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Work Mode with Brown Uzoukwu: Want More than 24 Hours? Here Are Some Things Stealing Your Time



dreamstime_l_60374708We all have got time. If you don’t use yours, something else or someone else will.
Research has proven that one of the major factors that draw the line between highly successful career persons or entrepreneurs and chronic under Achievers is their attitude towards time management. Successful people are completely in charge of their time and they have mastered the art of maximizing every minute of their time.
Don’t let the calendar deceive you. We do not really have the luxury of 12 months to achieve our set goals for the year. Our year is only as productive as the number of seconds, minutes, days, weeks and months we succeed in utilizing. That is why some exclusive few get 8 months value out of one year and the rest of us barely manage to get 2 months value of a supposed 12-month calendar year.
The next time you go through one month or one year and you come out with that feeling, like you needed more time to accomplish the things that really matters to you, you may have to sit back and reflect on how you appropriated your time to frivolities.

Well, for some folks who may not have the ‘time’ to reflect on their activities in the last one month or year to see what took a chunk of your time, I am here to offer my unsolicited help. *winks*
Below are a list of some of the activities that eat deep into our time. Go through them sincerely and see if you might have to redefine your priorities in the coming days.

Top on my list of the activities that eat deep into your time is sleep. Hey! Think about it. You could be sleeping way too much. From my calculations, if you get 7 Hours of sleep daily for one year, it means you allocated a whopping 3 months of your year to sleep. Did you see that? One-fourth of the year is gone and you just have 9 months left to produce.
You may consider cutting down on the time you allocate to sleeping. A wise man said “a little sleep, a little slumber, poverty will descend on you like a vagabond.”
Look at these names; David Oyedepo, Paul Adefarasin, Uche Pedro, Linda Ikeji, Aliko Dangote, Tony Elumelu, Shola David, Seun Agbaje, Kelechi Amadi Obi, TY Bello, Obi Emelonye, Kunle Afolayan, Olisa Dibua, Freeze, Philip Emegwali, Chimammanda Adichie, Adebola Williams, and even President Muhammadu Buhari (the so-called old and feeble ‘dullard’).
I don’t know how many of these names you are familiar with, but one thing they all have in common is that, they don’t have the luxury of 7 hours to allocate to sleeping. Great men are awake, while others sleep.

If you are reading this piece and you still sleep more than your boss at work, it means you are not yet ready to get to that level in your career. If you go to bed before your boss and he still wakes up before you, it is a very bad sign. It means he will always be ahead of you. Personally, I am not an advocate of staying up till late at night. No. I belong to the school of thought that says “early to bed, early to rise”, probably because I function best at the wee hours of the morning.

Have you tried keeping track of how much time you spend watching African Magic, Telemundo, and Zee World etc. Some of us don’t even know when we sit in front of the TV for over four hours doing nothing.

A particular TV soap airs from 4pm to 6pm daily. Can you imagine that and some of us follow this soap religiously? Let’s use our head. If we don’t know what to do with our time, someone else will. What about some ladies that spend a better part of their time ‘keeping up with the Kardashian’. The more time you allocate to watching the television, the farther away you are from making it to the TV yourself.

Spend 4 hours daily in front of your TV and that will be another 2 months of your time gone. Add that to the 3 months allocated to sleep, that will make it 5 months. That means, the year has almost gone half and yet, we have not utilized the time we have.

There is nothing wrong with watching TV. Personally, I won’t lie to you, I love watching good TV contents, but you need to answer this questions.

What do you watch on TV? What exactly do you do with what you watch? When do you watch TV? What else can you do while you are watching the TV? And finally, how much of your time is allocated to watching television? If it helps your career, that is great. If it doesn’t, then you need to get your priorities right.

Social Media
Every career person should be active on a maximum of four social media namely: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and of course WhatsApp or BBM. Depending on your career path or line of business, you might consider swapping LinkedIn with Instagram.

It is time consuming trying to be active and catching up on more than four social media channels, except you are majorly in the business of social media marketing or blogging. If not, it does not make any business sense spending as much as 3 hours on the internet looking at people’s selfies, keeping up with gossip and trends that do not add value to your career or business. It is a sheer waste of government time and data.

Some people feel like they are missing out on a whole lot any day they don’t spend over one hour on Facebook scrolling through people’s affairs. Even on your birthday, if you try to keep up with all your social media channels to see all the goodwill messages flowing in, you might end up not having a happy birthday. What time do you have for all that? Allow your phone or tablets some time. Don’t let them be in control. You bought them, they didn’t buy you.

