With 36-Hours Of Extra Free Time I Would…

Timothy Ferriss’s book, The 4-Hour Work Week, swept through the blogosphere leaving in its wake at least one significant positive (?) change: The era of instant email replies is gone. No longer can we shoot off an email and expect a reply to come buzzing back into our in-box within minutes.

What we can expect now is a bunch of autoresponder messages saying something to the effect of “In order to increase efficiency I now check emails twice a day, at 12:00 and 4:00. If you need immediate, emergency attention please call me at xxx-xxxx.”

Antother change that is significant in its absence, at least among my circle of blogging buddies, is a decreased workload. Streamlining your email methodology and outsourcing your life is all well and good. But if it doesn’t lead to more free time what purpose does it serve?

Timothy points out in his book, several times, that one of the biggest obstacles in most people’s quest for freedom is their inability to imagine what they would do with all that extra time. Work fills a gaping void in most of our lives, a void into which we would rather not peer!

And the main reason that hole is so difficult to look into is because we have not figured out what we would fill it up with.

So I thought that, in honor of yesterday’s labor day holiday here in the U.S., I would put out a challenge and an opportunity to the blogosphere and beyond.

What would you do if you had 36 extra hours each week? How would you fill that time? What adrenalin-pumping, world-changing, soul-awakening, mind-enhancing adventures and activities would you take on?

For the sake of this challenge, let go of all the voices in your head telling you that there’s absolutely no way in hell that you could ever get your workload down to 4-hours a week and that this Ferris guy must be totally whacked.

Just give yourself permission to play along and imagine all the magical and mystical ways you would fill that gaping void.

Now I can already hear some of you saying “But I love my work. I don’t want to work just 4-hours a week.”

I’m with you. I feel the same way. But, as much as I want to continue to do this work, I also want to be in a position where I can work because I choose to (not because I have to). And the thought of having the freedom to take one- two- or three-months off without a second thought feels great!

But in order to create that lifestyle, there needs to be a clearly defined WHY. Why do I really want that freedom? What is compelling enough to me that it could lure me away from this computer for 3-months? (And no, a different computer doesn’t count. Although this computer in another country for 3-months might count!)

And to be perfectly honest with you I’m not sure that anything is that compelling right now. Which is a big part of the problem!

So this little challenge is the starting point for me, and for you if you choose to join in the fun.

Here’s how it works:

1) Compose a new blog post describing what you would do with 36 extra hours each and every week.

2) At the top of the post let your readers know what you are doing and put a link back to this post. That way I can include you in the master list that I’ll post after this conversation has run its course.

3) Be sure to also put a link/trackback to the blogger who tagged you with the extra 36 hours link in order to spread the link love.

4) Then let all of us know what you will be doing with your extra 36-hours each week. Feel free to follow my format below, or use your own.

4) Encourage your readers to join the conversation by leaving a comment on your post.

5) Pick at least five other bloggers to “tag.” Ideally these are people whose answers you are truly interested in. Include a link to their blog and ask them to return the favor with a link to your site in their post.

6) Sit back and enjoy the show. I’m sure it will be quite interesting and enlightening to see what people come up with.

7) Once the conversation has run its course, I will post a master list of everyone who participated. I will also attempt to compile a list of the answers, or at least the more popular answers, so that we can compare notes, and perhaps find a few new, compelling reasons to work just 4-hours a week!

Now it wouldn’t be fair for me to challenge you and not take on the challenge myself. So, in the nature of fairness, I’ll go first!

Here are a few of the things that I will be doing with my extra 36-hours each week!

Record that CD:

At one point in a past life – pre-Ella – I was a singer songwriter type dude. Loved it and was pretty good at it. With an extra 36 hours I’d be dusting off my acoustic guitar, hardening up the calluses on my fingers, finishing up a bunch of half-written songs and heading off to a studio to record my brilliant CD!

Backpack more:

It’s been 3-years since I’ve gone off into the wilderness with my home on my back. Way too long! With an extra 36-hours each week I’d have a regular dose of three and four day wilderness trips. And I would also make sure to finally do that extended (2-week) trip into Yosemite I’ve always dreamed of.

