Published in


24 Hours in a day

Photo by Kaylah Otto on Unsplash

86,400,000 milliseconds, 86,400 seconds, 1,440 minutes, 24 hours. That is it. That is one day. There is no way to extend it unless you get on a plane and start crossing timezones.

How do we spend those 24 hours? How do we structure them? How do we split those 24 hours between work, family, us(me, I) and the random events that seem to always pop up?

It is a topic that seems to be front of mind for almost all of us.

Let me be upfront with you here. I do not have the answer to those questions. Sorry :) Do I want to try and find at least some of the answers though? You betcha! So, if you are on the prowl for answers to these or similar questions, join me as we experiment together.

Photo by Amit Jain on Unsplash


The first challenge for me personally is dividing up my day into blocks of time that makes sense. I have a couple of aspects to my daily life that makes my situation possibly a bit unique(although I think these challenges are becoming more universal).

The Challenges

  • Work from home (while there are many benefits here, being at home can also be a source of distraction)
  • Two kids ages 13 and 15 who both homeschool
  • The majority of the people and clients are work with are U.S(East and West coast) based

In defining my blocks of time I then need to be very mindful of these factors. While these have an effect on the overall structure of the day, there are also tasks that are important to me which affect the duration of these blocks. Some of these are:

The Tasks

  • Family
  • Learning
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Work
  • Yoga, Meditation and Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Vegetable Gardening

And then there are those things that you have to do such as washing the dishes, cleaning around the house, finances(personal and business), errands, and other random tasks that pop-up.

Photo by ivan Torres on Unsplash

Dividing it all Up

Taking all of the above into account I settled on the following structure for this experiment.

24 hours broken into 5 blocks of sleep, flex and work time

The timeline for the above runs from midnight to midnight so, that breaks down to:

  • Midnight to 9 AM — Time to recharge the batteries. I am happy with seven hours of good, restful sleep so, I have built in an hour before to wind down after work and actually falling asleep.
  • 9 AM to 2 PM — Time for those pop-up items. Tasks that are important to me, but that are not connected to work. Family time, running errands, reading, yoga, meditation, writing, side projects, hobbies etc.
  • 2 PM to 7 PM — The first 5 hours of the workday. For the first three hours of this block, it is essential that I spend the time doing deep work. So communicating this to the people in my life will be essential.
  • 7 PM to 9 PM — Dinner, family time, relaxing, maybe some yoga
  • 9 PM to Midnight — Time to get back to work. Here again, I plan to use the first two hours for deep work, followed by some odds and ends I need to finish for the day.

And that right there is the plan for the experiment.


Whenever one changes your routine, you are messing with habits. Habits, whether positive or negative, are hard to make as well as break. I have to give this new routine a fair chance though so how long do I give it?

For some time common wisdom seemed to suggest that 21 days is the amount of time it takes to solidify a new habit or break an old habit. While this has been proven to not be accurate, I do think that in this case, 21 days is enough time to determine whether this experiment has been successful or not.

Photo by David Travis on Unsplash

How do you know?

That is the question, right? Firstly, I will let my body, and my interactions with those around me provide me with an indication. I will however not only rely on my gut and feedback but will be using the app Gyroscope(read the v3 release announcement by founder @aprilzero) to track my sleep, mood, exercise, work hours, and overall wellness.

To measure and keep track of my output in terms of work, I will be using Trello, but I will share more on that in a separate post as I am still figuring this one out myself ;p

In conclusion

That is that. I will keep everyone posted on how this experiment goes over the next 21 days and would love to hear from you. What have you tried? What has worked, and not worked for you? Do you have any suggestions you would like to share?

Let me know in the comments!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Schalk Neethling

Schalk Neethling

I write about mental health, addiction, sober living, living your best life through an active lifestyle and a whole food plant-based diet. Psychedelic curios :)