Curley’s New Year’s Resolution advice: Fill up your third bucket

Dec 28, 2016, 12:04 PM | Updated: 12:47 pm
Looking for a New Year's Resolution? Try filling up your hobby bucket. (AP)...
Looking for a New Year's Resolution? Try filling up your hobby bucket. (AP)

My dad has this thing called the three bucket theory. I don’t know if he made it up or not, but this is how it goes.

You’ve got three buckets and 24 hours in a day. You should fill the buckets with eight hours of sleep, eight hours of work and then eight hours of something else. That third bucket, that’s the one you need to fill with hobbies and interests outside of sleeping and working. You know, sailing or woodworking or dog grooming – my knowledge of this stuff is limited. Think of the theory like the Pennsylvanian’s version of Henry David Thoreau’s aphorism: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and die with their song still inside them.”

Related: The most popular audio of the year on MyNorthwest

If you have disproportionately too many hours in the middle tub, you end up having an empty, or near-empty bucket somewhere else. Then, when you “retire,” you turn to the third bucket and ask, ‘Well, what am I interested in?’ Too often the answer is “nothing,” because you have filled the middle bucket with nothing but work. That’s why the 8-8-8 gives you a balanced life and will help you find work more rewarding.

My third bucket? I don’t have one. In fact, I sold that third bucket and took the extra money I made so I could have a bigger middle bucket. Between the radio stuff and my auctioneering gig, I work 70 or 80 hours a week. This is why my list of hypothetical hobby ideas ends at dog grooming.

My advice: if your job bucket is not satisfying, you’d better get a nice sturdy third bucket and fill it with something else. That’s what I’m trying to work on in 2017.

Then again, I just read about how the Russians invented the idea of retirement as a way to get old people out and new blood in, even though most studies nowadays show that if you retire too early or retire at all, you’ll end up dying.

So, my revised advice: Keep hammering away, nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel, all the way through until finally you pass away on the job. And then later retire.

That way, you’ll end up yelling at co-workers for not filling up the copier.

John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.

John Curley and Shari Elliker

John Curley and Shari Elliker

(Getty Images)...
MyNorthwest Staff

WA’s ban on high-capacity ammo magazines to take effect July 1

The measure also outlines that importing, manufacturing, and distributing magazines with more than 10 rounds will be prohibited. 
8 days ago
Welcome Back...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

Does your boss truly care about your happiness?

John & Shari aren't buying a New York Times report that addresses the new school approach employers are taking to keep their employees happy.
2 months ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Alaska Airlines CEO anticipates ‘choppy May,’ issues mea culpa as flight cancellations rack up

Alaska Airlines is facing issues with contracting and a shortage of pilots, leaving travelers to deal with a surplus of flight cancellations.
2 months ago
Pramila Jayapal...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

John and Shari: Political pressure to forgive student loan debt is well-timed ahead of mid-term elections

President Joe Biden and Congress’ plan for student loan debt remains an outstanding question as Democrats look towards the midterm elections.
3 months ago
diner, tip...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

John & Shari: Inflation has forced some people to adjust their tipping habits

Inflation is driving up prices lately on nearly everything, and it seems to be leading some people to tip less at restaurants and for other services.
3 months ago
John Curley, Shari Elliker...
John Curley and Shari Elliker

John Curley and Shari Elliker want story ideas from listeners

John Curley and Shari Elliker are looking for story ideas and could use your help. If it's good, you may even get a gift from John of his choosing.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Curley’s New Year’s Resolution advice: Fill up your third bucket