A Limited Number of Hours

Today I had to turn in my new availability at Starbucks.  The question I was pondering is: can I work at Starbucks full-time?  I mean, assuming they’d let me, would I want to, with all of my church responsibilities as well?  So I decided to break down my time for the week to see what I could realistically handle.

There are 168 hours in a week.  If I sleep 9 hours a day (which is ideal, I realize, but may also include some getting ready time), that leaves 105 hours a week.  I calculated that, at the very least, I will be doing 14 hours of church work a week, which includes 2 Bible studies, Sunday morning, and 2 pastors meetings per week.  This does not include any hanging out with congregants, preparing for Sunday, etc.  So that leaves at the most 91 hours a week.

Up to this point it seems that it would be easy to fit a full 40 hours of work into each week, but let’s see how that pans out: assuming my work schedule is as time-effective as possible, 40 hours of work would take up closer to 50 hours of my time (5 8-hour shifts = 5 1/2-hour lunch breaks, plus 45 minutes on each side for commute & getting settled/packing up).  So an 8-hour shift could easy eat up 10 hours of my time.

That leaves 41 hours per week (again, at the most).  Realistically, let’s round down to 37 because each week I’ll be doing something for church, whether meeting with a congregant, preparing something for Sunday morning, or getting ready for a special event.  And in all honesty, I’ll still have less free time than this a lot of weeks.

But full-time work may still be doable.  On average I take an hour a day between getting ready in the morning and getting ready for bed at night.  (It’s probably more than this, but some of this was accounted for by my earlier estimation of 9 hours of sleep a night.)  So that’s 30 hours per week left now.

I still have yet to take into account any personal or social time.  I want to continue to write every day, and that takes at least 45 minutes.  Plus, I want to read every day, let’s say for another 45 minutes.  So that’s 10 (we’ll round down) hours a week, leaving 20 left.  That 20 would be all of my friend time, which if you know me actually isn’t very much (both physically present friends and those I stay in touch with).  Oh, not to mention just alone relaxing time.

So in conclusion: yikes!  If I plan to work full-time at Starbucks and serve at my church as much as I have been, I’m going to have to monitor my time pretty carefully.  Here’s how the breakdown looks:

In Hours Per Week:
Total: 168
– 70 for sleep/getting ready – 18 for scheduled and unscheduled church work
– 50 for full-time at Starbucks
– 10 for reading and writing
= 20 remaining for friend/alone time (at least 5 of which I already have scheduled for a weekly intramural volleyball game and weekly dinner)

Wow.  So maybe I should be ok if I don’t end up working full-time.  I mean, I can do it–don’t get me wrong–and I’d rather be busy than bored, but this would be extremely busy!  We’ll be praying for time to be multiplied like the loaves and the fishes!

Thanks for processing this with me!  Please let me know if you see any mistakes in my calculations, or any areas where I could better use my time.  I’m all ears to figuring out how to be as time-efficient as possible!



    • Beth, I’m glad you asked this question! It later occurred to me that I hadn’t included that! 😛 On the days I work I get a 30-minute lunch break, so that’s included in the 50 hours/week for work (assuming I get scheduled to work full-time). On the other days, I guess I would just have to include it under alone/friend time. But yes, eating is still very important!!

  1. Pingback: Living “A Limited Number of Hours”: Prioritizing | April into the New Year

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