Tag Archives: Pink Floyd

More Music Mastery: Part 2

Day 13 – A song you like from the 70’s

This is another category that I could spend days and days deciding on which one to pick. Rush formed in the 70’s. Pink Floyd. Led Zeppelin. John Lennon. Jimi Hendrix. Neil Young. The list goes on and on. In the end, “there can be only one”, and I’m going to have to go with a band that scored the soundtrack from the movie I pulled that quote from. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen (who did the soundtrack for the movie Highlander, for those following along at home). I’m linking to the best cover of this song I’ve ever heard – and it was done by ONE GUY!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Iiy_YfpVn0]

Day 14 – A song you’d love to be played at your wedding

Since I am already married this category makes little sense, so I should go with a song that was actually played at my wedding. I’m not going to, though. Instead, I’m going to go with a song that *could* have been played at my wedding had the organist not done such a masterful job butchering it when she played a few bars for us after we booked her.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzveq8-H8Go]

Day 15 – A song you like that’s a cover by another artist

Back in high school, I was really into the guitar. Not playing it, mind you, but listening to it. I loved listening to Clapton, Beck, Satriani, Vai, and pretty much anyone that could work magic with a six string and an amp. There’s one song in particular that I just love listening to and that’s Eric Johnson’s Cliffs of Dover. It’s an instrumental and it is pure genius. I happen to think it’s a really fun song. One day I was just wandering around YouTube listening to covers and I came across these high school kids playing a version of the song for a talent show. I was immediately blown away. Have a watch. These are KIDS for cryin’ in the sink.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3yDRw1V0-Y]

Day 16 – A song that’s a classic favourite

I don’t know a single person who doesn’t like this song. The sweet dig against Neil Young is kind of fun too.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye5BuYf8q4o]

Day 17 – A song you’d sing a duet with someone on karaoke

I’ve actually sung this as a duet with someone NOT on karaoke! Jann and Jackson’s version is pretty good too.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5_Hn_cLIvI]

Day 18 – A song from the year you were born

The #1 song list from my birth year is fantastic. Since I was a wee baby I think this song is appropriate. I just read the lyrics. Maybe not so appropriate. Anyway, this song ended 1974 at #23 in Canada and is written and performed by Canadian singer Andy Kim (Canada’s answer to Neil Diamond.)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ym3RlvVR9M]

Day 19 – A song that makes you think about life

Sadly, the lyrics for this song are just as relevant today as they were when they were written back in 1987. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a time in modern history where the lyrics didn’t apply. This song makes me thing about how I can be better.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UbMOkdG8AY]

Day 21 – A song you like with a person’s name in the title

I was going to pick Angie by the Rolling Stones because I like that song and back at Sparrow Lake Camp we had a staffer by the name of Andy and people would go around singing “An-dy. Aaaaaaainnnn-dy” instead of Angie. Then I remembered that The Killers have a song Andy You’re a Star and I thought that was cool. But THEN, I remembered that the Magnetic Fields have this song, and while it’s only happened three times that I can remember, it has still happened.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWf54uGWgWA]

Day 22 – A song that moves you forward

I heard this song for the first time in almost twenty years on my way to the gym one day. It was amazingly motivating.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGp47YwDZ48]

Day 23 – A song you think everybody should listen to

I came across this song because someone posted a link to another Miley Cyrus song on Facebook (I think it was her covering Crowded House). Miley accompanies Laura from Against Me! and it gave me a new perspective on a few things.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldWSMhu4CA4]

Day 24 – A song by a band you still wish were together

I remember when Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit unseated The Smiths atop The Edge’s (102.1 CFNY out of Toronto) most influential alternative music songs of all time list never to return to the penultimate spot. I’ve since warmed up to the idea that Nirvana was at least as influential as The Smiths with respect to their impact on society (even if Cobain, Grohl, et al. did have considerable assistance in shaping a generation from the likes of Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and myriad other “grunge” bands). I’m left wondering what the legacy of both these bands would have been had Johnny Marr not quit and Kurt Cobain not died.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnpILIIo9ek]

