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How do you fill up your buckets?

You might have heard of the “bucket list” – the most important things you wish to do, see or achieve before you die!

But have you ever come across the “three bucket rule”? It identifies that all people have exactly the same number of hours in a week (168) and that these can be put into three 56-hour “buckets”: 56 hours of sleep, 56 hours of work and 56 hours for “everything else.” A simple but astonishing calculation!

But how do we divide up our buckets? Do you get 8 hours sleep 7 nights a week? Or, is your reality working in excess of 10 hours a day with a further two stuck in heavy commuter traffic? And, as for the “everything else” bucket? How does that look? Is it really personal time for you? or leisure time with family and friends? Or is it taken up with household jobs like shopping or mowing the lawn? With private errands such as visiting the hairdresser’s or dentist? Or just frittered away channel hopping in front of the TV?

Many busy people tend to lack balance during the year and try to fill the “everything else” bucket to overflowing at Christmas or during the summer holidays. But is this a good way to lead our lives? Perhaps equalising the buckets, and enjoying our free time on a day-to-day basis, would be healthier and more satisfying in the long term.

So, why not give it some thought and take a really hard look at how your buckets are filled? Perhaps one needs emptying a bit and another needs topping up? And most importantly, aim to claim back those 56 hours per week that actually belong to you and to use them in a meaningful way!



bucket list – Wunschliste

bucket - Eimer

to come across something – über den Weg laufen

number of hours – Anzahl an Stunden

everything else – alles andere

astonishing – erstaunlich, überraschend

divide up – aufteilen, unterteilen

in excess of – mehr als

heavy commuter traffic – starker Berufsverkehr

a commuter – Pendler

leisure time – Freizeit

mow the lawn – Rasen mähen

private errand – persönliche Besorgungen

to fritter away – Zeit verplempern, vertrödeln

channel hopping or channel surfing – Zappen

fill the bucket to overflowing – den Eimer zum überlaufen bringen

to lead our lives – das Leben führen

to equalise sth. – etwas ausgleichen

in the long term – langfristig

give sth. some thought – etwas überdenken

topping up – auffüllen

aim to – darauf abzielen zu

to claim back – zurück fordern


Do blue and red paint mixed together make orange?

Wow, that lemon juice is sour!! What should I do with these strings on my shoes? Do blue and red paint mixed together make orange? How am I going to share 25 sweets between three friends? Can I swing across the stream without getting my feet wet?

In our first five or six years of life, before we go to school or learn to read, write or do maths, we explore the world for ourselves with all our senses. We experiment, make mistakes and learn from them, fall over, get up, repeat our actions and try things out again and again until, tired but triumphant, we reach our goal. This is “learning by doing” in its purest form.

Later, when we enter formal education, we are taught. We are given theories and believe what others tell us or what we read in books. There is not enough time for the practical element. We are drilled to be efficient, follow the rules, follow the herd and the creative, inventive, experimental part of us is often not given the chance to blossom.

At TIP TOP English we have a very different approach. We start with the practice and bring in the theory later. Using hands-on activities, puzzles, role plays, audios and interactive methods involving all our senses, we encourage our students to discover the English language for themselves in a new, exciting and memorable way.

And to make sure that all our tools and techniques are effective, the TIP TOP trainers work as a team to develop and test them for you! Here you can see Beatrice, Lis, Latasha and Nicole at a recent workshop putting themselves into their students’ shoes and learning by doing!

Get more information about our learning methods at: www.tip-top-english.de/lernmethoden



laces, hier: strings – Schnürsenkel

swing across the stream – über das Bächlein schwingen (mit einem Seil)

explore the world – Welt erkunden

fall over and get up – hinfallen und aufstehen

in the purest form – in der einfachsten Form

teach – taught (pronounce: toht) – lehren, gelehrt

follow the herd – der Herde folgen

be inventive and experimental – erfinderisch und experimentierfreudig sein

give the chance to blossom – jmd. die Gelegenheit geben aufzublühen

different approach – unterschiedliche Herangehensweise

hands-on activities – praktische Dinge

discover the language for themselves – die Sprache selbst entdecken

recent workshop – kürzlich stattgefundener externer Workshop


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