Is there enough time to do everything you should be doing? Think about it: think of all the expectations that everyone has, and whether there really are enough hours in the day to do it all. Think of all the advice you get from the news and magazines about having a better, happier life, then work out when you would do it all.

There are 168 hours every week. Let us assume you work. Bang! There goes 40 hours (or 50 hours… or more…) in one shot. Unless you work in public service, are on benefits or are cheating the system. Good for you, but that does not help the rest of us. Not many of us live above the shop we run, so probably you will spend half an hour on getting to work and getting back again each day. Splat! Another 5 hours consumed. Most people also need some sleep. Pow! There goes another 8 hours per night or 56 hours a week, if you really want to stay healthy (physically and mentally) and get the normal number of z’s needed each night. Mr. and Ms. Average are already down to 67 spare hours a week. Then some doctor tells you to go do some exercise to stay healthy Zap! That will take up another 2 hours a week at least, unless you intend to skip the shower and are happy to spend the rest of the day stinking of sweat. Better schedule some quality time for family and friends. How about reserving 25 minutes per day? Smack! Another 3 hours a week spent on just getting people to like you (and ensuring your kids remember who you are). We are down to just a measly 62 hours now.

Do not forget your civic duties. Better keep up with the news once in a while, so you know which way to vote come the next election. But maybe you are reading the newspaper on the train to work… phew! Okay, you got off the hook on that one, but you better spend the journey home reading a proper book so you do not seem like an ill-cultured ignoramus at the next party you attend. Thwack! Caught you out – who said you had time to attend a party? One night out a week will take up 5 hours at least, and you do not get to count it with the quality time because getting drunk is something totally different… Before you go out, better brush your teeth/bathe/shave your face/shave your legs/put on lippy on/put your dentures in* (*delete as applicable) Splosh! There goes another 3 hours a week. Take a freebie on how long it takes to get dressed, though for some it you it will take hours. Which also means ironing shirts and laundry. And other household chores, like the washing up and hoovering. Crack! There goes another 2 hours a week, you slovenly lot. We are down to 52 hours spare each week.

Were you planning on eating ever? Yes, I know you could eat out, but all those TV chefs will be angry at you unless you cook one decent meal a week. Then you had better do some shopping for food, too. If you are super-speedy at both then maybe you only spend 2 hours doing that each week. You also have to keep the fashion gurus happy by shopping for clothes and shoes. That will be the final 50 hours for some of you, closer to 1 minute every other month for others.

Were you ever going to do something for the community, like helping the elderly woman who lives next door, or volunteering for the neighbourhood watch scheme? Of course not! But you waste 10 minutes a week imagining yourself to be a decent human being or making excuses for not doing it. A more realistic drain on your time is telly, and worst of all the ad breaks in telly. Bam! There goes another 10 hours a week (admit it!) unless you spend that time browsing the web, watching DVDs or playing video games instead…

Have you ever spent the day filling out a tax form? Or weeding your garden? Or putting together your Ikea furniture? Better be careful – you probably cannot spare the time. Let us hope your luck holds and nobody in the family gets sick (least of all you), that the car does not break down, that the upstairs toilet does not develop a leak and that your pet does not get fleas. You simply do not have the time for any of that. You need to find time for brain-training games and staring at sunsets and clearing out those boxes from the garage and knitting a scarf and supporting the cup run of your local football team and learning the piano and booking your skiing holiday and and and and…

Did you forgot to make time for loving? You know the lurve thing. That funky love action. Getting it on. The James Brown/Barry White/Marvin Gaye luurrrve THING, baby. It could be that you are not exercising those muscles (ahem) very often. If you are a man, any time saved by not doing is subsequently wasted by either thinking about it, or practicing on your own. On the plus side for men, if you do meet a woman interested in you, you can guarantee that after all that practice you zip from pants off to fast asleep in less than two minutes. If you are a woman, this may not seem like long enough. Better get used to it – at least you can use the time saved to complain to your friends about it.

Feeling a bit hurried? Not sure what to do next? There is only one thing for it. Better make a list of things to do. Then make another list because you missed some things off the first list. Lose the second list, waste some time looking for it, then combine the third and first list into a super-list that covers both. Before you know it, you will be making lists of all the lists you have. You should also keep a diary. Block out your time carefully, months in advance. That way, when the plans inevitably change at the last minute and you need to sell those concert tickets, you will have only wasted the time you spent managing your diary.

Then you make time for a course on time management and they tell you to prioritize, like that is a solution. Prioritization is no solution if you still have more things to do than the time available. But try telling that to the person giving you the time management course, especially as you spend the next hour arguing for your money back.

And then you have to find time to read a blog about how little time you have. But look on the bright side: at least you are not the one making time to write it.

(The observant ones will have noticed that you after my calculations, there might be another 40 hours spare each week after all. So where does it go – I have no idea! Perhaps it just slips off the bottom of the page, like this paragraph…)

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