Lindsay Brazell

Music Educator and Creative Professional

Where Are Your 8 Hours?

If you are like me, there are several hobbies, side-projects, and activities that you wish were more accommodating with your teaching schedule. For me, that’s being an active songwriter (like I used to be!), blogging, cooking, and socializing. As a choir director, we spend a lot of time out of school rehearsing, performing, or simply organizing and planning.

My husband recently shared a quote from his boss about time management and success:

“The average person works for 8 hours, and sleeps for 8 hours. It’s what you do with those remaining 8 hours that matter.”

I had been feeling like school was taking over my life, either that my after-school hours were spent doing school tasks, or that I was just too tired from the day where I wanted to rest. That message was exactly what I needed to hear.

I immediately outlined every hour of every day and diagrammed my “typical week.” It looked a little bit like this:


12  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12

—-Sleep—–[        ]-Work—————–[                        ]–Sleep

I did this for every day of the week, including weekends, to see exactly where my “unclaimed” time was hiding.


Once I did that, I wrote down projects and activities that I “wish” I had regular time for during the week. As it turns out, I have plenty of time to do most of them.

For example, on Thursdays I leave school at 4:00 and have no commitments until I go to sleep at night. As it works out, Kyle works from 4-7pm on Thursdays. Seems like the perfect time for songwriting, doesn’t it?

And guess what? It was. I was able to start a brand new song, and tweak two others. I felt so accomplished that I have it set on my calendar permanently. (**NOTE: Of course, if, for example, someone’s birthday dinner happens on a Thursday night, I’m not going to be lame/a bad friend and decline the invitation. The point is to put it on the calendar and commit to it rather than watching Law and Order marathons on USA…all the time**). 

By doing this exercise I found some extra time for writing as well. Hopefully the fruits of that will appear on the blog soon!


How are you managing your 8 hours? Leave a comment below, or continue the conversation on Twitter @LindsayBrazell.


About Lindsay

I’m Lindsay, a choral music educator by day, a singer-songwriter by evening, and a writer when time allows. You can find my latest album, The Room I Found – Lindsay Morelli on iTunes.

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