Day 25 – A song you like by an artist no longer living

Ugh. Way too many choices from this category. I was having a hard time picking and then I listened to Ed Sheeran and Anne-Marie do a cover of The Pogues Fairytale of New York and in the suggested videos collage at the end of the song was this one. It too is a cover. A cover as sung by someone who died this year of a song written by a guy who died last year.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuUDRU9-HRk]

Day 26 – A song that makes you want to fall in love

How about a song that made me fall in love? This is off an album that my girlfriend (now wife) and I would play on the CD player before bed back when we were in university. We just saw the Skydiggers play an intimate show not too long ago and they didn’t play this one, so here it is now.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gMKvNTpRSo]

Day 27 – A song that breaks your heart

It’s impossible to hear this song and not think of the tragedy about which it was written. Shortly after Eric Clapton’s son, Conor, fell off a balcony and died he and Will Jennings penned this song in his honour.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxPj3GAYYZ0]

Day 28 – A song by an artist whose voice you love

Every show, Daniel (Danny) Greaves sings one cover song a capella. I’ve heard him do this probably around twenty times over the last twenty-five years and watched countless more renditions on YouTube, his voice hasn’t changed, and it’s fantastic. I did a cover of a cover he’s done on his own as a warm-up to a performance once and I didn’t come remotely close to recreating the experience. I haven’t seen The Watchmen play for a couple of years now but the last time I did I captured Danny covering a Graham Parker song and it was great, as it always is.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JYgSQF5uuQ]

Day 29 – A song you remember from your childhood

Tomorrow from the movie Annie – This was the first movie I ever saw in the theatre. My mom took me and I remember it being the most amazing experience.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0bOH8ABpco]

Day 30 – A song that reminds you of yourself 

First of all, I’m a big Rush fan. Plus, they’re Canadian and I’m Canadian, so that’s kind of cool. Also, it seems like my life has been one fateful sequence of events after another, guided only by the hands of fate and helped along by a couple of lucky bounces.

“Why are we here? Because we’re here. Why does it happen? Because it happens.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zBz27MdSn4]

~ Andrew

The 30-Day Song Challenge – Days 25-30

June 27 – Day 25 of the 30-Day Song Challenge

A song that makes me laugh

I wouldn’t say that there’s any one song that makes me laugh out loud. There are a lot of songs that have parts I’m fond of in a funny sort of way though. A lot of those songs are by the Barenaked Ladies. Certainly, anything by They Might Be Giants should be given consideration. There’s this one song by The Lowest of the Low, The Taming of Carolyn, that has a line, “Her mother’s worst fears were confirmed. She’s taken up with a musician. Holy shit!” and the “holy shit” spoken by a different voice than the singer makes it funny – to me, at least.

For my song challenge choice, however, I’m going with another Lowest of the Low song, Rosy and Grey. It is not a particularly funny song, but it has this line that’s always made me chuckle:

“I’ve kissed you in France and I’ve kissed you in Spain.
And I’ve kissed you in places I’d better not name.
And I’ve seen the sun go down on Sacré-Cœur.
But I like it much better goin’ down on you.
Ah, you know that’s true.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t06Kg3LwyE]

June 28 – Day 26 of the 30-Day Song Challenge

A song that I can play on an instrument

My instrument is my voice and even then I’m not a terribly proficient singer. I learned a little piano a dozen years ago but not much ever came of it. I can’t even work a tambourine reliably. But back in Grades 7, 8, and 9, I played the trumpet and I didn’t totally suck. I wasn’t anywhere near good, but I wasn’t terrible and I somewhat enjoyed playing it. For my Grade 9 music final, I had to play the “Turkish March”. Well, a REALLY stripped down version of it. Have you heard this thing played on a trumpet before? It’s crazy. The arrangement I played didn’t have half the notes that it’s supposed to, I’m sure. Anyway, I think with a little bit of practice I could probably play it again and not scare away small woodland creatures.

