Have you ever wondered how many hours of TV you’ve watched, or how much time in your life you’ve spent playing games? Are you curious how much of a time commitment a particular book might be?
When leisure time is at a premium, many of us like to use it optimally. We’ve rounded up a bunch of free tools that will help you understand how long something will take to achieve, or how long you’ve already spent doing that activity in the past. It’s a good way to get an overview of what you’re spending your time on.
Reading is profoundly relaxing and strengthens the mind, but there’s something intimidating about a stack of books. If you’re curious just how much of a time commitment a particular book might be, How Long to Read This can help by estimating how many hours it’ll take to read.
The site first estimates how long it would take the average reader to complete the book. If you like, you can complete a quick reading test to determine your reading speed, and then the site will provide more accurate estimations for you. Alongside this, you can see the book’s page and word count.
Are you more of an audiobook fan? Perhaps you listen through Audible or one of the many great Audible alternatives. No problem. How Long to Read has you covered there, as it also provides the audiobook duration.
2. Tii.me: Time Spent Watching TV
Watching TV shows takes up a lot of time, especially when you’re committed to a show and it seems to never end—not to mention all the spin-offs that often pop up. Tii.me is a site that makes it easy to find out how long it takes to watch an entire show, or just particular seasons of a show. It’s especially handy if you’re planning a binge-watching session, though be aware that there are downsides to binging a TV show.
All you need to do is search for a show and enter the number of seasons you’ve seen or want to see, and the site will display how many days, hours, and minutes it takes to watch. You can even add multiple shows to get a comprehensive total. If you like, there’s a button that lets you quickly share your results to Twitter—though depending on the damage, you may wish to skip this step.
How long a book takes depends on your reading speed; how long a season of TV takes is pretty static. If you want to find out how long it takes to beat games, though, it’s trickier to put a precise number on that. There are many factors you must consider: your skill level, if you intend to explore all side quests, and whether you opt for DLC.
How Long to Beat is a site that averages user-contributed totals to give you an idea of how many hours you can expect to sink into a game. Those figures are also broken down by platform because some games (especially older ones) vary drastically per platform.
If you sign up for an account, you can track all the games you’ve played to generate a total time of how long you’ve spent gaming. You can also see how long it’ll take to finish games you own but have yet to begin, if you link your Steam account.
That’s enough time indoors; let’s climb a mountain. If you’d like to know how long a particular uphill hike might take you, this hiking calculator is here to help. Just enter how long the climb is (there and back), how much elevation you will gain (vertical distance from base to summit), and the lifestyle type of your least athletic hiker (as they’ll slow the group down). Finally, choose the type of hike.
You’ll end up with an estimate of how long that hike will take which, as the calculator amusingly notes, doesn’t account for time spent sightseeing or picnicking at the summit.
If you’re reading this, the chances are that you spend a fair amount of time online. Whether it’s updating your social media account, watching YouTube videos, or browsing excellent MUO articles, there’s plenty to do online. Tracking that time manually isn’t efficient. Thankfully, browser extensions are here to help.
For example, there are plenty of Chrome extensions to track your web activity, like Webtime Tracker. Though you can’t use it to discover historical data (it won’t scan your browser history), it’s a great way to track your time once it’s installed. You can view time spent per domain and your daily average browse time, and you can export this all to a CSV for further analysis.
6. Toggl: Time Spent Working
The focus of this list thus far has been to calculate your time spent on leisure activities. But it’s also useful to know how long you spend working—not only so you can figure out how much spare time you have, but also so that you can assess your productivity and look for ways to improve.
One such service to aid with this is Toggl, though there are plenty of other time tracking apps that cost nothing. With Toggl, you can track your time both automatically and manually, assigning to different clients, projects, tags, and teams, and then seeing this data on easy-to-understand reports.
Time Spent Relaxing Isn’t Wasted
When you tot up all your time spent watching TV or playing games, it might seem like a waste, but that depends entirely on what you get out of it. If you enjoy yourself, and learn a few things, it’s a worthwhile investment. Tools like these don’t make judgments.
Remember, you don’t always have to fill your spare time with an activity. Life isn’t a competition or a race. It’s perfectly acceptable to lean back, relax, and be at one with your thoughts. Those games, books, TV shows, and movies will still be there for you afterwards.