How many Hours a Day should a Person Work? Ask Dolly Parton!

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton | Source
This guy loaves around the clock!
This guy loaves around the clock! | Source

Misconception No.5 -- Eight Hours Is A Full-Time Work Day

Twelve Hours a Day! Gimmie a Break!

The fact that most people work eight hours a day does not necessarily mean it will always be that way. About one hundred years ago, twelve hours a day was considered to be a full day of work. The trend is for shorter hours and fewer work days each week.

Many individuals feel that the world owes them rest and relaxation after they put in an eight-hour day. It would never occur to many of these individuals that by working an extra hour or two they could live much better and assure themselves of financial security in their retirement years.

Extra Effort Pays Big Rewards

Quite simply, this extra effort is one of the secrets for improving one's financial assets and adding security in the retirement years.

Consider the hardship on an entrepreneur's body when twelve hours a day was the norm and in order to improve one's financial state an extra two hours would be required. It would be quite exhausting, wouldn't it? When six-hour work days become the norm, an enterprising individual can really do well by working eight hours a day.

Consider that most people require eight hours of sleep each night. That means that sixteen hours a day could be devoted to personal care and work. Let's calculate two hours a day for personal care and transportation to and from a job working for someone else. This leaves six hours a day for almost anything a person could possibly want to do.

Sixty-Two Hours? Where does it all go?

For many of us, this six hour period is divided into domestic chores, handling of personal affairs and recreation. Add to this the fact that two days a week many of us do not report to a job, and you will find that many of us have sixty-two hours a week free to do as we wish. That's a lot of time.

Time is your most Valuable Resource

Since time is an individual's most valuable resource, it might be prudent to ask ourselves some questions.

1. Do I need sixty-two hours a week for recreation and domestic chores?

2. Do I really use my sixty-two hours wisely?

3. Am I really doing all I can to serve my fellow man and improve the condition of the world, with the wise use of my time?

Some may argue, "If everyone else works only eight hours a day, why should I work more?" No one says you should or must. It's a personal decision we all make. If anyone chooses to disregard their most valuable resource and later laments that they must continue to work during their retirement years in poverty, they will not receive any sympathy from me or anyone else.


This article reprinted from Born to Be Rich in 1985.

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Comments 40 comments

breeze216 profile image

breeze216 5 years ago from A Tiny Little Town in the Blue Ridge Mountains, VA

I understand. I am a teacher and am constantly working over the 8 hours a day. I even go in on the weekend just to get my classroom and lesson plans ready for the next week.

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan Author

Yep--teachers gotta put in extra time if all is to run smoothly each day. I know you are much better off for yourself and the students with the extra time. Good work!

Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

I do work which involves searching through info on the Internet. So I divide up my time = so much for the comp and so much for other things. However I don't divide it up into hours. For everything I have to do I just do it until it's done. Have sat at a comp all day with stretching excersizes inbetween if it has been necessary and once had a special translation to do for someone and was up all night. So you're right it's basically time management and not the specific hours and minutes that pass by.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

I used to work on the railway, and sometimes I could get allocated a job that only took a few minutes to complete. I could go home then. I was still entitled to be paid for ten hours. Oh,happy days!

Reynold Jay 5 years ago

Hi Gypsy and Christopher! Gypsy works a bit like me with "work until it is complete." It sounds like Christopher had a terrific job! Then what did you do with all that free time? You look like a "party guy" to me!

PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 5 years ago from Florida

When I was an Executive Accounts Specialist, I worked 12 to 14 hours per day, drive 80 miles a day round trip, fix dinner, and then turn on my laptop. I would write on my computer until about 11 O'clock, then go to bed. Get up at four, open the office 40 miles away at 7 am. I never counted the hours I worked, because I loved what I was doing. Love your hub.


Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan Author

You sound like you were a busy guy! I'd bet you had little recreational time, unless you had a vacation scheduled. Glad to hear someone out there keeps out of trouble.

Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

Mr. RJ! Thanks for always providing us with the hard truths of life. Certainly, this hub gives us something to think about - and maybe reconsider! Voted up, up and away!

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan Author

Keep put'n out those hillarious Obama and Michelle Hubs. Just checked out #27...Goodness, you are great!!!

hassan5041 profile image

hassan5041 5 years ago from Saudi Arabia, Jeddah

This depends on the type of job

For example, I was responsible for 45 pharmacies in the medical company and was working 8 hours a day,I felt nervous because of work pressure

I used to take pills for headache,after that I quit my job , and now I have my own job , I teach people who don't speak Arabic for 12 hours a day , but I'm happy with my job , So this depends on the type of job, regardless of the number of hours

qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon

Excellent article; good points. Here's the cool news: I'm retired. And I love it. (smile) Appreciate your comments you made on my Hub, The Wreck. Looking forward to enjoying more of your writing. Peace and Light...Gary.

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan Author

Hassan--The 45 pharmacies sounds like a huge work load. Teaching was rewarding for me and I hope you enjoy the change over to a new kind of work.

QL--I'm retired too, and now launching a tiny writing career. HUbs was a big help for me and it will help you too.

Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

Good hub. So glad I'm no longer self-employed in one of those jobs where you trade freedom for a paycheck.

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan Author

This HUB is for you! I read your latest HUB and see that TIME is driving you crazy!

