the most productive number

The Most Productive Number This Year: 168

We all want to have good fortune this year. The Chinese consider numbers that sound like auspicious words or phrases particularly fortunate. It’s so important to their culture that tycoons and conglomerates pay hefty sums for particularly lucky addresses, phone numbers, and even serial numbers for their gadgets.

One such lucky number is “168”. In Mandarin, the number 168 sounds like the phrase “一路發” or “Good fortune all the way”. Now, who wouldn’t want to have good fortune every day this year, right?

For us, we create our own good fortune by being productive so that opportunities come to us. But we should also consider the number 168 to be important while working.

Why is the Number “168” Important For Work?

That’s because we all have 168 hours in a week. From wealthy CEOs to entry-level staff, we all get the same amount of time per week. Take this as an inspiration. If the super-successful can do a lot of things and more in just 168 hours, you can do it as well.

And at the end of the week, this number is gone. You can’t save it, nor can you get it back. It’s a reminder to spend your hours wisely every single week.

On the other hand, you do get a fresh 168 hours at the beginning of the week. So look forward to those instead of regretting what you missed this week.

How to Make the Most of Your 168 Hours

1. Plan Your Hours.

Be more intentional with how you spend each hour. One way is to add durations for each of your tasks. Or better yet, add those tasks into your calendar to get a time-bound visual reminder of how your week looks like.

2. Focus Your Hours.

Nothing spurs you to action better than knowing where you want to be. List down your goals. Want to get ahead in your career? Start spending more time learning and networking, and less time on TV and social media. Soon, you’ll be more in tune with your priorities and focusing your time on what’s really important.

3. Track Your Hours.

This is a time-tested productivity technique used by the likes of Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein. For one week, log how much time you take to do your activities each day. You can use a tool or an app to help you if you’d like. Then after the week ends, look at your logs. It will highlight what you actually spend your time on, and this in turn will help you plan better for future weeks. Note that you don’t need to do this each week, but do log your hours if you think you’re starting to be unproductive.

4. Mind Your Hours.

Sometimes, hours go by because we aren’t mindful of the time we spend on the tasks we do. If you feel this way, there are many techniques that will help you be more conscious of the time you spend, from the Pomodoro technique to timeboxing.

5. Buy-back Your Hours.

Do you sometimes think that someone else owns your hours? Buy them back by giving some of your work to people or technology that can do it better. Automate repetitive tasks. Delegate tasks to people more skilled at them than you. Eliminate unnecessary tasks.

Your success this year is not just going to come due to good fortune. You also need to work at it. So make each one of those 168 hours you get each week matter.

If you’re looking for a place to start, here’s our advice on how to make your work more manageable.