I used to believe that “we all have 24 hours in a day” and while it’s technically true, it’s really not.
Shailja Patel said it very well in a popular tweet from a few years ago:
Use public transport? Your 24 hours are not the same as those of private jet owners.
Do your own cooking, cleaning, child-raising? Your 24 hours are not the same as those of someone with a full-time domestic staff.
The counter to that is that “private jet owners” have worked hard to get to that place in life, and have therefore paid with past work to have more time available today, and that’s likely true to a degree. Many people work very hard to build more time into their schedule in the future.
Perhaps you have a lawn care service, which gives you a few more free hours every weekend. Or, short of a private jet, even having your own private car can be a huge advantage over someone that has to rely on public transportation and likely spends a good deal more time on their commute because of it.
You may have largely earned your spot in life, but chance always plays a role. You might have caught a break 10 years ago when someone else didn’t, and your life is very different as a result of that.
I mention Seth Godin on here quite a bit, and to be honest, I’m a bit jealous of his life. How does he find time to blog every day, publish an in-depth podcast every week, write a book every year, and produce tons of other content inbetween all of that? He MUST have more time in his day than I do — and he does.
I’m busy running a digital agency, which chews up a good portion of every day (and I love it), giving me less time to produce all of the types of content that Seth does. I’m ok with that. It’s not accurate for me to say “Seth and I both have 24 hours in a day, so I should be able to produce the same amount of content that he does”. Our lives are very different, and he simply has more time available for thinking and writing than I do.
Using Shailja’s example above, I’m sure there are people that are jealous of the time that I have available. My children are largely self-sufficient now, and my wife is a tremendous help with daily chores (she does much of the cleaning and almost all of the cooking). That gives me more time than many other people have.
We all have 24 hours every, but we certainly don’t all have the same amount of time.