Kayak the San Juan Islands:

I’ve had several friends kayak around the San Juan Islands in Washington. One friend is sailing up there right now! It sounds completely blissful. Count me in!

Tackle the backyard:

I love to garden. Unfortunately our backyard has the most amazing collection of nasty, tenacious, weeds I’ve ever seen. So, aside from the small vegetable patch that I manage to maintain each year, the yard is mostly a bunch of weeds that get whacked down on a semi-regular basis. Since I have no desire to pour a bunch of chemicals on them, transforming the yard from a weed wonderland to a sublime sanctuary will require time and patience. Fortunately, working just 4-hours a week, I’ve got plenty of both!

Write the next great American novel:

All right, it’s a Science Fiction/Fantasy book and won’t be wining a Pulitzer prize. But it just came to me one day, in a flash… the entire plotline and all the characters. It’s inspiration I tell you. And I can’t let that get away!

Other stuff:

Learn Spanish
Spend 3-months living in a quiet, tropical beach town.
Volunteer more at my daughter’s school.
Have more music parties.
Do a lot more car camping with Melissa and Ella (until Ella is ready for backpacking).

Ok. So now it’s your turn. How will you fill up that extra 36-hours each week.

To get the ball rolling I’ll tag a few of my favorite bloggers:

Aaron Potts

Dawud Miracle

Wendy Piersall

Char Polansky

Gayla McCord

Easton Ellsworth

Adam Kayce

Karen Lynch

Justin Ruckman

Darren Rowse

Niya Sisk

Phil Gerbyshak

Dan & Jennifer

Lyman Reed

Gleb Reys

Rick Cockrum

Jeannette Maw

Zoe Routh

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      35 Responses to “With 36-Hours Of Extra Free Time I Would…”

      1. Aaron Potts - Today is that Day on September 4th, 2007 10:03 am

        Ed,

        Great idea – I’m definitely in! Although I don’t think my singing or songwriting talents would fill much of that 36-hour void, there are plenty of other things that I would do instead!

        I’m already accumulating “meme debt” after being away from posting for so long due to PDP, but I will definitely take part in this cool idea that you’ve come up with.

        In the meantime, I’m going to go try to find 36 hours laying around somewhere… 🙂

      2. Zoe Routh on September 4th, 2007 4:38 pm

        Hi Ed

        love it! I love your community spirit – it gets me all fired up (in a totally good way!)

        I just started reading the book too and am tearing through it – absolutely got me excited! Anyway, I’ll play ball too 🙂

      3. Edward Mills on September 4th, 2007 4:58 pm

        Aaron. Glad you’re game. And I’m right there with you on the Meme Debt. Almost didn’t put this one out today because there have been so many great memes going around. But I’ve been planning this for a couple of weeks, so… on with the show!

        Zoe. Great. I’ve added you to the list so consider yourself tagged!

      4. A Four Hour Working Week? | The In-Debt Net on September 5th, 2007 4:33 am

        […] of the blogs I regularly read, Evolving Times, has a challenge based around the book “The Four Hour Working […]

      5. Karen Lynch-Live the Power on September 5th, 2007 4:35 am

        Wow, Ed,
        This got me going instantly. My imagination started taking over and it felt soooo good!
        This will be such a joyful and fun meme! I won’t be able to work on it for a few days as I am in the midst of some other stuff but that makes it even better because I can happily imagine for awhile.
        Look for my post. This one I won’t miss!
        Thank you! Thank you for tagging me here!

      6. Adam Kayce : Monk At Work on September 5th, 2007 7:09 am

        Hmm… you know I can’t resist a good gauntlet-throwing. Especially when Mr. Ferriss is involved.

        Count me in.

      7. Edward Mills on September 5th, 2007 8:59 am

        Karen and Adam. I am most definitely looking forward to what you come up with. I’ve already discovered a couple of juicy ideas to add to my list, and I have a feeling that you two have some good stuff waiting up your sleeves!

