Analytic Vision

What Are You Doing with the Rest of Your 8 Hours a Day?

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 05/03/2010

Although less than half of the people in my own phone agenda are hired (the most part are entrepreneurs or consultants), there is this main conception that 8 hours a day you work, 7 hours a day you sleep (the minimum necessary), one hour a day you have the lunch break. What do you do with the rest of your 8 hours? The 8 hours that should have to be active relaxation, as the expert Ovidiu Bujor ellaborates on this interview [ro, html]. I’m fascinated how people stress themselves doing task management so ineffectively.

Andy Szekely says that time management is actually self-management. I would say it more particular: time management depends on the quality of task management. Sandra Ghiţescu has written an excellent article on how to classify your activities based on weather they bring energy or they take energy.

Most people don’t actually realize that there’s the same period of time, say, between 4 AM to 9 AM like between 11 AM and 4 PM. The difference is, most people have a fragmented program, not allowing themselves to use the actual 8 available hours. How much of your time is really productive?

Actually, let’s consider what would a hired person do besides stay at work and have lunch break. Almost everyone does these things. They consume time. Wasted time, considering the impact on your life on a long term.

– wash, dress and pack. During this time you can listen to audiotrainings, audiobooks, self-hel programs, that you can find even on youtube, trilulilu, or Google Video. Or you can buy some or download from the internet. In Romania you have audiosfera. Back a few years you didn’t have the possibility to access so much free content from masters like Tony Robbins, Richard Bandler, etc.

– go to work & come from work – Bucharest, as any other great capital of the world, is the place where you can combine a lot of means of transport. It is preferable, if you can, to choose a means of transportation that also offers the possibility of reading. For most people going somewhere is dead time. It shouldn’t be. How would your life be if each time you would get out of home you would have a learning experience? If you drive to work, shut down the radio crap and put some audiobooks.

– waiting in lines. This is the most appropriate moment to have a book or to put some order between your personal things. Write in your agenda, plan stuff, or even get your laptop to work on something. Who knows, you might even have wireless access.

– throw away the TV on the window. Most people say they use the TV to get information. Your time is much too precious to listen to information spoken by other people, information that you haven’t filtered. If you want to be informed, and not advertised to, get on the subscriber list from the news sources you’re interested. I personally use comunicatedepresa.ro, gandeste.org (the most critical selection of all the daily papers), Twitter and subscription to Yahoo forums with people who generate and promote events I might be interested in. If you continue to use information that is not filtered on yur own criteria, get ready to be considered an illiterate in the following 5 years.

Other people say they use TV for entertainment. What are you, 60? Get real! Use internet. You don’t even have to download the movies you want anymore. Just google after “watch “XYZ” movie online” and you most likely will find what you want streamed online.

– Cut from your program the people which waste your time. Each time someone solicits time from you, think weateher there would be someone else that would deserve that time of yours more.

– If you’ve got more than 5 minutes to walk on foot, call a friend to have a talk. Most people think that it’s not appropriate to have such short calls and it’s preferable to see that friend face to face. But that often does not happen. Years pass and friends get forgotten. Before you know, months and years have passed and you haven’t contacted the people you care about the most. Sometimes, less is more.

– in stead of tormenting yourself, wasting time trying to sleep or staying late, make some tea of sunatoare (St. John’swort ) . Some people say they don’t like to take such stimulus, be they even natural. No. They prefer to waste their hours on poor quality sleep, kill their neurons and destroy their health each day. That’s a way to go!

– in stead of using coffee to get up every morning, use some cold water on the ears, do some jogging, have a walk in the morning or use some inspiring music that will wake you up immediately. I prefer American soundtracks. If you require inspiration, check the Music from Film subcategory on the blog. If you are really addicted to coffee, I recommend you soluble rice. It has the same taste and a better effect.

– Plan your activities. Don’t go out just for one thing. Solve more than one thing when going somewhere. Make lists of what you have to do, what you want to buy and respect them. The brain knows how to actively search for what’s  clear on a list.

– Stop wasting time on facebook, mesenger, funny videos on youtube. If you need a break, better watch a movie over the internet in small sequences (youtube is excellent for this).

– use the phone (or even better, skype) and not the messenger. It wastes a lot of time to type messages.

– learn how to look for information on google. Use ” ” for searching related words. See for example the difference after the query job satisfaction research and job satisfaction research .

– stop wasting time on social networking sites to find people to talk to. Come to networking events.

– plan you meetings in the same area, prefferably somewhere in the center of the city.  Consider fast foods, parks, etc. Meet your friends out, not at their places. It will take less time to prepare, clean, cook and other activities that might take you even more than the visit itself.

– if you’re in a relationship or if you’re married, don’t forget your friends. Your friends, not the couple’s friends. Don’t let your partner to have control over your whole time. The more diverse will your social field be, the more diversity you will have to balance the need for certainty thet you get from a stabile relationship.

– when travelling somewhere long distance, use a night route and sleep during it. Get some sleeping pills (I recommend valerian, it’s natural) , drink some calming tea and use that time smart! Or, if you really can’t sleep, get some books to read or some audiotraining to listen.

Keep in mind that if you haven’t planned your time, someone else will. Some say this takes the savor out of life. It’s the same people who don’t have enough time to connect with their friends (and I don’t mean online), hurry to ride in busy means of transport, have a hard time waking up or sleeping, complain don’t have time to read (but they waste all the time spent on the road). Most important, these people have time to worry. Because the internal dialogue already goes with a speed of 600-800 words per minute in your head. If the most part of your time spent in all these activities is busy getting strokes from the inside and not from the outside (like, for example, a book or an audiotraining), it is most likely that you will not get any other different ideas than your own.

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14 Responses to “What Are You Doing with the Rest of Your 8 Hours a Day?”

  1. […] the ’30s lectures. This is the perfect story of how to waste 8 hours in a day, as opposed to gaining them [en,blog]. As many other things, like government, it is an ideal recommendation like: “if you […]

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  12. […] fi ascultarea de audiobookuri, cititul, vorbitul cu prietenii în acest timp), aşa cum am explicat aici. Din experienţa mea, unele sarcini vor începe să-ţi placă dacă le vei face mai bine, sau în […]

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  13. […]  What are you doing with the rest of your 8 hours a day? [en, blog] […]

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