Here’s Richard House playing the proper version of Rondo alla Turca (Piano Sonata No. 11. KV 331) “Turkish March” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on the trumpet WAY better than I ever could:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yld4GTwRcPk]

And just for fun, here’s a six-year-old playing it on the piano:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXjbz4TQOyM]

June 29 – Day 27 of the 30-Day Song Challenge

A song that I wish I could play

All of them? I’m sure this changes on a day-to-day basis and it’s also likely dependent on what instrument I wish I could play as well. For this exercise, I’m going with the guitar. While it would be awesome to shred the ax playing some fancy ass diddly-diddly stuff, I’m actually thinking of going with something that has more of an acoustic feel to it.

I’ve always been a fan of Pink Floyd and this one has been a favourite of mine around the campfire since high school. As far as I can tell it’s not a terribly difficult song to play, or at least there appear to be ways to play it that make it look not very hard to play.
The song also sums up how I feel a lot of the time when something good is happening because no matter who I’m surrounded by in that moment there’s always someone missing that I wish was there.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXdNnw99-Ic]

June 30 – Day 28 of the 30-Day Song Challenge

A song that makes me feel guilty

I have a thing for Dana Delaney. I think she was legitimately my first actress crush. I can remember watching her on China Beach, unblinking with my jaw agape. She has done many a movie in her amazing career and plays the part of Josephine Marcus in the 1993 movie Tombstone. In this film, Delaney sings a bit of Red River Valley, oft credited to James Kerrigan though its origins are up for debate. The song has been widely covered including versions by such greats as Woody Guthrie, Jo Stafford, and Bing Crosby.

It makes me feel guilty because my friend, Sean, lent me his VHS copy of that movie at some point and I completely forgot about it. Of course, when he came looking for it I adamantly denied having it. Naturally, it turned up in a box 20 years later during one of my house moves. Sorry, Sean.

Here’s Dana Delaney singing it.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlsBKfhmgZY]

July 1 – Day 29 of the 30-Day Song Challenge

A song from my childhood

Day 29 fell on the 150th birthday of this great nation I was born into. So, it’s only fitting that for this song choice I pick a Canadian artist to represent. Due to the CRTC’s requirements for “Canadian Content” on the radio, I grew up familiar with a good number of Canadian artists. The Box, Gowan, The Guess Who, Neil Young (and oh, how it pains me to list The Box and Gowan with the latter two), Bryan Adams, Leonard Cohen (RIP), Gordon Lightfoot (who once passed out in my grandpa’s bathtub after my dad threw a party when my grandparents were out of town)… the list goes on.

For this one, though, I’m making an unlikely choice. Back in my elementary school days, I had a crush on the younger sister of a kid in my class. I didn’t dare mention it to anyone out of fear that he would have pummelled me. Anyway, this girl loved two things: The Montreal Canadiens and Corey Hart. Her list of loves is a bit longer today, but seeing as we’re Facebook friends I can assure you that those two are still on it.

Here’s one for Canada’s 150th birthday and my German Mills Public School crush, Laurie 🙂

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcPr2-ipfa4]

July 2 – Day 30 of the 30-Day Song Challenge

My favourite song at this time last year

For me, the last day of this challenge was July 2nd. A year ago I really couldn’t tell you what my favourite song was. Of all-time, maybe, but for *that moment* I don’t think I would have had a clue. I don’t listen to the radio much and most of what is played on it is crap anyway. There was a song that got a bit more airtime on my iPod though and that was Little Red Corvette by Prince.

I used to have my brother-in-law’s old red Pontiac Vibe, which I traded my minivan for to his sister after he died. I then gave it to his mother after I bought myself a brand new red Mazda3 Sport. It’s not much of a mid-life crisis, but hey, it’s what I could afford. Then, in June of 2016 I was in a fairly serious accident and my little red car was totaled. Fortunately, I escaped with only minor injuries (and one doozy of a panic attack).

At the end of June I bought myself another little Mazda3 Sport, only by the time I test drove it to the time I bought one the red one was gone and I needed a new car so I had to settle for the black one. I would put on Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” to remind me of the good times I had in my own version of the classic sports car.

