The 8 /8 /8 Strategy

Hello, it’s Vivienne Joy here and I’m here to help you thrive.

I often have people say to me, “you own multiple businesses, you have loads of clients, you run loads of programmes, you run retreats, you also like the treat days, you do all sorts of stuff, and you always seem to be in your hot tub, and also seem to be out…how do you fit it all in?”

I talk often about productivity and about time management, as I’m sure other coaches do. This is kind of 101 stuff. Because if you’re wasting your time to avoid stuff, then you’re never going to enjoy stuff. And so I have a strategy. I say I have it – I learned it, decided it, created it, it may be a hotchpotch of a load of stuff, but it’s an interesting study which you can do now.

Dividing it up

I want you to grab a pad and pen and I’ll try and get you to do a bit of deep structure work as we do in my She Thrives Mastermind. Once you’ve grabbed a pad and pen, I want you to divide the paper into three columns. So have your paper horizontally and divide it into three columns. And I want you to write 8 /8 /8 at the top of it, which symbolises eight hours of work, eight hours of play or leisure whatever you want to call it, and eight hours of sleep. And you may have spotted that it equals 24, which is how many hours we all have unless anyone’s managed to find extra time in their life. Please come and do a podcast for me if you have! 

So we’ve got eight hours, and we can put them into six sections. Now I want you to start to look at your life. Do you sleep for eight hours is my first question? So I put it at the end, because some people do and some don’t! If you’re someone who only gets four hours, then what happens with the other four hours that sit in that sleep category? What are you doing? Are you laying trying to sleep? Are you doing other stuff? Are you worrying about stuff you haven’t done? What happens in that category? 

Then I want you to look at the beginning. So the work, career, business, whatever you want to call it. This is a bit where you earn whatever you need – income impact. You know, it gets satisfaction, fulfilment, fills your bank account – whatever you do with work, and career, and business. And for those eight hours, I want you to be honest with yourself and say Vivienne, do I work eight hours? Now some of you will say “hey, I work more like 18”. Some of you will go, “I’m kind of a little bit of an avoider, the whole point of starting my business was not to work an eight hour day that we kind of have to do when we’ve got a j-o-b (just over broke as they call it), and so actually I’m probably doing about three hours”. In which case, what are you doing with the other five? And actually, if you’re an 18-hour day worker, then you’re going to have a massive gap in the middle column which is leisure? 

So then I want you to look at your leisure column. Leisure, pleasure, joy, fulfilment, relaxation, whatever you call that. Anything that’s not asleep or work, and how long do you spend here? And how do you spend it? So if you want to do a bit of a time-motion study for yourself, how are you investing spending? And you can split these columns into two – into investing or spending, and you might be asking what the difference is? 

What is investing? 

So for example, if I’m a bit stressed, or I’m a bit overworked, which sometimes happens because I have a very focused career and I spend a lot more time fully in the energy and in the power with clients continuously, so my brain just needs a rest. So if I spend an hour watching back to back episodes of friends, in my leisure column it doesn’t go in the wasting time. It goes in the investing time. Because I’m investing time in letting my brain have a rest so that the next time I do something, it feels different. But if I’m avoiding stuff actively by sitting watching back to back episodes of Friends then I have to be honest with myself as to whether I’m investing or wasting my time. How am I using my time? 

And you can do the same with sleep as well. If you’re having bad sleep, you can even have bad sleep. You know, if you’re drinking a bottle of wine before you go to sleep, you’re probably not getting the best sleep. And also the work – if you are sitting at your desk for eight hours but what you’re really doing is faffing around on Facebook, or fiddling around moving emails into folders. how productive is this time? 

Be honest with yourself

So the 8/8/8 strategy on your piece of paper – be honest with yourself. And there’s loads of apps out there that you can use to measure your time. Toggl is one of them and you’ll start to understand, even on your time or your leisure. You know, if you’re expecting to be accessible and you sit and watch soap operas for hours, what is the benefit of doing that in your leisure time when you could be doing something different? Think about active relaxation and avoidance relaxation. These are really powerful. 

If you want to understand more about that, how you can use your time to thrive rather than kind of hide, or survive, or stay stuck, then I’m happy to have a conversation with you. And I’m sure by now you know, you can do that on any of my social platforms, so do get in touch. And on my website, there’s all sorts of different ways you can work with me, and I look forward to helping you understand you a bit more each day.