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

RJ, the Dolly Parton video is a nice touch. You can believe it there can nothing more frightening to find yourself having to continue to work when should be enjoying and reaping the harvest of a lifetime of work. Folks need to be planning for their retirement now, even while they ignore it as something well down the road. Voted up, Cred2

I enjoy the freedom that a good retirement plan can provide.

reynold jay 5 years ago

I'm enjoying a great retirement now and worked diligently to obtain it. I paid little attention to it when I was younger, but now glad that I did various activities that produced a nice retirement income. Great comment that has me thinking! We all love Dolly.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

You couildn't party in that job, because you were subject to random testing for alchohol and drugs. That kept most of us fairly quiet. There were a lot of "second jobbers" however.

Norman Winkfied 5 years ago

Hi J, thanks for the Dolly Parton update. I enjoyed her song 9 to 5. even thou i never like 9 to 5 work. I like Dolly. I am going to put some of this heavy jazz stuff down and listen to more of Dolly. Thanks.

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan Author

Christopher-glad to hear you didn't party while on the job!

Norm--yep--forget that Jazz for five minutes and give Dolly a spin.

thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

up, useful, awesome, and interesting Reynold Jay. Great article. I like to work as much as I can, usually means more money. I wish I could devote 8 hours to sleep. Since my hub fever, I am lucky to get 5. A lot of work and time writing here hoping it pays dividend in the long term. Very interesting on 12 hour work days and 62 hours extra. That is a big check!lol Take care.

reynold jay 5 years ago

I gotta consider my HUB time as "Work" rather than leisure than that tips the scale and becomes quite impressive! Ha ha! Well--I wanna be a pro writer, so I guess I can justify it. Let's hope we all earn a bit of mionye. I got 83 cents this month!

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Sueswan 5 years ago

I do not get paid by the hour so it is of no financial advantage for me to work extra hours.

sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 5 years ago

I remember listening to talk radio one day while I was driving to work. The caller was complaining that his new business, a store, wasn't doing well, and he was asking for advice. He worked in his store 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. The radio host ended up telling him he should work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, if he wanted to succeed. Made sense to me!

reynold jay 5 years ago

Makes sense to me too!

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Lady of the Lake 5 years ago

If money and financial security are your only aspirations in life then this would hold true. However, I want my life to mean more than the dollar amount I leave behind. Time is too valuable (limited) to spend all of it working to acquire things. I want my life to have been spent investing (time, love, and values) into the next generation. Money only takes you so far. Ask all of those lonely, sad, and unfulfilled millionaires and celebrities out there.

reynold jay 5 years ago

The life of many celebrities is sad indeed. Charlie Sheen comes to mind as one of the saddest individuals one would ever come across. When money comes so easily, it tends to corrupt one's values.

jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

We only have 24 hours a day and whatever we do, this is a fact. How we choose to use it is ours. however, being productive is another matter. I've seen people "work" sun up to sun down but achieve nothing. Being busy is not the same as being productive. I've seen employees breeze through the day, ask for overtime but fail to reach their targets. it's just sad to see people wasting their time. We only have so much of it.

Work is important but family time is likewise necessary. Also, personal time is necessary for all. The ability to juggle these facets of life properly can determine who comes out victorious and who gets stressed out early.

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 4 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan Author

I think you have this well in hand, jpmc. You very well could have written this HUB. Thanks for check'n it out tonite.

Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain

Thank you for an very useful hub. During my 61 years on this planet I have noticed that the most hardworking people are generally those who work for themselves. No work No pay.

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 4 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan Author

And I bet you work pretty hard too. Thank you for checking with Dolly and me today. Rj

John MacNab profile image

John MacNab 4 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

Very interesting Reynold Jay. It was later on in life before it dawned on me what a cock up I'd made of my 'leisure' time. And now, in retirement, my bank balance is scolding me for my lack of leisure initiative.

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 4 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan Author

Hi John, Thanks for the reading and the comment. Let's hope all goes well for you now.

Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

Oh yeah, I love what you wrote here, 9-5 jobs, ha! Great to know about my 62 hours, this is wonderfully enlightening.

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 4 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan Author

Thank you for taking one minute from your 62 hours to leave a comment and make my day!

royblizzard profile image

royblizzard 3 years ago from Austin / Leander, Texas

A good friend of mine, Mr. Richard Gaylord Briley used to say, "The bigger the Opportunity, the faster it moves. " However, most people in America aren't working when opportunity comes knocking so they miss it. They are too busy watching the Kardashians or some other drivel that steals their dreams. Love Dolly and also Stella her sister. Great article.

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 3 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan Author

Mr. Briley was an observant person. I suspect he was a hard working person and obtained his goals. Like you and I we can see our society changing before our eyes--and I don't like at all what I see. I suspect both of us would never spend our time watching the Kardashians as we know what it is. This article was written three decades ago ( and Dolly helped bring it up to date) and it seems more relevant than ever. Now I must check out your HUBS. Thank you for your comment.

word55 profile image

word55 16 months ago from Chicago

Great hub Jay. Work is good for me including exercise. I don't mind working short or long hours. The point is to enjoy it as I do it. I need to be relaxed as I work so I can perform much better. Dolly made a nice, working hit out of "9 to 5."

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 16 months ago from Saginaw, Michigan Author

Hi Words 55-- I have been running and jogging daily for 3 decades. I don't think many know how important a daily good work out is so important. 9 to 5 was a hilari0us movie. Thank you for commenting today.

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Wonderful wonderful wonderful. I think and write. If I did that 8 hrs a day for 5 days a week my brain would fall into atrophy. God had Edison or whoever invent the light bulb so we could "work" more. I heard "I work for the man". Wow, people actually work for someone else, I thought we worked for the art of working at our chosen work.

Great article

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 15 months ago from Saginaw, Michigan Author

Hi Ericdeirker... Yep, I agree. For you and me we love what we do and work takes on an entirely new connotation.

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