Reclaim your other 8 hours

The Other 8 Hours by Robert Pagliarini

Some time ago, I was introduced to this book called “The Other 8 Hours” by Robert Pagliarini. The crux is that you should create something significant, something of value during those periods of time where you’re not sleeping and not working. Wait, did I just summarise the entire book in one sentence? No no no no no, go read it. I’ll wait.

What, you’re back? You read fast. A deeper explanation: it’s not really your other 8 hours. So, you generally sleep 8 hours a day. Maybe more, maybe less. You work 8 hours a day. Maybe more, maybe less. Those “other 8 hours” of yours refer to the periods of time where you’re not sleeping, not working, not eating, not bathing, not playing with your kids, not having sex, not meditating, not brushing your teeth, not cleaning the house, not… oh you get the idea.

Robert starts with teaching you about the importance of those other 8 hours. He tells you about the impact to your personal relationships (family, friends), health, sex life, stress, and financial status. Then he tells you how you can reclaim those 8 hours (and your energy) back, such as learning to say no and identifying your LifeLeeches (I call them Dementors).

Ok, now what do you do with your “extra” time? Start creating stuff. Shift from being a consumer to being a creator. Write a blog. Compose a song. Draw a picture. Volunteer at a charity. Code a software program or game. Start a business. Design T-shirts and sell them. Promote your favourite band. Read. Speak at local events. Learn a new language. Pick up a new skill. Start exercising. Make hair ornaments. Interview someone you admire. Deepen your relationship with your husband. Help your son with that woodwork project. Say “Hi” and smile at that cute girl at the coffee shop.

Anyway, I wrote a more detailed review of Robert’s book in the January issue of Singularity. In it, you will find out a little known action that makes most people sick. You will also learn about my exercise routine. The routine might not be the most effective, but it takes about 20 minutes. If you can’t find 20 minutes out of your day (or week) to exercise, I’m not sure what I can do for you. Maybe Robert can.

If you’re looking for extra income, then your creations have to bring in money. Somehow. I can’t remember where I heard or read this:

You need to make money to make art

It sounds blasphemous, but it’s true. You still have to satisfy your basic needs: food, shelter, clothing. That money has to come from somewhere. Why can’t it come from your creations? You make art after your basic needs are satisfied. You can read this free ebook by Mark McGuinness for more information.

P.S. It took me ages to find a suitable font that renders that partially hidden 8 for the background image of the magazine article. I was trying to find an 8 with the closest look to that on the book cover. It took me just as long to find suitable images that I can use in the article. I use Compfight to search Flickr images.

  1. Ben

    Well, you don’t need to tell me to START creating stuff 😉

    I love creating stuff. It really gives me a buzz. Whether it’s coding a new web app, writing a blog post, or taking a photo for my photo blog, it’s something I really enjoy doing.

    I hate feeling like I’ve wasted an hour, let alone 8 hours. It happens – we can’t be productive all the time (believe me – I’ve tried!). But when you’re bored, it’s a great opportunity to do something useful.

  2. Vincent

    I’ve tried to be productive all the time too. I failed too. Now I’ve learned to give myself permission to relax when I want to.

    From my experience with other people, they tell me they’re drained out by the end of the day to do anything else. Then they tell me they watched a couple of hours of TV before going to bed.

    My take is that most people’s problem isn’t with lack of time. It’s lack of motivation.

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