Now, Prince (and now Prince’s estate) was a bit wiggy about his stuff appearing on YouTube so I can’t find any videos of him singing this song. Apparently he had a bug up his butt about it. Anyway, here’s a solid cover.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0DG3C8q94c]

~ Andrew

The Sound of Music – Ranking Revealed

Over the last while, in an homage to High Fidelity I’ve been writing about my Top 5 Albums of All Time. I used some basic criteria to make the list:

  • Number of songs I like on the album (i.e. the fewer songs I skip over, the better)
  • Emotional impact of the album (i.e. how does listening to it make me feel?)
  • Composition of the album (i.e. are the songs arranged in an order I find pleasing?)

Truthfully, though, I went with my gut. I tried to pretend someone asked me, “What’s your favourite album of all time?” and then answered as quickly as possible. Lather, rinse, repeat four more times. I spat them out in five blog posts with some detailed explanations and stories behind each one. What I didn’t do was put them in order. This post is designed to remedy that.

The first one was easy. The next four? Not so much.

Number 5: Shakespeare My Butt – Lowest of the Low
This is a really fun album with some really happy memories attached to it. If you haven’t listened to this one (and a lot of people won’t have) you should add it to your collection.

Number 4: Ten – Pearl Jam
I saw these guys play shows twenty years apart and the songs they played off this album still held up. This album will never grow old. 

Number 3: Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
Turn out the lights, close your eyes, maybe have a sandwich, and play this album start to finish. Best destresser ever. 

Number 2: In The Trees – The Watchmen
Another Canadian gem. Such great lyrics and the vocals are truly a gift to your ears.

Number 1: The Joshua Tree – U2
I could listen to this album every day and not tire of it. It’s the reason it’s #1 and my always answer to the question, “If you were stranded on a desert island and only had one album, which one would you want it to be?”

Of course, no Top X list wold be complete without some honourable mentions! Give these a look-see. I know you won’t be disappointed. I’ll add more as I get around to it. For now, these will do the trick.

  • The Watchmen – McLaren Furnace Room
  • RUSH – Moving Pictures
  • Led Zeppelin – IV
  • The Beatles – The White Album
  • Nirvana – Nevermind
  • Pink Floyd – The Wall
  • The Tragically Hip – Road Apples

Happy listening!

~Andrew

The Sound of Music – Part 5

Welcome to the fifth and final installment of the Sound of Music – My Top Five Albums Of All Time. 

My “deserted island” list of albums I’d want to have with me if I were stranded is almost complete. Thus far I’ve presented the following (in no particular order): 

As a reminder, I present my main decision-making criteria:

  • Number of songs I like on the album (the fewer songs I skip over, the better)
  • Composition of the album (are the songs arranged in an order I find pleasing)
  • Memories invoked when I hear a song from the album
  • Emotional impact of the album (how does listening to it make me feel?)

Today, we complete the list with an album that literally helped define a generation. By many it is not viewed in the same regard as, say, Nevermind by Nirvana, but in my opinion, this album was more complex, richer experience that touched a much broader audience. 


Without further ado, I present …

Source: Wikipedia
Released 1991
Track Listing: 
  1. “Once”  (9/10)
  2. “Even Flow” (9/10)
  3. “Alive” (10/10)
  4. “Why Go” (9/10)
  5. “Black” (9/10)
  6. “Jeremy”  (10/10)
  7. “Oceans”  (8/10)
  8. “Porch” (8/10)
  9. “Garden”  (8/10)
  10. “Deep” (9/10)
  11. “Release” (10/10)

I like every song on this album. In fact, I’ve liked every song on this album since the moment it was released. If I were to rank each song from one to eleven the songs at the bottom, Oceans, Porch, and Garden end up bouncing around in my head for hours after hearing them.

I completely understand why the producer decided to open with the song “Once”. It’s a powerful song and within the first minute of the song the lyrics, “Once upon a time I could control myself / Once upon a time I could lose myself” tell us that we’re about to embark on a fairytale journey like none other. Followed by “Even Flow” these two tracks make you feel like all you’ve been doing is climbing, then, without warning like the first big drop on a roller coaster we hear “Alive”, a song just as powerful as any of the others but slightly down tempo. Not to have us get lulled into a false sense of security the album hits back with a 1-2 punch with “Why Go” and then “Black” only to follow up with probably the most iconic opening bass line in the band’s catalog on “Jeremy”. The album continues with songs that alternate between laying low a little and jumping right up in your face until we get to the last song on the track. As far as album endings go “Release” is a formidable choice for the end of this wild ride, though I have to admit that it’s just as fitting to have it as a live show opener. All in all, the songs on Ten are perfectly arranged and are a pleasure to listen to on their own, in order as they are on the album, or randomized on an iPod with a thousand other songs. 

