Have you ever laid in bed at the end of a long day and thought ‘what the hell did I even accomplish today.’ Tasks can feel endless sometimes. There is never enough time in the day, yet it feels like there are hours of your day that are lost. Lost to mindless internet searches, lost to not just getting out of bed the first time the alarm goes off, and lost to that one more episode of Netflix.
So how do we create a more meaningful daily experience?
About a month ago I created what I call The 14 Hour Project. I realized that each day I had roughly 14 hours of productivity and wanted to start making those hours count. Now, you can too!
The 14 Hour Project is about setting goals and achieving them. It’s about balancing work, life, and everything in between. The idea is to finally make time for the things that interest you, the skills you want to learn, and the activities you want to try.
So how does it work?
The basic concept is that your day is broken into two parts: day and night. This project is not about getting up early or shortening your sleep. The 14 hours of productivity means that 10 hours of a 24 hour day are yours. For me, ten hours means an hour to get ready for bed (Netflix, reading, brushing teeth, etc.), 8.5 hours of sleep (I’m a diva what can I say), and .5 hours in the morning to read the news and wake up a little. These 10 hours are completely yours: maybe you want to sleep the full 10 hours, awesome! Maybe you only sleep 7 hours of sleep but need a longer morning routine, that’s great too. The point is – 10 hours of rest is 10 hours of rest!
The second piece of the project is your “day” time. This is your 14 hours of productivity which will be broken into the four categories of skills, fitness, future goals, and free time. To start, you need to make a list of what each category will contain for you – again this is your personal goals. Something that I enjoy during free time might belong in a different category for you personally. When creating your goals, don’t neglect your personal boundaries. Personally, I require more alone/reset time because I’m highly introverted – an extrovert may require more social hours – so be mindful of your needs AND your goals. As an example, here are my category breakdowns:
Now that you have your categories, it’s time to decide how much time you would like to dedicate to each. This may vary by day or by week. Your total of 14 hours should include time for work/school, time dedicated to meals, and time for each category. Here are examples:
I wake up at 7:30 am and immediately eat breakfast, dress, and read a little news…
The next day may be more along the lines of …..
*During these blocks, I fill the time with something from the category list. If it’s a skill hour, I either blog, practice calligraphy, or go to Spanish class. When the hour is over, I switch to the next category.
**Some notes: I work remotely, so my work schedule is flexible and changes based on meeting times. I currently live in the Canary Islands so my meal times are later and I tend to spend afternoons at the beach.
As you can see, each day can vary drastically. Don’t be afraid to try different schedules to find what suits you best. By switching it up, I’ve found that I really enjoy mid-morning exercise and am much more focused on my future category at night – you might be the opposite!
Now that you’ve seen my 14-hour blocks, try out this FREE TEMPLATE to get started on your own! What things are in your categories? Comment below!