The Other 8 Hours

"The Other 8 Hours is all about investing your time in activities that pay the highest returns—w whether the returns are financial, physical or spiritual. How you invest your other 8 hours determines your happiness and financial success."

- The Other 8 Hours, page 59

Although we don’t realize it, most of our most significant achievements and relationships occur in the 8 hours we’re not working or sleeping. The author calls these the “other 8 hours.”

In The Other 8 Hours: Maximize your Free Time to Create New Wealth and Purpose, Robert Pagliarini asserts that we can take control of these hours to achieve what we want. For some of us, that might be more personal time with our families; for others it could be pursuing a side venture generating an extra income stream.

The author is a financial planner who’s written several books and appeared as a financial expert on numerous television shows. He’s used his other 8 hours to productively build his financial planning practice and distills his wisdom in this highly practical book.

The Big Idea

The Big Idea: The biggest takeaway from the book

Uncover your ideal life

"A meaningful life is what The Other 8 Hours is all about. Since most people don’t get a lot of meaning from sleep or work, our last hope is to find meaning during the other 8 hours. If we can fill some of this time with identifying and reaching our purpose, our lives will be much more satisfying and full."
- The Other 8 Hours, page 233

Pagliarini refers to it as finding your pulse and uncovering your ideal life. Get out of survival mode and look forward to thriving. “You need to get clear on what ‘get a life’ means to you, and you need to invest the other 8 hours in activities that enrich you and bring you closer to your ideal.”

Pagliarini offers several ways to help us figure out what our ideal life would look like. He suggests starting out by embracing the gap, which he refers to the divide between where you are and where you want to be. Going through the different areas of your life—family, health, finances, and growth—you can identify gaps in a particular area.

Once you’ve identified gaps, prioritize and set goals for the areas you want to begin work on. He offers suggestions for dealing with setbacks such as anticipating as many roadblocks as you can to prepare yourself for obstacles. Brainstorm solutions before being confronted with them.

Insight #1

An actionable way to implement the Big Idea into your life

Re-gain control of your time

"Reclaiming as much of the other 8 hours as possible is our first goal because without it, we are stuck… The more of the other 8 hours you have, the more you can focus on those pursuits that make your life more fulfilled and get you closer to reaching your goals."
- The Other 8 Hours, page 33

In order to maximize the other 8 hours, we need to ensure we have the time and energy to work on the pursuits we want to. Taking control of your time and identifying non-essential tasks is the first step. Pagliarini calls this PERK, which he identifies as Postpone, Eliminate, Reduce or Keep. Are there any unimportant and unsatisfying tasks that can be put off or eliminated to free up your time, such as excessive TV watching?

A related suggestion to PERK is to outsource activities that take a ton of your time and you don’t enjoy doing. This is especially helpful if you have a little extra cash but are short on time. There are numerous companies providing outsourcing services at various price levels.

One unconventional recommendation is something the author calls frictionless reciprocation. He describes this as doing a valuable task for someone without it requiring any additional use of your time. An example would be cooking a meal for a neighbor in exchange for him mowing your lawn. Cooking an extra serving of a meal requires minimal additional effort and is something you planned on doing anyway.

Once you’ve figured out what you want and freed up your time, become a creator.

Insight #2

An actionable way to implement the Big Idea into your life

Become a Creator and Monetize your Passions

"Sometimes you need to do something new and different to succeed."
- The Other 8 Hours, page 82

You’ve freed up your other 8 hours and figured out what you would enjoy doing more of. Use that newfound knowledge to start creating a new stream of income.

A creator is someone who produces or develops a side project or venture that brings inspiration to his life. The kind of “excitement you can feel when you are creating something you are passionate about.”

An initial consideration is a cost/benefit analysis. How much effort and money will the side venture require compared to results generated? Given the time constraints, focus on high leverage activities providing the greatest results from the least effort.

In addition, consider your unique talents, skills and experience to “produce the most value”. You don’t want to spend a year learning the business before you see a pay-off. Stick to your circle of competence. The author goes on to list several side gigs including starting a blog, freelancing as well as reselling and affiliating (via Amazon).

The other 8 hours are key to creating change in your life and “if you don’t invest the other 8 hours in the areas of your life that are important to you, those areas will shrivel up and waste away.What do you plan on accomplishing with your other 8 hours?

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John Petrone

ABOUT John Petrone

I was born and raised in Montreal, Canada and moved to Chicagoland at twenty-six. As an auditor, I travelled the world and lived in Europe for six months, applying my Italian and French speaking proficiencies...
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