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The Rule of 112

Written on May 12, 2009 at 10:28 am, by Eric Cressey

Today’s guest blog comes from Joseph Leff.  It’s short and to the point, but I love the message.

When I was in graduate school I had a notecard with “112” written on it taped above my desk. If people asked what it meant (and they usually did) I was happy to explain.  112 is simply 16 x 7, or the number of waking hours available for someone sleeping eight hours a night to get done what they need to do. Do you really “not have enough time” or is it you? I’m betting it’s you. Or, of course, me as well more than I’d like to admit.

Three quick things to think about regarding “112”:

1. Get enough sleep. There are 112 hours for you to do what you need to do after sleeping eight hours a night.  If you feel you do best on nine hours of sleep, that still leaves 105 hours. That’s a lot of time.
There are a very few people who legitimately have a right to be sleep-deprived. Soldiers. New parents. (If you have a new baby and blissfully sleep through the night every night you should be a better husband.) But probably not you.

2. Don’t multitask. It’s a silly word and a silly idea. By this I don’t mean texting, watching Sportscenter, and eating at the same time. That’s multirelaxing, not multitasking. It’s okay to do, as long as you never use the word multirelaxing. But don’t try to set up the refinancing on your condo while you’re making a business call. Do each separately and perfectly rather than at the same time and, at best, adequately. Oh, and speaking of multitasking, stop using your phone while you’re driving. Keep it up and eventually you’re going to hurt somebody.

3. Train. Hard and regularly. You can make decent gains training two hours a week.  If you say you can’t do everything else you need to do in the remaining 110 hours I’m going to have my doubts. Training a more-optimal six hours a week leaves you 106 hours. You get the point.

That’s enough for now. I’m going to make a notecard, put it over my desk, and then start planning the remaining 111 hours and 59 minutes left in the week.

Joseph Leff lives and writes in Santa Monica, CA.  He has competed in powerlifting and strongman and trains at the Weight Pit at Venice Beach.  If you’ve never lifted heavy things outside with a view of the ocean and a cool Pacific breeze blowing, give it a try as soon as you can…

4 Responses to “The Rule of 112”

  1. Simon Jones Says:

    When you put it like that, it pretty much blows the whole ‘I’ve got no time to do X,Y and Z’ argument/excuses out the water 🙂

    Great short post!

  2. Daniel Says:

    i agree wholeheartedly with the spirit of the point. but at the same time… take a collegiate baseball athlete. he will train baseball a lot of hours a week. and he’ll have a lot of hours left over. HOWEVER, in those left over hours his mind will be fixated on his baseball. and i think that is reasonable and optimal given that baseball is his number 1 priority. it will help him with his determination. it will help him thinking about basebal so he can practice and play better. the thinking about baseball will help him learn faster. and with all that baseball going on inside of him, it will certainly interfere with, say, his piano playing career.


  3. Mark Young Says:

    Love this! I’m going to make that number the screensaver on my phone.

  4. Alex Kay Says:

    I had to read your comment twice Daniel, but now I see what you mean.

    You mean that even though we have a lot of time, not all of it can be used for real action or practice, because we simply can’t concentrate on so many things.

    Good point.

    And good ‘article’! Puts everything in perspective, doesn’t it 🙂

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