This album makes me feel like jumping around and yelling. Occassionally, a song will come on that’s one of the slower ones and instead of jumping around and yelling it will just magnify whatever feeling I am having in that moment. The themes of the album are dark and uncomfortable and complex, and the feelings it invokes are the same. But most of all, it makes me feel like jumping around and yelling. 

There are too many memories involving this album to list them all here. I remember one of my longest standing childhood friends driving us to a party and saying, “I’m feeling kind of grunge tonight” and putting PJ on in the car. I remember countless days and nights “studying” with Riaz; half written physics equations haphazardly scribbled on scrap paper and Riaz with his guitar in hand and Pearl Jam on the CD player. They are the go-to concert for another friend of mine and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them a couple times with him. I should have seen PJ in New Orleans with him back in 1995 but this girl I worked with wouldn’t switch shifts with me (which was a total jerk move, if you ask me). 

Probably the coolest memory I have involves the pop/ska band The English Beat. I was in Ottawa, Ontario, standing a few rows from the stage with my Pearl Jam tour buddy and Pearl Jam launched into their hit song “Betterman”. They extended the ending and out of nowhere started singing the English Beat’s “Save It For Later”. Fast forward five years and I’m in Waterloo, Ontario (a solid six-hour drive from Ottawa) and I’m in a small club watching the English Beat with my wife when right in the middle of their song “Save It For Later” they start playing a few bars of Pearl Jam’s “Betterman”. I figure I was the only person there who had that experience and every time either of those songs come on my iPod I think of those two concert moments. Also, if you’ve never experienced the crowd participation at a Pearl Jam concert, you are truly missing out. I only need to speak two words on this topic: Baba O’Riley. Look it up on YouTube

So there you have it, my top five albums of all time. Next time, I’ll put the songs in order and give you a list of great albums that didn’t quite make the top five cut but are worth checking out nonetheless. 

~ Andrew

The Sound of Music – Part 4

Welcome to the fourth installment of the Sound of Music – My Top Five Albums Of All Time. 

Think of this as a “deserted island” list of albums I’d want to have with me if I were stranded and these were the only albums I had on my iPod at the time (assume a solar charger and necessary waterproofing).

As a reminder, I present my main decision-making criteria:

  • Number of songs I like on the album (the fewer songs I skip over, the better)
  • Composition of the album (are the songs arranged in an order I find pleasing?)
  • Memories invoked when I hear a song from the album
  • Emotional impact of the album (how does listening to it make me feel?)

In no particular order thus far we have:

Today we will add a fourth album to the list:

Source: Wikipedia

Released 1973
Track Listing:

  1. “Speak to Me” – (Intro-Instrumental)
  2. Breathe” (8/10)
  3. “On the Run” (Instrumental, 8/10)
  4. “Time” (8/10)
  5. “The Great Gig in the Sky” (“Instrumental”, 9/10)
  6. “Money” (8/10)
  7. “Us and Them” (8/10)
  8. “Any Colour You Like” (Instrumental, 8/10)
  9. “Brain Damage” (9/10)
  10. “Eclipse” (9/10)

While the sixties were a time of peace, love, music, and marijuana (and acid, and whatever else those crazy kids could get their hands on). If they were giving out awards for whose fans were the highest it’s no secret that Pink Floyd was likely the first band to hold the title across the Atlantic. With the Grateful Dead having formed around the same time they were leading the way by a country mile in the United States.

