Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Power Rankings and Life

Those that follow sports are familiar with Power Rankings, little more than an arbitrary organization of teams from best to worst on the weekly whims of sportswriters. They’re fun, but essentially useless. And yet the line of thought that goes into making them is a critical life skill. Often times we’re forced to make a “Power Rankings” of activities or jobs, or things we can do with our time. We might not necessarily spell it out, but inevitably some things rank above others and they get addressed while the rest does not.

I think the most common reason for doing this is how to use one’s time. We’re always told that the American work model is structured to give us 8 hours each of work, sleep and leisure (a fallacy, but we’ll ignore that for now), but there’s some leeway even there. My whole feeling is that since work takes up about 11 hours a day (I wake up at 6:30 and get home at 5:30 and there’s no way getting ready for work, driving to and from work, or eating lunch at work can be considered leisure time) and I value my leisure time, I’ll let the sleep take a hit. Perhaps not the most healthy alternative, but it’s worked out well for me so far.

And my method is by no means the only way to do things. Some people would much rather have their eight hours of sleep. Others are perfectly content to be in the office from 5 AM to 9 PM (freaks). But those decisions are still made, and made more often than we realize. Go to the gym or work out at home, watch TV or play a game, goof around with your kids, or work on elaborate plots to hold your family for ransom to get money from the government. Power Rankings, as annoying as they are in the sports world, are an integral part of who we are and how we live.

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