June 9, 2011

Using Your Other 8 Hours

Eight hours at work. Eight hours sleeping. What about the other 8 hours? My biggest struggle with achieving my goals has been finding the time to fit it all in. Reading The Other 8 Hours by Robert Pagliarini has really helped me think about how much time I really have and how I can make better use of it through setting priorities, setting a schedule, and setting limits.

Setting Priorities
My goals are to exercise on a regular basis, wake up earlier, keep our apartment clean, increase income and decrease expenses, and write at least 2 blog posts a week. If I'm spending time on something that won't help me achieve one of my goals or benefit the well-being of myself or others, why am I doing it? If a book on my reading list will not help me reach my goals or at least be a good read, why on earth is it on there? Obviously, my husband has to come before all of these things. As I've learned, being a good wife for him has very little to do with cleaning. If he needs me to look over something he's written or just wants to talk to me, I'm not too worried about how much blogging I get done that day.

Setting a Schedule
I've resisted making a daily schedule for myself since I prefer to have spontaneity during my free time. But since making a chore chart and a menu plan have helped me stay on track, I decided having at least a general guideline couldn't hurt. If I really want to keep our apartment clean, I need to plan time to do chores each evening. If I want to write two or more blog posts each week, I need to schedule writing time. And when it's time to go to bed, I need to go to bed. That way, I can actually wake up on time and get 30 minutes of exercise that's a little more strenuous than hitting the snooze bar.

Setting Limits
You know those things that just suck away your time and suck the life out of you? Robert Pagliarini calls those Life Leeches. You want to get rid of those. He suggests eliminating activities from your life for three weeks and then deciding whether you want to resume it. While I haven't identified anything I want to eliminate from my life, I have set limits on some things. To help combat wasting time online, I've set limits on the amount of time I spend online each evening and have also set limits on the number of sites I follow with Google Reader (25) and Twitter (60). I only follow with Reader if I absolutely don't want to miss a post on that blog, and the rest I follow on Twitter. I've also removed a few nonessential Facebook friends, but I'm still at 200. That one's a lot harder.

Needless to say, I got a lot out of The Other 8 Hours. This is only the second book I've read this year that I'm considering buying for future reference. As the title implies, it's more applicable to those working full-time, but others could easily skip around to sections that interest them. I skipped through the parts about starting a big business venture involving investors but read the sections on blogging and freelance in detail. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to "get more time, get more money, and get a life," or any of the above.

Do you struggle with using time in a meaningful way? If not, what are your secrets?  :-)

Other Books Read in 2011

1 comment:

  1. I have also read the book. It was interesting. The book changed my attitude towards life. My goal was to get out of debt comfortably. Once the goal was set, I started looking for ways to ditch my debts.

    I made a list of all my creditors and the amount I owed to them. I called them personally and arranged a repayment plan with them. I even consulted a financial counselor and took his advice on the matter.

    Next, I created a budget. I restricted my impulses to buy expensive items from the shops. I used my money for meeting the necessary expenses only.

    Finally, after 1 year, I became debt free.


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