Ready for a LIFE CHANGER?

What’s our number one problem? Your number one problem? We never have enough time, right?!

Take our life right now, for instance. We just got back from shooting a proposal in Paris, we’re moving into our forever house THIS week, we have a double header wedding weekend with two incredible couples, plus two great friends are coming from out of town to stay with us and we’re building our brand new posing course! All at once. It’d be pretty easy for us to say, “We don’t have enough time!” right? And we don’t even have kids yet!

How do we find more hours in a day?!

We recently read a book by Laura Vanderkam called 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think that’s been a game changer for us. Convicting, applicable and empowering all at once. We have SO many takeaways from the book, that we really encourage you to read it on your own, but we’re going to share our biggest bite-sized takeaway here.

Laura’s a journalist who researched the time habits of Americans and found that most unsuccessful people said this:

I don’t have time for _______________. 

While the most successful people said this:

I have time, but it’s not my priority. 

In essence, she argues, even if we sleep eight hours every night, work a full 40-hour week and devote three hours per day to getting ready, eating, commuting and household responsibilities, we still have FIFTY non-sleeping hours per WEEK to do whatever we want.

But I don’t have time for _______________. 

You do, Laura says. It’s just not your priority.

The most convicting part about the book for us is when she challenges every reader to track their time in 15-minute increments. (You can get her official time-tracking sheet on her website.) At first, we didn’t want to do it. Because we normally don’t like to ask a question when we don’t think we’ll like the answer — and we were pretty sure we wouldn’t like the answer to this question:

How am I REALLY spending my time?

More importantly, What are my spending choices keeping me from? 

But we tracked it anyways.

And we were right! We didn’t like the answer.

When we listed out the priorities in our life, iPhones (social media scrolling!) and Netflix weren’t on it, yet they were unknowingly consuming dozens of cumulative hours every week that were keeping us from the things we actually cared about.

The worst part? We didn’t even realize it. Because it was subconscious.

If we were wasting a total of three hours per day on Internet browsing and TV alone (which is actually below average, if you can believe it), here’s the math on just that:

3 hours x 7 days x 52 weeks = 1,092 hours per year.

ON NETFLIX?!

It gets worse.

When you divide 1,092 hours by 40 hours, you get TWENTY-SEVEN full workweeks or one part-time job. 

Just. By. Cutting. Netflix.

Those numbers startled us and forced us to ask ourselves two simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating questions:

1. Where else were we wasting time?

2. What could we accomplish if we actually aligned our time with our priorities?

It was a real take-an-honest-look-in-the-mirror-and-cut-the-BS-and-excuses kind of year for us!

But it was exciting, too, because simple fourth grade math gave us a sense of control again, that we had the time AND money to make our priorities happen if we did one simple but hard thing: made them our priority.

So, in response to the two statements we hear from people all the time:

I can’t afford _______________. 

I don’t have time for _______________. 

We’d encourage you to ask yourself the two questions that we did:

What are my real priorities?

AND

If I stop wasting _____ hours every day on _______________, that’s _____ hours this week/month/year I’ll have for _______________.

With that time, I can do _______________ or earn _______________ that will allow me to do _______________.

OR

If I stop wasting _____ dollars every day on _______________, that’s _____ dollars this week/month/year I’ll have for _______________.

With that money, I can afford _______________ or earn _______________ that will allow me to afford _______________.

Here are three examples to get you started:

MONEY:

Old way of thinking: I can’t afford to go on vacation this year. 

New way of thinking: One of my priorities is to go on vacation this year. 

Then, do the math:

If I stop wasting $5 dollars every day on Starbucks, that’s $1,825 dollars this year that I’ll have for vacation.

TIME: 

Old way of thinking: I don’t have time to exercise for one hour every day. 

New way of thinking: My priority this year is to read and exercise one hour each day. 

Then, do the math:

If I stop wasting 3 hours every day on Netflix, that’s 1 hour today I’ll have for exercise — and I can still watch Netflix! 

NOW, LET’S LOOK AT TIME AND MONEY: 

If I stop wasting 3 hours every day on Netflix, that’s 1,092 hours this year I’ll have for a part-time job. 

With that time, I can work at Starbucks and earn $15 per hour which is $16,380 that will allow me to do a lot.

Plus, my coffee will be free — which saves an additional $1,825. (See Example 1)

How empowering is that?!

We’ve had so many shooting and editing course students who, at first, thought they couldn’t afford the investment in their education, until they started fundraising the money by offering shoots to five families who were willing to make a $100 investment in their education. And BOOM. They were in the course, learning a ton, had new clients on the calendar, already had shoots scheduled to implement what they learned, getting new portfolio images and were experiencing huge momentum and growth!

