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The 100 block exercise: my results

How a simple data analysis can freak you out about your life.


Back in December I posted a link on Facebook to the Wait But Why article on the fact that we have 100 10 minute blocks available to us in the average day. https://waitbutwhy.com/2016/10/100-blocks-day.html


I promised I would do the exercise and share my results so here they are. I did this exercise on the train in December on my way home from what probably wasn't a hugely typical day, but it was the data I had at my disposal at the time. I don't think it was wildly off.


Obviously, I used a spreadsheet. Here's the output - time of day is in each block, number of 10 minute blocks for each activity is listed on the left.


So what did this tell me?


1. I need more sleep than Tim Urban thinks I should need. His '100 blocks a day' day assumes 1000 minutes awake, which is 16 hours and 40 minutes. On the day I measured I woke up at 0630 and was asleep by 22:30 so I could allocate an extra 7 blocks to sleep - hurrah for me! Sleep is important so essentially I think I nailed that one.


2. It's really hard to remember what you did the day before in as much detail as 10 minute chunks - this took a lot longer to fill in because I kept doubting myself on silly things like how long my commute took - even though you'd think that's something you can work out very easily from train times etc.


3. I spend a LOT of time at a computer - not exactly a surprise but the proportion on this particular day was very high at 44% of my time, admittedly it was just before Christmas so there was a lot to get done, I wouldn't ordinarily do an hour's work before my commute and an hour's work when I get home but even so - too much.


4. This day didn't really have any time for 'me' in it - there's no exercise, yoga, stuff I enjoy like sewing, it's all 'work' of one kind or another. Again I don't know if this was a-typical or not so I'm tempted to do it again once I've settled back into the routine of the year and see what a more 'typical' day looks like.


5. As I've written about before in other blog posts, gathering data on your own behaviour is fascinating and insightful - this exercise was yet another example of that and I can recommend it if you'd like the prompt to shake things up a bit and spend your time a little more on your terms.

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