Everyone has 168 hours per week. No more, no less. That is what you have to work with. Now, how do you manage those 168 hours a week?

There are twenty-four hours in a day and seven days in a week. 24 hours x 7 days = 168 hours in a week. Everyone has 168 hours per week. No more, no less. That is what you have to work with.  Now, how do you manage those 168 hours a week? To break it down even further, you have 86,400 seconds per day with which to play.

Japanese researchers have come up with a very offbeat approach to time management — showing workers lots of pictures of adorable, fuzzy, baby animals.

A team of researchers at Hiroshima University conducted a 2012 study where they showed university students pictures of baby animals before completing various tasks. What they found, was that those who saw the baby animal photos did more productive and thorough work after seeing those photographs. The baby animal workers were also more productive than those who saw a picture of an adult animal or even — get this – a favorite food.

Time management is a topic that is frightening to address for those of us who are working women or working moms. There is no work life balance, it is constant juggling, trying to delay the ball from dropping. It always inevitably does.  We need calendars to organize our calendars so we may as well just throw them away. However, we do have our upcoming summer vacations to recharge and regenerate. Except, not really.

A 2011 survey by Expedia revealed that the average American accrues 14 vacation days and uses only 12. The average French person has 30 days and takes more than double the vacation time of an average American. Some maintain that this captures the difference between American and Europeans. We are industrious and they are lazy. Mon dieu! Actually, it might just prove the opposite. Europeans understand that breaks improve workplace efficiency. We erroneously believe that more hours always equals an increase in work, while ignoring the evidence: The key to being a good worker is not working too hard.

So with that, we’re closing out this essay to look at some cute baby animal pictures. How do you (mis)manage your time?

 



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