It’s incredible what happens when we start asking ourselves the tough questions and start proactively reshaping our life to align with our priorities. And this is just one of the many takeaways we got from the book!

Before we close, YES, we understand that some people have extenuating circumstances that make their time and/or money realities exceptionally challenging. If that’s you, we’re so sorry. We’ve experienced unexpected economic and medical emergencies in our families, too. It’s scary and it’s hard. We’d never attempt to minimize the size of your struggles or oversimplify your problems.

But that’s not most of us, and it’s certainly not most of us all the time.

So, with that, here’s the challenge if you’re willing to accept it:

1. Make a list of your priorities for your life.

2. Read Laura Vanderkam’s book 168 Hours and Dave Ramsey’s book The Total Money Makeover. 

3. Using Laura’s time-tracking sheets and Dave’s budgeting system, find out where you’re wasting time or money — or, if you’re like us, probably both.

4. Then, budget your time and money to align with your priorities.

5. Change your life and email us the results. We’d love to know your story!

Up until now, if you’ve wasted time or money, that’s okay! You’re like everyone else.

How long you stay like everyone else is up to you.

How to Find More Hours in the Day - Game changing book 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam

We’re so proud of our online shooting & editing course students!

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20 comments
filed in: Education

    Sara O'Hara

    Totally ordering that book!! I've got a blog ready to publish later this month about our financial journey since you guys gave us the Total Money Makeover, so I'll skip step 5 above and just tag you in that post in a couple weeks ;) But if this book can radicalize my time management like Dave did with our finances, I'm IN!!!

    Amy & Jordan

    Woohoo!! You'll love it! Awesome! Sounds so great!! Thanks, Sara! <3

    Bonnie Gatewood

    Dave Ramsey!!!! YEEESSS!!!!! Has really changed how my family operates. And I'm adding Laura's book to my reading list. Placing it right at the top :-) Thanks!

    Amy & Jordan

    He's the absolute BEST!! Yay! You'll love it!! :)

    Gabby

    Omg this is the best blog yet. I'm getting these books today!!! So excited. I've been wanting to buy your course forever. Now it will be sooner than I thought! Thank you love you guys! You guys are awesome !

    Amy & Jordan

    Yay!! Awesome, Gabby! Aw! You're so sweet! Thank you! We can't wait for you to join us in the course! :)

    Brigitte

    Love this post! My partner and I have been going through Dave Ramsey's money course and it's been so refreshing and insightful! I can't wait to read Laura's book too. Thanks for the recommendation! :-)

    Amy & Jordan

    Thanks so much, Brigitte! Awesome! You'll love it! :)

    Karen

    Wonderful post. Convicting and totally tracking my hours this week. Before the summer hits, my kids are out of school and shooting season kicks into high gear, this is a perfect read and step to take to make all my hours count. Now just to get off your web-site.... (stop distracting me!! :) xo and thanks again, Karen

    Amy & Jordan

    Thank you so much, Karen! We're so happy to hear this post was helpful to you! You got this! Haha! ;)

    Karen

    Wonderful post. Convicting and totally tracking my hours this week. Before the summer hits, my kids are out of school and shooting season kicks into high gear, this is a perfect read and step to take to make all my hours count. Now just to get off your web-site.... (stop distracting me!! :) xo and thanks again, Karen

    Meredith Ward

    I absolutely love this post! Such awesome info!
    But ... also dying to know where Amy found that rad cat tee! 😻

    Amy & Jordan

    Haha! It was a client gift on one of those websites where someone submits a design, and if enough people commit to buy one, they make it -- so we don't even know if they're available anymore or where to look for one. Sorry!

    Keshia

    I love how you guys shoot the brides heels. I am in full learning mode and wanted to know if u have any tips u r willing to share regarding 'how to'.
    Thanks in advance!

    Amy & Jordan

    Hi, Keshia! Thank you so much! Have you checked out our Shooting & Editing Course? We think it's just what you're looking for! :)

    Merv Blue

    This by far is my favorite article! If there's one thing we can all get better at is managing our time and money. Thanks for the great content. I'm excited to see more :)

    Amy & Jordan

    We're so happy to hear you found the article helpful, Merv! Absolutely! Thanks so much! :)

    Merv Blue

    This by far is my favorite article! If there's one thing we can all get better at is managing our time and money. Thanks for the great content. I'm excited to see more :)

    Rachel Downey

    Always scary to realize how much of your life gets wasted on the Internet!! ...Except my blog reading time, of course (:
    Having just finished up graduate school, I was able to see a measurable difference in my performance when I shut off the wifi in my house. Definitely picking up this book soon!

    Amy & Jordan

    Haha!! Thanks so much, Rachel! Absolutely! SO happy this blog post was helpful to you! Hugs!! :)