      8. Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker on September 5th, 2007 9:39 am

        Edward, this is a great idea. A few years ago, my sister decided to quit smoking for health reasons. Her doctor told her she would die if she continued to smoke. What did she struggle with the most? What to do with all of the time that she had spent smoking. She was visiting me at this time. I watched her struggle. She had no idea what to do with herself. I had no idea and I don’t think she did either, just how much time was consumed by taking breaks to smoke a cigarette. She lasted 2 weeks that time before she gave in and started smoking again. She couldn’t find enough to keep her hands or her mind occupied without the smoking habit. Sadly, she still smokes today and her health suffers because of it.

      9. Edward Mills on September 5th, 2007 11:13 am

        Patricia. That’s such a good example of how powerful our desire to stay in the comfort zone can be. Hopefully, by bringing some awareness to this empty space we can consciously shift our self-destructive patterns and replace them with some truly creative, generative thoughts and actions.

        Thanks for sharing this.

      10. What would you do with an extra 36 hours every week? | Personal Development for the Book Smart on September 6th, 2007 11:19 pm

        […] Week, by Tim Ferriss, caused such a stir in the blogosphere that it fired up the imagination of Edward Mills, who boldly asked all those who dared to dream, “What would you do if you had 36 extra hours each […]

      11. SJ Yee | Personal Development for the Book Smart on September 6th, 2007 11:29 pm

        Hi Ed,

        Thanks for firing up everyone’s imagination. Here’s what I would do with an extra 36 hours every week!

        P.S. You may want to update your links to Lyman Reed and Darren Rowse =P

      12. Edward Mills on September 8th, 2007 3:03 pm

        SJ. Great post! Thanks for joining in the fun. And thanks for the head’s up on Lyman and Darren. Oops!

      13. When I Have 36 More Hours A Week | Personal Development Blog on September 10th, 2007 5:48 am

        […] post by Ed Mills from Evolving Times. He has challenged his readers to think and post about the possible use for the extra 36 hours of spare time each week. Although I haven’t read The 4-Hour work Week book by Tim Ferriss yet, I think it […]

      14. Jeannette Maw on September 10th, 2007 7:03 pm

        That’s it, Ed, I’m getting a girlfriend. Thanks for the inspiration to consider the beautiful thought of 36 extra hours!

        Here’s my post:
        http://loaplayground.blogspot.com/2007/09/36-hour-gift.html

        Much love,
        Jeannette

      15. What Would You Do With An Extra 36 Hours? - from Creating a Better Life on September 11th, 2007 9:28 am

        […] About a week ago, Edward Mills of Evolving Times asked his readers and fellow bloggers what they would do with an extra 36 hours a week? […]

      16. Marina @ Sufficient Thrust on September 11th, 2007 12:04 pm

        I already subscribe somewhat to Tim’s concept of the four-hour work-week, although I *love* what I do, so I look at it as spending four hours a week on the unpleasant/boring parts of work and the rest is free time to pursue my passions (which include my ‘work’ as a corporate efficiency consultant and my other interests, like bikram yoga or travel).

        I’m currently embarking on my 101 goals in 1001 days, so that’s what I spend my ‘extra’ time on:

        http://www.sufficientthrust.com/101-goals-in-1001-days-marinas-goals/

      17. 101 Goals in 1001 Days: Using Other Lists for Inspiration on September 11th, 2007 12:06 pm

        […] With 36 Hours of Extra Time I Would… […]

      18. 36 Hours (Live The Power) on September 11th, 2007 7:54 pm

        […] enjoying this fantasy and visualization for about a week now. Last week, my friend Ed Mills from Evolving times issued a meme challenge-”What would you do with 36 extra hours a week?” Well that all just […]

      19. What Would You Do With 36 Free Hours Every Week? | MonkAtWork.com on September 12th, 2007 9:32 am

        […] For most of you, that frees up at least 36 hours of time that you have to fill… and my buddy Ed Mills of Evolving Times seems to think that most people haven’t a clue what they’d do with all that extra time (Tim […]

      20. Lorraine Cohen on September 12th, 2007 4:36 am

        Hey Ed,

        I’d love to play. May I join in?