A wise man said, “you know you have low self-esteem if you are in the habit of running out of the bathroom just to answer a phone call”.

Let me stop here for today. You know yourself. So, you are in a better position to tell yourself the truth and cut down on the things that eat into your time if you must produce. Time is money. It is ticking. You can’t recover any lost time, neither would you save time by stopping your clock.

Remember, your year is only as productive as the number of seconds you succeed in utilizing.
Have a great day!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Brown Uzoukwu Educates and Inspires Young Professionals to Pursue their Dream Careers and Thrive in a Challenging and Positive Work Environment. He Provides Training and Coaching solutions for Schools, Small and Medium Organizations, Youth Forums and Individual Professionals. E-mail: [email protected] Phone: +234 (0)813 3514 781


  1. Oj

    February 29, 2016 at 8:53 am

    I think sleeping less without actually doing sometin is a waste. Why not just enjoy the 7 hours instead, just saying.

  2. MAN

    February 29, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Thank you Brown

  3. Corolla

    February 29, 2016 at 9:38 am

    “If you are reading this piece and you still sleep more than your boss at work, it means you are not yet ready to get to that level in your career. If you go to bed before your boss and he still wakes up before you, it is a very bad sign. ”


    The recommended sleep time by experts for adults is 7-9 hours, but I guess every Tom, Dick, and Harry can just make up silly life rules and air them on public forums. I used to sleep late all in the name of work, till I ended up in the ER twice after passing out at work. Your job is important, but you life is more important. If you die, they will replace you immediately.

  4. CeeJay

    February 29, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Nice article. However, sleeping is not a waste of time, it’s actually recommended for adults to have 8hours sleep every day. sleeping/resting is very important but after one has made very good/productive use of remaining 16 hours in a day.

  5. Zeeebby

    February 29, 2016 at 10:17 am

    KMT…..You can just imagine someone who has to wake up every early in the morning to make the commute to the island everyday…. You finally get back home and you still want to deprive yourself of sleep because “YOU ARE NOT MEANT TO SLEEP MORE THAN YOUR BOSS, OR YOU HAVE SOME MORE WORK TO DO” You better don’t kill yourself. Sleep and enjoy your sleep very well. If you die, they would get someone else to take your position.

  6. jhennique

    February 29, 2016 at 10:40 am

    I think i can still get 7 hours of sleep if i manage my time well.

    if i sleep at 10 and wake at 5. Thats 7 hours. If i sleep at 11 and wake at 6. Thats 7 hours. Which is a totaly normal time frame to sleep.
    Besides if i spend all day in this mad Lagos moving from place to place which is thoroughly exhausting, by the time it is 11pm i probably cant function optimally anymore. Id rather just go to bed and wake kpatakpata 5 o’ clock.
    Even a student that is attending classes and reading allday needs to sleep well to refresh the brain.
    Except on some rare occassions when im reading or studying or working late which shudnt be everyday cos too frequently little sleep is detrimental to the proper functioning of your body.

    We humans sometimes think we can cheat nature. Yes your body will get used to doing with little sleep but then we ask why people dont live long anymore. This is one of the reasons,

    Plus how do you even know how many hours this people sleep?
    We cant just speculate.
    Most rich men i know, if you knock on their gates at 9pm, they wont open for you. Na them sabi go vacation pass. Yes they have some sleepness nights but lets not conclude they make it a lifestyle. When person work taya for daytime, it just makes sense to sleep well at night abeg.

    Early to bed (10-11pm) Early to rise (5am) and you will be okay.

  7. X-Factor

    February 29, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    ….And what if my dream and ambition is to make such impact as Ms Anja Ringgren Lovén the danish aid worker that is doing an excellent Job in the backside of Akwa Ibom away from the comfort and luxury her home country offers her. What if my dream in life is to be another Mother Theresa and not an Oyedepo, Dangote or to become the President of the FR of Nigeria?

