Most people sleep about seven or eight hours a night. That leaves 16 or 17 hours awake each day. Or about 1,000 minutes.
Let’s think about those 1,000 minutes as 100 10-minute blocks. That’s what you wake up with every day.
Throughout the day, you spend 10 minutes of your life on each block, until you eventually run out of blocks and it’s time to go to sleep.
It’s always good to step back and think about how we’re using those 100 blocks we get each day. How many of them are put towards making your future better, and how many of them are just there to be enjoyed? How many of them are spent with other people, and how many are for time by yourself? How many are used to create something, and how many are used to consume something? How many of the blocks are focused on your body, how many on your mind, and how many on neither one in particular? Which are your favorite blocks of the day, and which are your least favorite?
Imagine these blocks laid out on a grid. What if you had to label each one with a purpose?
You’d have to think about everything you might spend your time doing in the context of its worth in blocks. Cooking dinner requires three blocks, while ordering in requires zero—is cooking dinner worth three blocks to you? Is 10 minutes of meditation a day important enough to dedicate a block to it? Reading 20 minutes a night allows you to read 15 additional books a year—is that worth two blocks? If your favorite recreation is playing video games, you’d have to consider the value you place on fun before deciding how many blocks it warrants. Getting a drink with a friend after work takes up about 10 blocks. How often do you want to use 10 blocks for that purpose, and on which friends? Which blocks should be treated as non-negotiable in their labeled purpose and which should be more flexible? Which blocks should be left blank, with no assigned purpose at all?
Now imagine a similar grid, but one where each block is labeled exactly how you spent it yesterday.
The question to ask is: How are the two grids different from each other, and why?
Tip: the above grid is printable if you click on it.
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While we’re all in this mood:
Your whole life on a grid.
A stark reminder.
And if you’re sitting down with a printed grid, this might be a good post to read first.