90,000 hours

How many working hours do you really have in a lifetime? And what will you do with them?

How many working hours do you have over a lifetime?

To build your career. To grow your business. To make your art. To create wealth. Yes, you are unique. But we all have the same 24 hours. We'll look at the case of a typical person. Here are my assumptions:

  • The average human has a lifespan of about 80 years.
  • Out of that he or she will have a roughly 45-year working life (from the age of 21 to retirement at 65).
  • In a year there are around 250 working days.
  • In one day we'll typically sleep for 8 hours, work for 8 hours, and spend 8 hours on everything else (hygiene, commute, feeding, leisure, friends, family etc.)

With those inputs we get the following equation:

Your working life = 8 hours per day x 250 working days x 45 working years = 90,000 working hours

90,000 hours. That's all you have for your life's work.

If we further assume it takes at least 5 years of focused effort to build a great career or a valuable business, that means you'll need to spend 10,000 working hours to do so (an interesting echo of the 10,000 hour rule).

The point?

The journey to build something great begins with a single well-spent hour.

You only have 90,000 hours for your life's work (scale it down depending on your age). You have eight today.

What are you doing with your eight working hours today?

What are you doing with them?