    ……By the way you forget to mention the balance in the life of people like Pastor Adefarsin who takes out 4-5 weeks off work every year in June-July to be with his family, I am sure if you check him now he is probably at the Ikoyi golf course or in the gym balancing it out (Wise enough to avoid the heart attack that seized archbishop Idahosa at his prime)

    ……Pardon my rantings, but often, I opine that we have our priorities wrongly screwed, i did a tour of south western states recently and i was pleasantly surprised to see, sit and talk with healthy and vibrant octogenarians (retired professors, technocrats, public servants, business connoisseurs) in ilorin, Ibadan, Ado-Ekiti, Abeokuta et al , Men who still drive themselves, play table tennis etc…….One of them who is a retired professor of pharmacology and a consultant to world health organization told me in simple terms, I did not spend my youth cheating nature and chasing after insatiable WANTS and not NEEDS like people in your generation……

    My Point
    I guess we need to quit this whole chase of materialism as a synonym to success, we need to discover our purpose and appropriate our priorities accordingly, Not everyone will be a Dangote, again there will always be the place of providence and favour in your journey to relevance, denying yourself of the sleep your body requires may be fruitless hard work and not smartwork, I can sleep for six months and make smart choices around my network and networth, wake up on a luxury golf courses, close the deal and get people who want to aspire to my state of wealth to run about for me for 12 months…..No wonder Toke and Freeze will come here and preach the gospel of hustle that is motivated by unguarded selfish ambition and not a deeper need to create sustainable value and massively impactful solutions from the countless opportunities in an emerging market like ours….. No wonder No Nigerian billionaire is yet to create a dynasty of fourth generation wealthy lot

    Similarly,we need to remember that people have different personalities ( e.g using the MBTI diagnostics, an individual with a combination of intuition and logic – NT is likely to be more achievement driven). some other people have developed capacities to handle much more as a result of their experience,background and exposure, hence stop comparing yourself to nocturnal successful people, there are successful people who still sleep for seven hours,

    Caveat, my intention is not to advocate for laziness, but hey , in our pursuit of wealth or success as the case may apply, remember that life is too short, cut your self some slacks enjoy the best of it and stay healthy, dont spend your wealth paying for treatment as a patient of stroke on a wheel chair……

    Again, you mention Olisa, Freeze and…………. Clearly we need to differentiate between hype, reality and dazzling mirage ( most of the biggest boys are Nigerian Media-Proof)

    • Tunmi

      February 29, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      Ohhhh you should do an MBTI post. I’m INTJ, and I’m curious to see how BNers test

    • zarah baby loke loke

      March 1, 2016 at 10:36 am

      On point

  8. Bolla

    February 29, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    @corolla,so u had to insult the writer to prove your point? Was he responsible for your landing in ER? Your not agreeing with all his points does not mean his write up doesn’t make sense. Pick the ones that u think can do you good and don’t bother with the rest.Chikena.

  9. Ephi

    February 29, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Imho, we should work to live and not live to work.
    Basically we need to work so we can earn money to live, but we do not live just so we can work.
    Besides not everyone’s ambition is become a Dangote or an Elumelu; your definition of success is not necessarily another person’s def; it is up to each person to define what “success” looks like to them rather than have it “forced on them”

  10. Ami

    February 29, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    I do not agree with sleeping for less than 7 h- 1st thing I saw during skimming and put me off from reading the article

  11. Benz

    February 29, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    “I don’t know how many of these names you are familiar with, but one thing they all have in common is that, they don’t have the luxury of 7 hours to allocate to sleeping. Great men are awake, while others sleep”

    Will you keep quiet!!! ah who told you those people don’t sleep 7 hours a day? abi were you there with them every night? Biko, slow down on the generalisations
    Work smart and not long hours, prioritise ….

  12. Brown Uzoukwu

    February 29, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    My name is Brown Uzoukwu

    I really want to use this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to everyone that took their time to read my article, Most especially to you all that went the extra mile to drop your comments.

    In the best interest of this column, I will like to establish the fact that, there are no such thing as insulting the writer or negative comments. As a matter of fact, a ‘negative comment’ is better than no comment.

    in customer service, it is a well known theory, that for every unsatisfied customer that complained about a poor service, ten other customers got the same experience but kept it to themselves. so, I must confess that I am not taking any of the comments likely.

    However, I will like us to understand that this column is geared towards bringing out the best in our readers and we must continue to see to that. keep dropping your comments. your views are appreciated.

    keep a date with me again next week Monday. cheers

    • Blank Stare

      February 29, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      Blank stare!

    • MuchRespect

      February 29, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      Much respect Mr Brown. I like your response. On a lighter note, please sleep well oh 🙂 because it is much needed. Once again much respect for your response.

  13. Vic-Jb

    March 3, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    Nice piece Bro…however, like others rightly pointed out, limiting your sleeping hours is detrimental to health. I do not think it is wise to rob Peter to pay Paul. Sleep is a natural phenomenon which we all know the saying that goes, “you can’t cheat nature”.
    However, thanks for this eye-opener, all i need do now is to strike a balance in my life, to make the best use of my time. Thanks.

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