        Cheers,

        Lorraine

      21. Edward Mills on September 12th, 2007 8:38 am

        Hi Lorraine. Absolutely! I’m glad you want to join the fun. Go ahead and jump in and let me know when you post it. I’ll include a link to your post when I compile the final list.

      22. Lorraine Cohen on September 12th, 2007 9:26 am

        Thanks Ed,

        I realize I was jumping over waiting to be tagged so, I’ll be sure to tag some others to join in the fun.

        Back soon!

        Cheers,
        Lorraine

      23. Adam Kayce : Monk At Work on September 12th, 2007 9:48 am

        The trackback should be showing up any minute now… but just in case… here’s my contribution.

        Thanks for the tag, Ed — that was fun.

      24. Edward Mills on September 12th, 2007 11:51 am

        Thanks Adam. Just read your post. I’m definitely going to have to check out Quelf!

      25. Powerfull Living » What Would You Do With An Extra 36 Hours on September 12th, 2007 11:53 am

        […] the beginning of September Edward Mills of Evolving Times posed a question to his readers and fellow bloggers- What would they do if they had an extra 36 […]

      26. Liz Tufte on September 13th, 2007 12:58 am

        Swim with dolphins.
        Buy land to create sanctuaries for rescued animals.
        Spend fun, quality time with family.
        Spend fun, quality time with 8-year-old daughter of our best friends.
        Travel to see friends in other parts of the country.
        Spend more time with my horse.
        Regular practice doing animal communication & healing for animals, especially reiki.
        Hire people to spiff up the house (painting, cleaning) & catch up on house maintenance.
        Start a new blog.
        Actually take vacations!

      27. 36 More Hours A Week at Planet Saedel | PlanetSaedel | PlanetSaedel.com | Saedel Pensoy on September 14th, 2007 2:09 pm

        […] months) in a year! I got this idea from one of my favorite bloggers Gleb Reys, which he got from Ed Mills, inspired by the book “The 4-Hour Work Week“. (I haven’t read it […]

      28. How Would We Fill the Void? | Jamie Phelps on September 15th, 2007 8:58 am

        […] With 36-Hours Of Extra Free Time I Would… – Evolving Times – The Law of Attraction Resource for P…: […]

      29. Wendy Piersall on September 18th, 2007 6:10 pm

        Oh, I hate to admit it, but I would probably work more.

        I’m SO BAD!! 😉

      30. Priscilla Palmer » 36 Extra Hours Tag on September 20th, 2007 12:55 pm

        […] Mills from Evolving times started a meme that asks, what would you do with an extra 36 hours each […]

      31. Judy Martin on September 20th, 2007 6:39 pm

        Hello Ed,
        I was tagged by Priscilla for the Extra 36-hour Challenge. My post is below on The WorkLIfe Monitor.

        Love your site and am happy that you have generated more of a community. Thanks for putting so much effort into your work.

        Fondly, Judy

      32. Considering The Universe » Blog Archive » What would you do with 36 hours LESS? on September 21st, 2007 1:49 pm

        […] some memey post (apparently originating at Evolving Times) now circulating through the personal growth blogosphere asking: What would you do with an extra 36 […]

      33. The Official Personal Growth Resource Roundup #1 - Evolving Times - The Law of Attraction Resource for Personal Growth on October 13th, 2007 11:20 am

        […] speaking of Memes, I’ll be posting the roundup from the What Would You Do with an Extra 36 Hours Meme at the end of next week. So if you’d like to participate and be included in the roundup, get […]

      34. The 4-Hour Work Week Meme Roundup - Evolving Times - The Law of Attraction Resource for Personal Growth on October 17th, 2007 11:01 am

        […] in September I asked the questions “What Would You Do With An Extra 36-Hours Each Week?” a question catalyzed by the book, The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. If you have not […]

      35. Appreciation Post - Special Thanks and Shout Outs To My Readers! at Planet Saedel | PlanetSaedel | PlanetSaedel.com | Saedel Pensoy on October 28th, 2007 11:10 am

        […] Edward Mills – I enjoyed writing about 36-Hours you started. […]

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