Saturday, 9 August 2014

Where are My Other 8 Hours?

  Working 8 hours in an office and sleeping an average of 8 hours a day - that makes you an average person. What you do in the remaining 8 hours - that's what has the potential to make you different! These 8 hours are when you meet new people, get interesting ideas, start your own business, learn a new skill, and basically be on your way to getting the life you want.

  But wait a minute, how about the time spent getting ready for work, commuting to work, having dinner, relaxing and going on Facebook/9gag/Twitter? Also, does anybody actually keep "9 to 5" hours? Last I checked, my employment contract say "9 to 6".


  Yes, what we do during our "8 hours" (funny) does have the potential to make us different if we make a conscious effort to be aware of that time and make active choices on how we want to spend it (instead of defaulting to 9gag-mode) but first, I think it would be simpler if we did not see "the other 8 hours" as actual 8 hours in one sitting but as a loose reference to time spent standing still in a train (not while walking to the train station and going down those stairs), time spent sitting on the toilet, and any time spent after dinner and before bed (which is around 3 to 4 hours for me), assuming you do not put in overtime at work and you do not have kids. If you do, there probably goes your free time.

  But wait - you'll be surprised by how much time you can find/create from close to nothing by 
  • BOOSTING - boost your income with a part time job where you do nothing
  • FRICTIONLESS RECIPROCATION - do favours that take little or no additional effort on your part to get favours
  • AVOID LIFELEECHES - reduce activities that drain you of time and energy e.g. TV, internet and social media, being disorganized, trying to change others, working for a workaholic


  As always, money requires a two-prong approach - saving and making money. There are many personal finance books which offer solutions to saving, for example by automation (see The Automatic Millionaire) - The Other 8 Hours proposes a method called PERK - identify expenses that can be Postponed, Eliminated, Reduced or have to be Kept i.e. fixed expenses like rent.

  Next would then be to create income by improving your skills and finding new avenues (the author lists 10 ways to Cre8te) (so read to find out!) to increase your income. However, before you get swept away in your quest for more money, it is important to note this very important thing called RISK because..from the words of a man who DID make it rich, Rule #1 is: DON'T LOSE MONEY.


  Rules - rules to keep you safe while you're exploring your new path so you minimize any risk that comes your way. 
  • KEEP YOUR DAY JOB - keeping working hard and saving, at least until you achieve success
  • GO NUCLEAR - decide how much effort is required and if it matches the expected returns
  • KNOW YOUR HABU i.e. Highest And Best Use - focus on your unique talents, skills and experience
  • LIMIT RISK - consider ways to limit risk such as always negotiating fiercely and making small bets
  • SWING OFTEN - be flexible and willing to adapt and change
  • MARKET - create a product which has a market
  • MONETIZE - make sure whatever you sell gets you money
  • OWN - your day job provides you with your safety net, so explore opportunities that will give you ownership


 The above is a summary of The Other 8 Hours. If you have liked the points shared above and would like a more in-depth read, do purchase a copy of The Other 8 Hours by clicking on the links. Please note that these are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

  You can also read similar introductions to Good Books on Personal Finance here.

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