If there is one idea that is shared by many, it may be the idea that time is an extremely valuable and scarce resource. We’ve all heard people claim that there just isn’t enough time in the day, and I know many that would agree with this statement. But is time really as scarce as so many seem to believe, or do the individuals making these claims just spend the resource of time extremely inefficiently?

After taking a course in statistics, I became very fascinated with percentages. I would use percentages to scale and measure many different things. One percentage I became very interested in was 4%. This is the percent of time one hour is to a day. Once I triggered this perspective in my head, I never looked at time the same.

Focused efforts towards individuals’ goals seems to be a a real challenge for many, especially for those who have the mindset of “there just isn’t enough time in the day.” If people stuck in this mindset were told to spend just one hour of focused time toward their goals each day, I bet many of these individuals would say they don’t have enough time to carry out that task. However, if the same group of people were asked to spend only 4% of the day on their goals, I bet almost all would be willing.

Many would say that, okay yeah one hour is 4% of a 24 hour day, but I have to sleep for a part of that day. While this is true, if one sleeps for 8 hours a night, each remaining waking hour encompasses only 6% of that day. To go even further, if one sleeps for 8 hours a day and works an additional 8 hours a day, each remaining waking hour after work and sleep only encompasses about 12% of that day. To me, even that 12% is definitely worth achieving my goals.

Next time you find yourself feeling that there isn’t enough time in the day, make the sacrifice and take advantage of that small 4–12%. I can guarantee the amount of productivity accomplished will significantly outweigh the lost free time.

What Can Be Accomplished in One Hour

  • A full workout and stretch routine
  • A five mile run
  • Type a 2,000 word essay
  • Read 30 pages of a book
  • Make a week meal plan
  • Start to learn a new skill