Oh The Things I Could Play for an Hour a Day!


Everyone complains that they don’t have time to accomplish the things they want. But people often have a lot more time then they may imagine. Just think of the things you can do with just an hour a day.

In a recent post, I published the results of a survey that outlined how many workers are spending 30 work days each year checking their Email after-hours.

The researchers estimated that many people spent about 240 hours a year checking Emails after hours.

My calculation was a bit different, and I came to a higher 360 hours a year.


So let’s just pick an easy number in the middle… 300 hours


So, this got me to thinking…

People are always complaining that they don’t have enough time to do the things they really want…

They say that between work, commuting, family, and personal commitments, there is not enough time to do anything they truly enjoy.

Now, I am NOT questioning that many people are busy and have very time-demanding jobs.

I am definitely in the same camp!

But time has an interesting way of both adding-up and disappearing at the same time!
— Michael Einstein

Let’s just look at those 300 hours spent checking Emails after-hours....

What if you just decided to not check Emails at all after hours?

What could you do if you took back those 300 hours?

So, here are some of the things you can do in 300 hours......


Read 60 novels.

(1 page per minute = 60 pages an hour x 300 hours = 18,000 pages / 300 page average novel = 60 novels)

(If you are like me, you have a stack of "unread" books somewhere that you keep promising yourself to get to.)

How much time did you spend learning new ideas last year?


Run 60 Marathons.

(300 Hours / 5 hour marathon time = 60 marathons)

(OK.. I know I couldn’t run 60 marathons a year even if I had the time, and it takes hours and hours of training to prepare for each one, but how about training and running just one?  Or how about doing an hour exercise class a day instead?)

How much time did you spend pushing your personal boundaries last year?


Watch all 180 episodes of Seinfeld.. 3 times…

  • There are 180 Seinfeld episodes.

  • If each Seinfeld episode is 30 minutes long with commercials.

  • So, you can watch every episode 3 times, with time to spare for bathroom breaks!

(180 episodes x 30 minutes per episode = 5,400 minutes / 60 minutes per hour = 90 hours, 300 / 90 = 3.3 times)

(And yes, you can watch them over and over.. they ARE that good...although as a New Yorker, I may be slightly biased!)

How much time did you spend doing something that is just plain fun last year?


Lose 10 lbs by taking 600, half-hour walks each day.

(300 hours / 0.5 hour = 600 walks, 60 calories x 600 walks = 36,000 calories / 3,600 calories per pound = 10.2 lbs)

(Better yet, take them with a canine, friend, child or significant other, and enjoy some time to “connect”!)

How much time did you spend exercising last year?


Learn a new language

  • If you invest 300 hours, you can learn the solid fundamentals of almost any language.

  • You can complete Level's 1 & 2 of Rosetta Stone's language program in about about an hour a day over the course of a year.

  • You certainly won’t be “fluent” in a language in just 300 hours.  But you will be able to speak many key phrases “passably”. And you should be able to understand someone if they speak slowly for you.

(1 hour x 300 Rosetta Stone Lessons = Complete Levels 1 & 2)

(So, remember that promise you made to yourself to FINALLY learn another language? It is easier to accomplish then you may think.)

How much time did you spend accomplishing something you always wished you had done?


Learn to play an Instrument

  • An hour a day is more than enough to learn to play any musical instrument, such as piano or guitar.

  • Taking lessons from a professional is the fastest way to learn.  But there are also tons of “self-study” programs out there that use workbooks, videos, and even online programs.

  • Although you are unlikely to be able to play a Beethoven piano concerto or riff like Eddie Van Halen, you will learn the basics and play some nice tunes.

(1 hour / day x 300 music lessons = Learn to play basic notes an chords)

(And will find that playing music has other benefits as well.  It has been shown to reduce stress, improve focus, and increase spatial abilities and problem-solving. Not to mention, it’s just plain fun and enjoyable!)

How much time did you spend expanding your mind last year?


So, next time you hear someone tell you that they don’t have time, just remember how those lost hours really add up.
— Michael Einstein


So what does this have to do with Email Overload?

Your can reduce the time you spend managing Email by improving your Email processing skills.

Or you can eliminate that hour you spend each day checking Emails after-hours,  and instead, trade that hour for investing in skills that have benefits to last a lifetime!


How about you?

What would you like to do with an hour a day?

What do you think you can accomplish?