• The day will come where you will literally sleep…. forever.
  • Before that day arrives you will sleep away around 248,200 hours* of your life.
  • You will spend another 193,200 hours** working for someone else, or yourself.
  • The remaining 248,200 hours*** you have alive, not sleeping or working… who the f%$k knows.

Now I’m only going by real conversations here, with real people, while paying close attention to their words and actions, so don’t take my word for it, but for the most part the “who the f%$k knows” block of time is spent watching the news, TV, playing computer games and socialising with people that won’t be around for too long etc. Of course there is the important things like spending time with loved ones and family and social events, but for everything else, for the most part, people just fill it with useless s%*t that has no real value or return.

When I get my own head around this, it suffocates me. Literally. Waves of angst rush over my chest and I quickly proceed to move to something practical.

So what’s the real basis of this article? Why the abrupt addition of a post of this nature in the mix of content I usually put out? Because the hours matter. Seconds are short. We blink and breath through those. The minutes are 60 times longer and we block those into chunks to do things that count. The days are long and can’t end without 24 chunks being either broken into segments of sleep, who the f%$K knows segments and work. These are the things you can control. At some point we’ve all heard that phrase that we all have 24 hours in a day. I’m about to flip that and say it like this…

“We all have 24 hours in a day if we control the 24 hours.”

If you’re completely happy with your family, work life, health or finances then this post really doesn’t apply to you all that much and you could stop reading now. If one of these areas is not the way you’d like it then you might find value in reading this. Why? Because I am personally in the latter category, like you, so I’m doing what I am about to say and it seems pretty logical so far.

Let’s look at it visually…

file_000-3

The black circle is representative of no control over your 24 hours.

The blue circle is maintaining control over your 24 hours.

Let’s look at the blue circle.

Issue: Sleeping too much.

Action: We all have to sleep. There’s no argument there. It’s the transaction that must take place to buy the energy that allows you to function in the other segments. Most people sleep way to much. At least during the week anyway in my un-medical opinion. Remember, only experience here. Think of sleep as cycles. Each cycle is roughly 90 minutes long, I’d argue most people could function off of 4 – 5 cycles a night during the week, especially if unbroken. The problem is most people out sleep this and dream for much longer, by choice. Usual factors for cause are boredom, depression, lack of energy / health issues or a lack of self awareness around what’s really optimum for them.

Issue: Busy. But not productive.

Action: Previously I wrote an article on the clear difference between the two. And make no mistake, there is a difference. If you find yourself something compelling to go after in life, whether it be bringing to life a side passion you have, wanting a little more for your family, believe you have the craft to do something better than someone else and make something of it in life, or you just have this innate feeling in your gut that you’re more than you currently are, it’s time to start being productive just as much as busy. Most of the stuff you do each day you simply do to give you the perception you are being productive, but in reality these tasks add very little to no value towards achieving an end goal. I used to spend a great deal of time reading self help books. I feel like I haven’t read one in over a year. The time I would otherwise spend reading I now dedicate to creating. The time spent planning I now spend executing. The time you spend organising you should now spend doing. The time you spent thinking should be replaced by a decision and a prompt move to doing s*%t.

“Wishing is worth about as much to a dreamer as a penny is worth to a fish.”

Yes, that quote is original. You heard it here first. [laughs in side]

Issue: You waste valuable time.

Action: Think of it like this — if you decide on something you want more of out of life then you need to be willing to chip away at it during every moment available to you. That means when the wife and kids go to bed, while you’re on the toilet (yes, this place serves as a realistically viable place for getting things done, uninterrupted), early in the morning, during the commute to work, during the commute home, on a lunch break, while walking to get a coffee, while standing in front of the microwave oven, while waiting for the kettle to boil, between 10:30 pm and 2 am when you’d usually be asleep… all these moments in between the moments are valuable opportunities to craft your obsession, to become aggressively obsessed with doing what you really want to be doing. Take this blog for instance. Most of this content is created either very late into the evening or in the very early hours of the morning. Any subsequent promoting of it happens as a lay my head on the pillow and channel into social media to start conversations for a few hours when I could otherwise be asleep. It’s been this way for years. Respect your time more. 

Ultimately what I’m trying to get at in my opinion is that it’s OK to have leisure time – to watch movies, do social activities etc. S*%t, I’ve watched the entire series thus far of Game of Thrones, admittedly I started years after it launched and it took me months to get through the episodes but I have and loved it. The point is the trade off is I sleep less to play catch up and ensure I’m still chipping away, as should you.

We really only have a pre-defined and limited number of hours. And they are certainly not clocking up, quite the opposite. One day those 248,000+ hours will tick over to just 1 and in that last hour you will look back at everything and ponder — will you regret it all, knowing you can never change it or will you find peace in knowing you ended it with a story worth telling, filled with as much as you could write into it? I know what I’m doing. Do you?

*Calculated on the average of 8 hours per day, 365 days a year for 85 years.
**Calculated on the average of 8 hours per day, 345 days a year for 70 years.
*** Calculated on the average of 8 hours per day, 365 days a year for 85 years.
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