As Tony Schwartz explains in The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, the results of various research studies clearly indicate that peak performers require at least 8 hours of rest (including sleep) to renew their energy. On average, those who are employed full-time must commit at least eight hours a day to their work. According to Robert Pagliarini, the other time while awake each day (about eight hours, hence the title of his book) will “determine your happiness and net worth.” He appreciates the need for energy renewal. He respects employment obligations that must be met. He also seems to have little (if any) patience for those who waste whatever discretionary time they have each day.
Yes, people also need to renew energy on Saturdays and Sundays and although they may not log time at the office or complete job-related tasks at home, they seldom (if ever) have all of Saturday and Sunday to do whatever they wish. I urge those who read this review and, hopefully, the book not to get hung up on specific numbers of hours. Many single parents tell me they have less discretionary time weekends than they do weekdays. Time and energy allocations vary from one person to the next, and for each person, one day to the next. Pagliarini’s objective, stated bluntly, is to help as many people as possible to “escape from the Living Dead and the Dead Broke.”
He divides his material into four sections. First, he introduces a framework and a mindset (Chapters One and Two); next (in Chapters Three and Four), he explains how to adjust allocation decisions so that more time can be devoted to what is most important in terms of achieving personal goals, whatever they my be; then in Chapters Five through Eight, he offers his own version of financial advice, comprised of “some new, unconventional strategies” for those whose who have not been well-served by “traditional” financial advice; finally, in Chapters Nine through Eleven, Pagliarini provides what he characterizes as a “blueprint” for “how to get a life,” based on his own experiences as well as those of countless others he has encountered. Although “the other 8 hours” are important, perhaps even essential to personal happiness and financial security, the number itself is far less important than the mindset one has with regard to discretionary time, and, the determination (indeed tenacity) one has to make the best use of that time.
If you are among those in need of help with becoming a “lean” thinker re setting and then defending priorities, I highly recommend the aforementiobed The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working and Rework co-authored by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson as well as David Allen’s Getting Things Done, Guy Kawwsaki’s Reality Check and Antul Geande’s The Checklist Manifesto.