1440 Minutes, Post #37

Each day, each of us is given the same gift of 24 hours…1440 minutes. July 1st, our 182nd day of the year (the halfway mark eve), is a good time to reflect on time and how we use it.

Let’s ponder a typical day. Perhaps you work fulltime outside the home. At least eight hours (480 minutes) is removed from your 24-hour day.  How long is your commute to and from work? Would you say another hour (60 minutes) is knocked off?

Sleep needs to be factored in—how about seven hours of sleep (420 minutes)?  That leaves eight hours for family and leisure time.

According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor 2013 Statistics, 83 percent of American women and 65 percent of men spent at least two hours (120 minutes) daily doing household activities such as housework, cooking, lawn care, or financial and other household management.

Adults living in households with children under age 6 spent an average of two hours (120 minutes) per day providing primary childcare to household children. Adults, living in households where the youngest child was between the ages of 6 and 17, spent less than half as much time providing primary childcare to household children–47 minutes per day. 

This next statistic pains me to tell you. The average American watches 2.8 hours of TV per day (let’s round up to three hours or 180 minutes), accounting for more than half of leisure time, on average, for those age 15 and over.  Factor in time on the computer or Ipad and it increases.

It’s time to add these hours and minutes up…

24  (1440)
-8   (-480)  work
-1    (-60)   commute
-7    (-420)  sleep
-2    (-120) household activities
-2    (-120) childcare
-3    (-180) TV/computer!!!
 1  =   60 minutes remaining

Are you as startled as I am that only one hour remains in our day, after all those activities? Granted, we have not even factored in showering, eating, and even using the bathroom!

How can we be more cognizant of how we spend our time (and the appropriate verb is “spent” since we are not able to regain time)?

Let’s do our best to turn our televisions off or at least do a “television fast” for a week or two. I have a few friends who don’t even have televisions in their homes.

Let’s go outside with our families and friends, enjoying the early daylight and longer evenings, when it’s cooler outside. Swimming, boating, bikeriding, playing games, hula hooping, kayaking, canoeing, walking the beach or walking around our neighborhoods are all wonderful, memorable ways to savor these moments.

Let’s watch the sunrise and sunset, gaze up at the sparkling stars set upon the inky blue sky.

Let’s awaken a few minutes earlier and spend some quiet time reading our Bibles and writing in our Gratitude Journals.

Let’s volunteer, give back, make a difference. Time is of the essence.

Reflect:

–How will you choose to spend your time differently? Please comment.

–What are some ways you spend time wisely for you and your family? Please comment.

Renew:

–“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…He has made everything beautiful in its time..I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.” –Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11, 12 NIV84

–“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” –2 Corinthians 6:2 NIV84

Recharge:

–What will you change this week in the way you spend your time?

Resource:

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.nr0.htm

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