How You Spend Your 8 Hours Determines How You Will Spend the Rest of Your Life

Work by definition is a way of life. Are you content with where you are right now?

Michelle Okafor
5 min readJun 22, 2018
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

The lucky few among us who don’t have to work for a living are the lucky few among us. For the majority, it means getting up when the alarm goes off and getting ready to go to work.

When you step into your office or work space, what is it that you are feeling? Is it a feeling of dread, of mild torture or are you like one of my colleagues who say over and over again, “I love, love, love my job!”

I hope you are close, if not right there in the zone.

I had my own business for a while and although it was fun to be my own boss and command my hours, it was hard work. Don’t be fooled that being your own boss is the answer. It sometimes isn’t.

I’ve heard of entrepreneurs who are worse off after running their business to the ground and draining all their savings.

When you’re fresh out of college, it’s normal to not love the first job you enter. The second and third may not be much better. But somewhere along the line, you find something that kind of feels right.

Stick it out for a while and see how it goes. It’s only after a period of 6 months or so that you really find your feet.

Ask yourself the following questions.

  • Is the company’s vision in line with mine?
  • Is the company culture one where I feel welcome and accepted?
  • Are there growth prospects?
  • Is it a place where I can apply my knowledge and excel in my area of expertise?

Then, the most important question.
Is it a place where I regularly go into a state of flow where I do deep work?

At around 14h00 in the afternoon, my stomach starts to rumble. I look in my bag and see that once again I forgot to pack my lunch. What saves me is the box of breakfast cereal I have for breakfast and lunch most days.

I get so absorbed with work that I forget to eat or even think about lunch. Is that the same for you?

Some of my colleagues bring a whole grocery bag to work every day. One can guess what they think of the whole time.

It is great to lose yourself in something. If it can be your work where you spend 8 or more hours a day, you will make it so much more enjoyable.

Find out what your passion is and pursue that one thing with all your heart.
So many of us go to a job we dislike or even hate. This is pure torture. It has to change. Take some time out to evaluate your goals and aspirations.

If it means looking out for something else, then start doing that. The world is so full of opportunities that it is almost unforgivable for you to stay in a job that you don’t like.

I know not all of us have all the opportunities, but with the internet, remote working, side businesses, there is no way that you cannot get closer to your ideal 8 hour day.

Our lives are made up of little moments.

Most of it goes by without much thinking or awareness since we are so busy living. Work is a part of it. We cannot get passed it.

Our parents have done good, honourable work for a long time without questioning whether they are happy or not, or if it was really meant for them. They just got on with it.

We have choices.

We are in a position to make more informed decisions. We have more tools available to choose the best options available to us. But don’t make a mistake, the work must still be done.

We can’t sit at the country club sipping cocktails and expect our bank balance to grow. There is no substitute for hard work.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Like Niklas Göke says, he is at the same spot in the library from 07h00am to 07h00pm Monday to Friday. I do a 08h00 to 18h00 most days, not because anyone expects that of me, but because I take pride in what I do and want to deliver only the best results. Not for my boss, but for me.

Maybe long days are not the answer. Break it down into shorter spurts, that is fine too. But the work must be done. Nothing comes easy. One will have to make some sacrifices.

In fact, it’s not whether you will have to make sacrifices, it is which sacrifices you are willing to make.

The famous quote reads:
Some of us are prepared to work an 80 hour work week, so we don’t have to do a 40 hour work week later.

As we hit the half-year mark of 2018 it’s a good time to take stock of where you are and what you have achieved so far. What have you set out to accomplish at the beginning of 2018? Are you still on track?

Now is the time to get rid of everything that is holding you back from achieving your goals in work, finances, health and life.

Sometimes you don’t even know that you are shackled. It’s ok, you are getting by. It’s not unpleasant. You can make it work. The pay is not bad. What are you giving up? What is the opportunity cost of you staying where you are, where it is comfortable?

It doesn’t really hurt, it’s just mildly uncomfortable. It’s easier to stay put than to reach out and watch the opportunities unfold before your eyes.

We spend most of our productive life at the office. Make sure yours is one that you would be happy to return to if ever given the chance.

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savoured. — Earl Nightingale



Michelle Okafor

Writer of short, inspirational pieces. Make the most of your time here, for we pass this way only once. See the good in yourself and others.