Why Time Management Matters

By Steve Scherer

I believe that there is intrinsic value to each human life and each day. I base this on a belief in a God who made people in His image.

This blog isn’t about theology, macroevolution, or the meaning of life. Not directly, at least. I wrote this from a place of really believing that your life matters. And so, how you spend your time matters also.

The Years Are Short

I’ve done my best to breakdown an average American lifespan for three main reasons:

  1. First, our lives are finite; seeing numbers doesn’t change that.
  2. Distracted people waste opportunities.
  3. This exercise brings clarity to what matters. (hopefully)


Nothing wins the hearts and minds quite like telling someone, “you’re gonna die.” 

50 Years of Your Life

Piecing together data points from several sites, I did my best to show how 50 years of an average American life breaks down.

If you live to be 80 years old, that’s 29,200 days. So that was the baseline for doing the calculations below—average American lifespan.

Here is how you spend most of your years on Earth.

Asleep: Over 23 years of your life sleeping – 7ish hours a night x 80 years

Working: 10-13 years at work – 48-52 years of working before retirement, with 8ish hour days

Messing on your phone: 9 years – 65 years of having a phone, 3.25 hrs./day of phone use

Eating: 3.5 – 4 years – this is probably low, as a baby we eat and sleep a ton

School: 2 years – 6hrs/day, 175ish days/year, 17ish years

Reading books: 2 years – if you kept the 5.75 hrs/week average for 60 years

Exercising: 6-7 months – 20 minutes/day, 365 days/year, for 40 years

The above does NOT include things like; daydreaming, streaming shows, trying to fall asleep, driving, waiting in line/for a bus or train/significant other, being on hold, going to church, or vacation. Dang.

You’re Not Stuck

Often at The Impact of Leadership, one of us will give a reminder to the other of something true. “You’re not stuck.”  

Many times it takes someone from outside the issue at hand to give perspective, especially when we’re eyeball deep in a seemingly no-win situation. We say that to each other confidently because we have experienced it repeatedly: there’s always an option. We just need someone to remind us of it.

This blog is your reminder. And maybe a sense of being given permission.

You don’t have to move forward with that candidate, even though they are at your price point.

  • Did you reach out to your former boss, mentor, favorite professor about it yet for referrals?


You can eliminate someone’s position and still love them and their family.

  • What about moving their “seat on the bus”? Could they fill a need in another department?


You should still take time off for that family vacation.

  • Prove what matters most. Don’t sleep for two days, get stuff done and go.


You can say “no” to good things.

  • There will always be needs. Figure out what’s most important (big rocks), say “yes” to things that support those things.


You can start a business, learn guitar, go back to school, get right with God.

  • Take a step.


“Life is precarious, and life is precious. Don’t presume you will have it tomorrow, and don’t waste it today.”

John Piper


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