Every day we receive 24 new hours in which to live. In this, all people are equal. The rich and famous do not receive more hours than the poor. However, each of us experiences differing amounts of life hours.
What is a life hour?
A life hour is the time you get in a day that is free time or self-directed time put to pursuits of your choosing, even if that’s just sitting on the couch and zoning out. Life hours do not include time sleeping, in work you don’t enjoy or is not self-directed, or spent in errands or tasks that harm your emotional and mental well-being.
In short, a life hour is the time you have to yourself that you delegate however you like, even if that means spending it to enjoy being with family and friends. A good way to tell it’s not a life hour is resenting having to spend that time on the activity.
For instance, when I worked full-time at the law firm, I had a total of 3 life hours during any given weekday. This was because from the time I woke up at 6am until I arrived home at 7:30pm, I was getting ready for work, working, eating at my desk, or commuting to and from work. Since I went to bed at roughly 10:30pm every day, that meant I had 3 life hours to live as I wished. This included cooking dinner, getting ready for bed and any other routines.
Remember, sleeping doesn’t count.
I had 3 hours of my very own every day to live my best life. Weekends increased that count to 5 hours if I worked on Saturdays and Sundays. If I didn’t work, I had roughly 16 hours each weekend day.
How many life hours do you have? Do they feel like enough?
Why Are Life Hours Important?
Life hours are a metric for measuring how much we enjoy our lives and how well we are living our best life now.
3 life hours a day isn’t much if you’re awake 16 hours of the day. That’s 13 hours spent not pursuing dreams or experiencing a sense of self-agency. If you’re miserable at your job, those 13 hours feel like a sentence. That’s why so many people are working for the weekend and live lives of quiet desperation.
Life hours give us a way of measuring the quality of our life and how much enjoyment we’re getting out of it. If you enjoy your work or daily activities, your hours will be higher than someone who hates their job and daily commitments and feels like they never have any time for themselves.
If you add up your life hours and they aren’t even 4 hours of the day, then it’s a good sign your life is out of balance. If you resent all but a quarter of your waking life, that’s a recipe for misery, depression and hopelessness.
Life Hour Reset
The number of our days aren’t told to us at birth. The biggest regret of the dying is that they lacked the courage to live true to themselves and instead lived the life others expected of them.
It’s up to us to enjoy this existence to the best of our ability. We get so wrapped up in our schedules and routines that we forget to step back and assess how things are working for us and if we’re on track toward our goals and dreams. Life hours give us agency. They allow us to enjoy our friends and families, pursue our idea of the best life, entertain hobbies and have fun.
Claw back your life hours from those activities sucking you dry. Live the life you envision for yourself.
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