The Other 8 Hours

Recently I’ve run across Robert Pagliarni. I stumbled across him as I was getting into the personal finance blog world, and I’ve loved the title of his book, “The Other 8 Hours.” The concept is that the “other 8 hours” is the hours you are not working at your day job and sleeping.

What do we do with those hours?

Realistically those 8 hours for me aren’t really 8 they are about about 6. Because here is a typical day. And I bet it’s kind of similar to yours!

6am-wake up and get ready
7am-travel to work
4pm-travel home
430pm-get home

If I started my 8 hours at 430pm I’d be up  until 12:30am. But sleep is important to me so I try to be in bed by 1030 or 11pm.

That gives me 6 1/2 hours to do something with other than sleep and work.

So what do we do with them? We eat, get on the internet, watch TV, talk to our family, go work out, etc., etc. And all of those things are fine. But when you spend time doing one of them be reminded you will never get that time back. Time is a non-renewable resource.

So the point is to make sure our other “8” hours are spent doing what we want to do. They are spent on what is important to us; not on just what “comes our way” or happens to fall in our lap.

For me, there is a lot that I’d like to spend my other hours on. Right now here are some of my priorities:

1. Working out. I don’t go every day but more days than not at least 1 of my hours is spent on this. Usually more than 1 hour.
2. Blogging. This shouldn’t take long but I want to spend some of my other 8 hours blogging and connecting with people.
3. Learning. This is where most of my other hours go. I’m currently enrolled in school full time so this semester I am studying the Bible, economics, biology and history.  It’s a lot of reading. A lot of lectures. And a lot of homework. It takes a lot of time. =P I also include my blog reading here since it is also learning. 😉
4. Family and friends. Ultimately, there’s nothing more important to me than love. Love for God and love for people so I want to spend time with those closest to me as well as spend time reaching out to others. I don’t do this enough but I’d like to do it more consciously.

Of course, there are my dreams of being an entrepreneur and starting businesses and investing money and being a millionaire, but right now, those 4 things take up much of my “extra” 6 1/2 hours. Because THIS is a typical evening after getting home:

430pm-Brief myself on my financial situation (overview budget, look at accounts, etc.), read some blogs and do some homework.
530pm-Help with dinner and then eat dinner with my family
630pm-Watch TV with a friend
7pm-Go to the gym
730pm-9pm-Work out at the gym
9pm-Head home from the gym
930pm-Get on facebook to connect with friends/watch TV/do more homework/sit and talk to a family member/eat a late snack/write blog for next day
10pm-get ready for bed

Sometimes that schedule doesn’t sound quite as productive to me as I’d like it to be, but really, I’m enjoying my life right now. At the age of 20 and going to school full time and working full time, those extra 6.5 hours are special to me, and for the most part I feel as though I am using them wisely. When I am not doing school (if I take a summer off or when I get my degree) then I hope to make those other hours look different–more concentrated focus on business ventures and such.

Answer in the comments: Do you think I should spend my other hours more wisely? How do you spend YOUR other 8 hours? Is it what you want to be doing?