Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens said in his book, The First Billion Is the Hardest (2008): “You work eight hours, and you sleep eight hours—be sure they’re not the same eight hours.” Many quotations websites attribute this quotation to Pickens, but it was used by at least 1920 in vaudeville. Pickens was born in 1928.
Wikipedia: T. Boone Pickens
Thomas Boone Pickens, Jr. (born May 22, 1928) is an American buisness man who chairs the hedge fund BP Capital Management. He was a well-known takeover operator during the 1980s. With an estimated current net worth of about $3 billion, he is ranked by Forbes as the 117th-richest person in America and ranked 369th in the world. Pickens has given more than $700 million away to charity.
19 February 1920, Evening State Journal (Lincoln, NE), “The Vaudevillians” by Neal R. O’Hara, pg. 4, col. 3:
The booking agents are the guys that work eight hours and sleep eight hours. The same eight hours if possible.
28 September 1921, Fort Wayne (IN) News-Sentinel, pg. 4, col. 7:
Telephone operators should work eight hours and sleep eight hours—but not the same eight hours.
28 April 1927, Cambridge City (IN) Tribune, pg. 6, col. 3:
Bank clerks are supposed to work eight hours and sleep eight hours—but not the same eight hours.
14 February 1928, Gettysburg (PA) Times, pg. 1, col. 1:
A person should work eight hours and sleep eight hours but not the same hours.
New York (NY) Times
Questions for T. Boone Pickens
In the Air
Interview by DEBORAH SOLOMON
Published: August 3, 2008
In your forthcoming book, “The First Billion Is the Hardest,” you give some pithy career advice. I say, you work eight hours, and you sleep eight hours — be sure they’re not the same eight hours.