The only track I’ll skip on this album is the opening instrumental intro. Quite frankly, the composition is nothing short of perfection. Opening with a psychedelic instrumental reminiscent of something Monty Python would have written, the album sets the tone with “Breathe” and then moves seamlessly into an instrumental that finishes with a resounding “boom” before we get a jolt of surprise with the sounding of dozens of alarm clocks in “Time”, one of many instances where Floyd makes use of samples to augment their musical stylings. “The Great Gig in the Sky” was the first song where I noticed and really began to understand that a person’s voice was an instrument. The woman singing on this track doesn’t use a single word from the dictionary as she winds her voice up and down with “ooooohhhhhhh” and “ahhhhhhhhh” and “ooooooooooo” and it’s positively hypnotic. “Money” brings more distinctive sound bites and “Us and Them” sits in a natural spot as track seven, leading into another instrumental. The final two tracks, especially when played back to back without interruption, might be the greatest ending of all the albums in my library.

This album cover is probably one of the most iconic pieces of musical artwork ever created. Every kid who has heard of this album has tried to recreate this effect the first time they got their hands on a prism in science class.

For years growing up in Thornhill, I would drive past the “Becker’s” convenience store on Aileen Road and there was this big green electrical box with the Dark Side of the Moon album cover spray painted in white on the side. The box has long since been replaced and is now obscured by a collection of overgrown trees but thanks to the fine folks at Google Maps and Microsoft Paint I’ve been able to recreate the image forever burned into my memory (that graffiti stayed on the side of that electrical box for years):

Aileen Road Electrical Box with Modified Graffiti Courtesy of Andrew


In 1994, I was fortunate enough to see Pink Floyd play at Exhibition Place with a lifelong friend, Jon, as well as a newly formed friend, Riaz (and a bunch of his buddies). As part of their Division Bell tour, Floyd played the entire Dark Side of the Moon album and to this day that remains one of my most memorable live concert performances. 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR-iZXNjlSo]


How does hearing this album make me feel? Nostalgic, calm, peaceful, relaxed, poetic, introspective, and blissful. Which, I suspect, is just what Pink Floyd was going for. 

Hey, since you’ve read this far if you’re looking to learn how to play guitar like one of the greats, I came across this website that gives you some free tips and tricks. They happen to have a section on none other than David Gilmour. Check it out over at Beginner Guitar HQ.

~ Andrew


Coming Soon: 
The fifth addition to round out the list and then a post where I put them in order, explain why, and list a bunch of honourable mentions.

One Day Closer

Google / Wikipedia

Time. It moves in one direction: forward; and for every living thing on Earth there’s only a finite amount of it. Time passes whether we like it or not and if you’re not careful it’s an easy thing to waste.

People nowadays are always so busy. At least they appear to be. When folks hear about all the creative endeavours I undertake, and all the things I do outside of work, the most common question I get is, “Where do you find the time?” Along the same lines, when I listen to people talk about all the things they have to do in their day one of the statements I hear most frequently is, “I don’t have enough time!

Well, I have an answer to the question and I’m calling bullshit on the statement right now.

Let’s look at the breakdown of a typical year for someone like myself. First, here are some high level things about my post-secondary education life that will help give you an idea of how I got to where I am today:

Two years after I graduated in 1997 I married the girl I met in the first week of University. We now have a son, a daughter, a house in the suburbs, and two cats. I’m on my fourth office job/career since 1997 and my fourth house since 2001. It doesn’t take a genius to see that in the last nineteen years, I’ve spent a lot of time husbanding, working, parenting, and apparently moving (I guess I was making up for spending the first nineteen living in the same house, sleeping in the same bedroom, and mooching off my parents).

Wow, has it really been that long since I graduated? I suppose that’s a nice segue into another common question, “Where does the time go?

Where does the time go, indeed. With a little bit of hindsight, and a spreadsheet, we can find out the answer to the questions asked / statement made thus far, and for the record, I used to say all three. So let’s take the time and have a closer look. With finances if you delve deeper into where you’re spending your money it becomes quite easy to figure out where you can save. Time, as it turns out, works the same way.

There are 8760 hours in a year. 

  • I spend 8 hours a day sleeping (or trying to). 
  • I spend about 1 hour a day cleaning, grooming, going to the bathroom, and performing other solo activities (I suppose you could shower with somebody but I can guarantee you that you run the risk of it taking even longer than it would on your own, for various reasons I’ll leave up to your imagination). 
  • I spend another 1 hour per day preparing and eating meals. 
  • I spend about 260 hours in the year on family commitments like taking the kids to sports or driving them places or helping them with their homework. 
  • I spend about 182 hours in a year on health and exercise (yoga, walking, shooting hoops out on the driveway, etc…). 

