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Armen Teterin
Armen Teterin

Not Enough Hours In The Day

Studies have found that people who get an average of seven to eight hours of sleep are more productive, happier, and work at a higher quality than those who get less than seven hours of sleep a night.[2]

Not enough hours in the day


Making the most of your 24 hours might not seem conducive to getting a full eight hours, but many famous prolific achievers such as Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Thomas Mann all had full and healthy sleep.

The study shows we have way more tantalizing, easily accessible, shiny things available 24/7 than ever before. It is not surprising, then, that many people are easily distracted from their core goals and lament that they never have enough time.

Vanderkam believes that trying to find more time in the day represents an exercise in futility. Suppose you could magically make each day 15 minutes longer. At the end of the week you would have gained a grand total of 1.75 hours.

You can search for the best productivity apps to make you more efficient and focused. You can implement productivity hacks and cut distractions. But you still might feel like there simply are not enough hours in the day for everything you need to get done.

When you look at your list of want-to-dos, everything may seem necessary. Everything you listed is good for you. It would be great if you dedicated five hours a week to exercise; fantastic if you spent an hour practicing a new language; marvelous if you committed one day a week to business-growth tasks.

Writer Laura Vanderkam says she used to tell people that she was "too busy to breathe." In a piece for The Wall Street Journal, Vanderkam explains the changes she made to get the most out of the 168 hours in each week.

DONVAN: So in your piece, you say that you used to be too busy to breathe, that you used to work 60 hours a week and sleep six hours a night. And now, you've got all those numbers improved. You're saying you're working 45 hours instead of 60, and you're sleeping eight hours a night instead of six. So how did you figure it out?

VANDERKAM: The one-upmanship of timelessness, you know, who had the worst night last night, right? So if somebody saying, well, oh, I got six hours, and somebody else is basically pulling the line from "Monty Python." You were lucky. I wish I could get six hours. We do this all the time, but it's such a boring thing to have happened at parties, for instance, or in any sort of networking event. And really, it's kind of a sad hook for one's self-esteem to talk about how little time you have.

VANDERKAM: Well, certainly. One of the reasons I thought I was working more hours than I was is that I felt like I was working a lot. And that's more a matter of the amount of stress you're under than the actual hours of time. But we tend to use hours of time as a proxy for feeling like we have a lot on our plates, but that's a different matter. That's a different matter of getting that organized and figuring out what your responsibilities are and what really are your priorities.

VANDERKAM: Probably. But it's a bad game to go into because there's a wonderful quote - and I forget who said it - but it said that there's, you know, time enough to do anything if you'll do one thing at once, but there's not enough time in a year to do anything if you try to do two things at once. But there's not enough time in a year to do anything, if you try to do two things at once.

DAVID: So I'm interested in your conversation concerning timing and finding more time and possibly saying no to things that we don't need to undertake. However, I can't find any of those things that I can say no to. I have - I'm a self-employed artist. I have a store three and half hours away from me. I have a 7-year-old boy that I home school and a three-and-a-half-year-old daughter that is mentally and physically disabled, including needing therapies and doctors appointments.

VANDERKAM: Well, I certainly sympathize. I also have three little kids myself, and one of the things that really helps when you are in the situation of having a lot of little people in your life is to ask for help from friends, from neighbors, from family. If there's a neighbor you can trade off child care duties with for a few hours, for instance, just to get that extra time. Because what often winds up happening when we have little kids is we're trying to go back and forth between meeting their needs and then doing something else that we've put on our to-do list. And the problem is going back and forth, we lose that efficiency. Whereas, you know, if focus on one thing at a time, you can get a lot more done.

The Bible does not give too many details to fit into 24-hours on the sixth day. In fact, all of the activities described for each of the days of the Creation Week could easily have been accomplished within 12 hours of the respective days. It is only when one adds timing elements to the text that the sixth day seems to describe too many events.

Homework is a topic that elicits emotional responses from parents and students of every background. Rarely do children and families approach homework with unbridled joy and enthusiasm, and at times, it can cause significant stress. There are only so many hours in the day and our students seem to be increasingly overscheduled and under-rested.

Most children spend at least 6.5 hours within a school building each weekday (some longer). Some say that is not nearly enough. It can certainly be argued that children need more time in school. But, what about the time outside of school, away from the academic environment, resources, and supports provided there? How is that time being spent?

After-school programs, sports, and activities can be enriching, healthy, and valuable on college transcripts. They also take time. For some sports, like football and basketball, practices can run well over two hours.

The averages reported vary. A 2014 poll of teachers says 3.5 hours for a high school student who takes five classes. A 2007 Metlife study reports that half of students say they spend an hour a night (only 6 percent reported spending more than 3 hours), while the National Center for Educational Statistics reports an average of 6.8 hours of homework per week.

In a society that already overworks its adults to the detriment of their well being, I seriously wonder if our children should be spending more hours doing school work (6.5 hours in class + 3.5 hours of homework = 10 hours) than the standard American work day. That said, the homework reality is probably less extreme for most students.

In reality, the time spent doing homework is oftentimes greater than the recommendations. According to an article in the New York Times, first graders and kindergartners are spending an average of 25 to 30 minutes a night on homework. As mentioned earlier, high school students are spending anywhere from under 1 hour to 3.5 hours a night on homework.

For adults, getting less than seven hours of sleep a night on a regular basis has been linked with poor health, including weight gain, having a body mass index of 30 or higher, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and depression.

Forget the old concepts of time management and the hustle culture of working until you burn out. With the right blueprint, you and your entire team can get more done in far fewer hours. Come Up For Air is that blueprint.

With busy schedules and activities on offer around the clock, some people may wonder if they can get by on less sleep at night Trusted Source National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) NINDS aims to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. See Full Reference . Approximately one-third of adults regularly sleep for six hours or less each night, and surveys suggest that short sleep may be growing more common Trusted Source UpToDate More than 2 million healthcare providers around the world choose UpToDate to help make appropriate care decisions and drive better health outcomes. UpToDate delivers evidence-based clinical decision support that is clear, actionable, and rich with real-world insights. See Full Reference .

According to National Sleep Foundation guidelines, most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep Trusted Source National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. See Full Reference per 24-hour period. Teens need at least 8 to 10 hours, while children need more sleep of varying amounts that depend on their age. Older adults require seven to eight hours of sleep per 24-hour period.

A small percentage of people have sleep needs that fall outside of the recommended number of hours for their age group. Although it is rare, some people seem to need fewer than six hours of sleep per night. Similarly, others may need more than nine hours.

Researchers believe there are genetic reasons that explain why some people are better able to handle short sleep. One way to gauge sleep needs is by observing when the body wakes up naturally, without an alarm clock. Also, if a person does not feel tired during the day, they may be obtaining enough sleep for their body.

Someone with poor-quality sleep may spend a full eight hours asleep, but wake up feeling unrefreshed. Poor-quality sleep is often accompanied by frequent nighttime awakenings that the sleeper might not consciously notice. When poor sleep is caused by a sleep disorder, a bed partner may observe signs like snoring or gasping. Sleep disorders that interfere with sound sleep can cause performance deficits, mood changes, and daytime sleepiness similar to those experienced after short sleep.

A simple way to judge sleep quality is by monitoring how one feels the next day. People who sleep enough generally feel refreshed and alert. By contrast, people who do not sleep enough may feel drowsy during the day, especially during periods when they are less active. 350c69d7ab


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