Do you want an extra 400 hours in your life?

If you had an extra 400 hours this year, what would you do with it?

Would you learn a language, whether it be Java or Mandarin? Would you read all those books you have on the shelf that you’ve never opened? Would you exercise more, develop your business idea, or just spend more time with your family?

You could do a lot in 400 hours.

Watch the original Star Wars 188 times. Listen to Pharrell’s Happy 1,680 times. Walk the distance between London and Bulgaria’s capital Sofia.

“A Lego stormtrooper on sand” by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash

The question is, where do you get an extra 400 hours from?

If you’ve got an iPhone, get it out now go to its Settings. Scroll down to the battery option and give it a minute to load up the data.

Rather than leave it on the last 24 hours, click the option to show the last 7 days, and just next to that will be a picture of a clock, so click on that as well and it will change the percentages to actual time.

(If you’ve got an Android phone you might need an app such as App Usage to tell you this information).

This will tell you exactly where you’ve been spending your time on your phone, whether it’s Facebook, or Amazon Prime. Candy Crush or Twitter. It’s a real eye opener.

My phone tell me that I’ve spent over 2 hours in the past week playing Soccer Stars, another hour on Facebook, and a further hour playing a game called 1010!. That’s 4 hours of doing nothing productive just in the past week.

I know that my phone usage is relatively low, so I suspect many people will be spending way more than 4 hours on things like this. Maybe 8 hours a week, or a little over an hour a day.

4 hours a week is about 200 hours a year. 8 hours a week is about 400 hours.

What’s your yearly number (just multiply your weekly total by 52)?

Photo by Nick Hillier on Unsplash

What could you do with this time instead of reaching level 75 of Candy Crush, or looking at the Facebook timeline of that person you went to school with?

Be more aware of how you’re spending your time, and make conscious decisions on whether this is really what you want to be doing, or whether you could be doing something more productive. Yes, sometimes you need an escape, but 400 hours of escape?

Keep checking your phone usage regularly, as its a good indicator of whether you’re in control of your life, or whether your life is in control of you.

Written by

Helping people kick start their product management career at gettingstartedinproduct.com * Product person at Watchfinder

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