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I often sit back and wonder, “how did I accomplish everything I needed to in a week?”

One of my Kellogg professors, Harry Kraemer, introduced a time management concept that I often reflect on.  This concept epitomizes how I manage my time on an ongoing basis and I often think about my upcoming week as a full-time worker, son, friend, brother, uncle, and Kellogg EMBA student using this formula.

I have an appreciation for the time management concept Professor Kraemer introduced because it takes a very logical and mathematical approach to managing time – a perspective I hadn’t really taken before.

The simple formula goes like this…

  • There are 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week (a given)
  • 24 x 7 = 168 hours in a week
    • If you sleep an average of 8 hours a day
    • Work an average of 10 hours a day as part of your career
    • You have technically “used up” a total of 126 hours (18 x 7 = 126)
    • The difference (42 hours) is what you have left in your week
    • If you take 42 hours and divide it by the number of days in the week, on average you get 6 hours a day to schedule everything you need to

That being said, I look at my past week and realized I fit more into my 6 hours a day than I thought was I was capable of by sleeping less, multitasking, and putting off any TV watching (needless to say I have absolutely no clue what’s going on in the world).

It says a lot considering I travel from California to Chicago for class weekends.  I can only try to imagine how challenging it is for some of my colleagues who have new babies, families with 8 children, or travel 100% of the time for their job.

This is one of the biggest lessons I have learned from my experience at Kellogg because it reinforces the notion that I’ve been able to make time for the priorities I have in my life.  I often times wondered whether I could manage to be a part of the EMBA program and work full-time prior to applying to school.

Whether it’s scheduling time to meet 5 days a week with a personal trainer at the gym or seeing my parents during a layover in San Francisco during a class weekend at Kellogg, one common theme seems to reoccur amongst me and my fellow classmates – we seem to make it all happen and get everything done.  This notion is empowering and has created a greater sense of confidence in my ability to take on challenging tasks and projects in life and at work and I know I will carry it with me for the rest of my life.