• Josh Carmody

30 Extra Hours Each Week?

Happy New Year! You may or may not have noticed, but I took a little time off of blogging at the end of last year. I had my reasons, but I am back!

With the start of a new year, I thought it would be fun to do something that I haven't done in a few years and encourage you to join me! But first, read the following excerpt from "Simplify, Ten practices to unclutter your soul."

A few years ago, a staff writer for the Washington Post was asked to participate in a work-group tasked with studying the newspaper reading habits of the Post’s target demographic. Wanting to better understand how people use their minutes and hours each day, the writer placed a phone call to the University of Maryland sociologist John P. Robinson. Robinson is considered the father of time-use studies in the United States.

The reporter hoped to validate her work-groups assumption that the reason for the decline in newspaper sales and online viewership was that people didn’t have time to read the paper. People are too busy for that. But Professor Robinson didn’t validate that assumption. Instead, he told the writer that her team’s conclusion couldn’t be accurate. He claimed that people have upwards of thirty hours of leisure time each week.

Thirty hours of leisure time each week? What planet did Mr. Robinson reside on? Certainly not Earth. On this planet, we have deadlines. On this planet, we have to-do lists. On this planet, we have obligations, meetings, and projects to complete. We have laundry to fold. Lawns to mow. Dogs that need to be walked. We have places to be. People to meet. Things to do. Snapchat to check. Here on planet Earth, we are busy!

If you are anything like me, you probably did not believe the doctor either. In this day and age, we are all busy! We can't squeeze a few minutes out of our day, let alone hours! It's not like we walk around telling ourselves, "Wow, I have nothing to do for the next five hours." And while that may be true, we have more time to do what we want than we realize. Check out the ending of this story between the journalist and Dr. Robinson.

Mr. Robinson asked the journalist to keep a log for an entire week, writing down everything she spent time doing. If she waited in line at the grocery store for ten minutes, she was told to write that down. If she spent time on social media or watching TV, she had to record the time. If she took a phone call and talked for twenty minutes, that time had to be logged. At the end of that week, the writer submitted her journal to Mr. Robinson. She had logged 27 hours of leisure time! The time had been there all along, but she never had eyes to see it.

I am going to keep a time-log of everything I do from noon today until noon next Friday to see how much free time I truly have. The results surprised me when I did this a few years ago. It will be interesting to see if I am surprised again. I don't know when you are reading this, but will you join me in keeping a time log? Maybe you have told yourself you are way too busy to go to church, hang out with friends, pray, read the Bible, or go out on a date. I want you to know that you have time to do all of those things.

Give it a shot and let me know how it goes for you or try it another time if you can't do it this week. You can email me at josh@clearlycarmody.com and let me know how it goes.

Next week we will talk about the results, and look at some scriptures that encourage us to use our many hours of free time wisely.

Until Friday,


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© 2020 Josh Carmody.                                                                   Contact: josh@clearlycarmody.com 

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I work at New Covenant Christian Church in Fort Dodge, IA. Everything here, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of New Covenant Christian Church.