So out of my original 8760 hours I only have 4668 remaining (or roughly 53%).

That means 47% of my time – right out of the gate – is spoken for. That’s okay though, all those things I have spent it on are important. I’d probably be better off if the health number was higher and my kids would be better off if their homework/activities number was higher too but in terms of committed time – non negotiable time – I’m doing okay. Plus, I still have more than half a day to work with, right?

“Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day. You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.” – Roger Waters

As you can see from my background I have an office job. That job is a 30 minute drive in each direction from where I live as well. So what’s that worth in terms of time?

Well, if you count from when I get in the car in the morning to when I pull into the driveway in the evening my job takes 10 hours per workday out of the total. If you take out weekends, statutory holidays, and vacation/days off I end up working roughly 226 days out of the year. That’s another 2260 hours.

Now where does that leave me?

My total remaining time for the entire year is 2408 hours.
That’s a titch more than 46 hours a week.
That’s an average of about 6.5 hours per day.

I have TONS of time. I have all the freaking time in the world!

But wait a second, those averages assume a 365 day year. As mentioned, I don’t work on some of those days, and as you’ll see in a second they are bringing up the average considerably.

If we split my life into days in which I work and days in which I don’t work here’s how it unfolds:

  • On work days I am left with about 1 hour and 48 minutes per day “free time”. 
  • On non-work days that number spikes to 10 hours and 30 minutes.
So that’s how much time I have. As you can see, when I am working I have WAY less time than when I’m not working. This makes sense as someone else is paying for me to do things for them. Since I happily take their money twice a month it only seems fair I don’t spend most of my time doing other things. 
If I want more than 1 hour and 48 minutes on a work day then it has to come out of one of those other (supposedly non-negotiable) allotments. Lately, it’s been the exercise portion of the program. But how have I filled that time? Well 60% of the time about half an hour of it has gone to writing or editing or some other creative endeavour. This is a decent substitution. The other 40% of the time has gone to watching Mad Men or Facebook (or both). This is a terrible substitution, especially when you consider that a good portion of my 1 hour and 48 minutes at my disposal already goes to mind numbing stuff like that. 

Non-work days tend to fill up with various obligations so the 10.5 available hours are a bit misleading. Long weekends are family weekends up at the cottage. It’s a two hour drive each way (typically getting there on a workday and obliterating my hour and forty-eight, and then some). Soccer tournaments, family outings, birthday parties, yard work… you see how this goes. Perfectly reasonable things start taking up the time, and meanwhile time keeps on slippin’… slippin’… slippin’… into the future.

But here’s the best part, there should always a little bit left. Try it. Get out your spreadsheet and write it all down. You’ll see.

A good number of you will look at your list of Things I Do and you’ll notice that you work too much, or don’t sleep enough, or sleep too much (lucky jerks). Another thing you will notice is that the list will easily divide into two categories: have-to-do and want-to-do. Once you’ve captured all the things you absolutely have to do, you can shift the blocks around and allocate a little more here and a little less there with all the things you want to do.

Here’s in interesting exercise:
List your job hours in the have-to-do column at the minimum you are contractually obligated to work (a more difficult task for self-employed folks and entrepreneurs but do your best to quantify the minimum). If career advancement is something you desire then you put that in the want column, attach time to it, and then prioritize it.

You see, the time is there, accessing it is just a matter of prioritization. If you allocate time to one block make it a conscious decision and be aware of what other block pays the price. Want everything you want exactly when you want it? I hope you can adjust to getting a lot less sleep (Pro Tip: not recommended. Sleep is really good for you). Another approach would be to ensure time is always taken from lower priority items – the want-to-do stuff. If you can do that you’ll be surprised at how much time you actually have. 

Remember, there are only 8760 hours in a year. Use them wisely. You never know when you’re going to run out.
~ Andrew
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-OytmtYoOI]