or loved one. These decisions are very personal and it is up to each and every person to allocate their 128 hours in a manner that gives them the balance they are looking for in their career, health, finances and personal life.
When I think about how I want to spend my 128 hours per week, I first make a list of all the life goals I want to accomplish in the short and long-term. For each life goal, I try to formulate tasks that will put me on a course to achieve each goal. Ultimately each task will require numerous resources to complete it, the common component being time.
Allocating your 128 hours each week can be a very tedious and time-consuming task in itself, but just like planning anything in life, I think this thought exercise will help to minimize waste and keep you focused on your priorities.
The following is a list of short-term goals I have for 2018, the related tasks I need to complete to achieve each goal and the hours I plan to allocate in an average week to each task.
Stay Physically & Mentally Healthy
- Get solid sleep: 56 hours
- Dedicate time to loved ones: 10 hours
- Cook & eat healthy: 10 hours
- Veg out: 5 hours
Climb Mt. Baldy, Charlton Peak, Charleston Peak & Mt. Shasta
- Weight train: 3 hours
- Practice yoga: 3 hours
- Rock climb: 3 hours
Focus on my Career & Side Projects
- Commute to work: 5 hours
- Work on side projects: 5 hours
These tasks sum up to 100 hours in an average week which is a 78% utilization. The remaining 28 hours primarily compose of free time during the evenings and weekends where I can focus on other activities like spending time with friends, experiencing cultural or outdoor activities or focusing on long-term goals.
Obviously, this is how I hope to spend my free time during an average week, but life always keeps things in flux. The point of this exercise is to understand my short and long-term goals and prioritize the tasks needed to achieve those goals. And just as important, this exercise forces me to reassess those activities that I may spend an unnecessary amount of time on and which may ultimately bring me little to no value.
Most people manage their career in a very professional manner and are told to manage their personal finances as if they were a small business. Time is probably the most valuable resource that any person has because there is only a finite amount of it. So why shouldn’t people evaluate the allocation of their time with the same level of rigor as how they manage projects at work or allocate dollars within their personal budget?