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There never really feels like there is enough time in the day, does there?
So many useful and healthy habits you would love to pick up but really, who has the time these days? You have work and family and a social life that you need to maintain so that list of lifechanging books will just have to wait until life slows down a little bit. But life never really seems to slow down, does it?
Rather than waiting for “life to slow down,” it is more productive to instead learn how to use the time we do have with a more careful eye.
Feel a little called out?
I know the feeling. I felt it too when I read this article on Wait But Why about 100 Blocks.
100 Blocks of Time
The basics of the article are that, when taking out the recommended amount of sleep, everyone gets about 100 blocks of 10 minutes each to use every day.
We use these blocks of time to work during the week (about 54), to eat (about 12), to socialize (about 10), to scroll social media (>13 on average…), etc.
Based on this limited nature of time laid out so starkly, are you using your time how you want? Is there time sucks that you can cut some blocks off of and use for building a new skill or habit?
Studies show that if you read just 20 minutes a night you’ll be able to finish an average of 15 books a year. For just 2 of your blocks (easily cut from social media) you could wipe out that reading list fast.
How to Get Started
Does using the 100 Blocks method mean I have to track ALL of my activities down to the minute? No, certainly not. That wouldn’t be a very efficient use of probably several of your blocks in a day.
Instead, simply be more proactive in your thinking about your time usage. Be more aware of the time you are choosing to spend on the things that aren’t important to you and redirect that time to things that are.
A good place to start is to map out your ideal day, spending your 100 blocks in the best way you can think of. Then spend one single day tracking how you actually use your time. Compare the two. (A simple chart on graph paper is how I did this but I also found a nifty free app on 144blocks.com that gives you a bit prettier and more interactive chart).
How similar are they?
If your ideal 100 blocks look nothing like your actual 100 blocks, look for ways you can recapture and redirect the time.
Combining 100 Blocks with Time Blocking
100 Blocks obviously works really well if you practice the Time Blocking Method of productivity. It’s simply a more thoughtful way of thinking about scheduling your time.
A side note though for those that like to use Google Calendar to help them with time blocking.
I found out recently that Google Calendar has the unfortunate feature of showing all blocks as a minimum of 30 minutes in their drag and drop calendar view regardless of actual timeframes. While not a total game breaker it was pretty annoying to see overlapping schedule boxes for a few of my back to back 10- and 20-minute blocks.
Wrapping it Up
Changing your life can happen in 10 minutes at a time. By being thoughtful with how you spend your time, a small change like 20 minutes of reading each night can lead to big accomplishments like reading 15 more books in a year.
You don’t have to perfectly map out your day, 10 minutes at a time, but by thinking about your choice for your 100 blocks of time, you could find time you never knew you had.
How close was your ideal day way to your actual? Are there any 10-minute habits you’re thinking about picking up? Let us know down in the comments!