A day has 24 hours; that’s 60 seconds in a minute x 60 minutes in an hour, x 24 hours to arrive at 86, 400 seconds in a day. Of that number, you might spend 7 hours or 25, 200 seconds asleep, leaving you 17 hours or 61,400 seconds to consciously decide how to spend your time.
Extrapolating this over a lifetime, for argument’s sake let’s assume an average lifespan of 74 years. You can adjust this number based on where in the world you live at the moment and the average lifespan of people where you live. 74 years works out to 648,240 hours (24 hours per day x 365 days x 74 years). Not all those hours are spent awake, so again let’s deduct the time you spend sleeping and recharging. 7 hours per day of sleep x 365 days x 74 years’ means you will sleep 189,070 hours on average over that span. Therefore you’ve got 459,170 of waking hours over 74 years (648,240 total hours – 189,070 hours of sleep). That works out to 25,550,260 seconds in case you’re interested.
Seems like we have all the time in the world doesn’t it? I mean we’ve arrived at 25,550,260 seconds or 459,170 hours of time to spend when we’re awake. If we looked at things by the day, those 459,170 hours would translate into 65,595.71 days. Again that’s a huge number to contemplate!
We still have some factors eating into those numbers which we must account for. The first 5 years of our lives, we go from infancy to toddler and conclude the pre-school years. Our knowledge of the world goes from slipping of the womb into the lives of our parents (or single parent) then gradually being introduced to other family members, friends of our parents, etc. Again for argument’s sake, let’s remove 5 years (1,825 days or 157,680,000 seconds) as we can’t be entirely all that productive during this period. Therefore if we take 65,595.71 days and remove 1,825 days we’re down to 63,770.71 days.
Come to think of it, let’s remove the years from 6 to 20 too. While it’s true many people are working at 18 or 19, others are in school until their 25 or so, therefore let’s agree on the 14 years from 6 to 20 as I say and see what’s left. 14 years works out to 5,110 days (14 years x 365 days). At our current equation, we have 63,770.71 days – 5,110 days and we’ve arrived at 58,660.71 days.
Now we look at the other end of our lifetime. We won’t be working when we’re 74 in all likelihood, so let’s deduct 11 years from the time we turn 65 until our demise at 74. Those 11 years represent 4,015 days. So 58,660.71 days minus 4,015 days brings us to 54,645.71 days. In seconds, that number is 3,278,742.6 which is still a large number to perceive.
At this point there are 54,645.71 days, or 3,278,742.6 seconds in which to change the world. Fabulous! Oh…wait…being human we have to account for eating, going to the bathroom (yes we do, if we’re to be accurate here). Shall we go with 3 meals a day, averaging in those who eat twice a day and those who eat late in the evening or snack throughout the day? Food preparation and actual consumption times will vary so let’s go with 1.5 hours a day. As for relieving yourself of waste; 15 actual minutes in total daily? Let’s not quibble too much about this one! So 1 hour and 45 minutes (105 minutes) per day x 365 days in a year x 74 years = 2,836,050 minutes, or 47,267.5 hours. That’s 6,752.5 days.
At last count we had 54,645.71 days so let’s remove the 6,752.5 washroom and eating days and we’re now at 47,893.21 days of time to be productive. In case you’re keeping track, this works out to 21.63 years of productivity time. But there’s still so many things that rob of us time to be productive. We take showers and bathe for example, get our hair cut, cut our nails, brush our teeth, spend time in dentist chairs and doctors’ offices. We have to buy the food we eat, the clothes we wear (naked no longer being acceptable or practical), the furniture we sit on sleep in eat at. We haven’t factored in traveling time either. Harder to quantify, but our huge number is dwindling down steadily from the astronomical numbers we started with.
Our 21.63 years of waking time to be productive is reduced by 5 years factoring in all the previous paragraphs activities as well as all the ones I haven’t covered. So we’ve got 16.63 years of time during our 20 years old-65 years old period to do with as we choose. Whether that seems like a lot of time or a small precious time to spend depends on your perspective.
Someone much with a higher degree of mathematical intelligence could no doubt subtract more accurately time spent on other activities of daily living. All of this time subtracted is aimed at finding out what are we typically left with to do whatever it is we choose to do with our lives in the world. It goes by so slowly at times and lightning fast at other periods to the point where we say, “Where did the time go?”
What’s important to you in how you spend what you have? What if we factored in couch time? Yikes!
I’ve no counsel as to what you do with the time you’ve got; just recognize your time is finite. Don’t regret the passage of time – whether it’s 74, 103, 34 or 16 years. You’ve got time now. Do whatever you choose to do now so that you feel your time mattered; was time enjoyed and time well spent.