Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How to Save a Million Seconds This Year

I play Call of Duty: Black Ops with my daughters (both the original and Black Ops II). 

We typically play team death match and we are all on the same team. We like to keep the family on one team and the “bad” guys on the other team. Cooperative games help keep us “liking” each other.

Depending on who is play, we’ll have 2, 3 or 4 Teske’s on the same team playing against as many AI players as the game will allow.  

The next and most important debate we have is what difficultly to play.  

If you play Recruit, you will totally smash the opponents.  

If you play Regular, you’ll likely win with a decent margin.

If you play Hardened, you have a 50/50 chance of winning and you better bring your 'A’ game.  

If you play Veteran, you need your A+++ game, caffeine, luck, and my middle daughter … who is a terror to any opponent she faces.

Saving a Million Milliseconds a Day is equivalent to Recruit or Regular.


Saving one million seconds in a year requires an average daily savings of 45 min/day, 3 times the amount of minutes at the “Million Milliseconds” level.  This type of savings is on the order of Hardened and depending on your situation and capabilities, you might consider this the Veteran level.

In my previous article, “How to Save a Million Milliseconds in a Day,” I talked about several ways to invest time toward your the valuable life pursuits.

When it comes to saving random pieces of time on the order of 15 minutes, it’s pretty easy to find your top 5 time wasters and eradicate them from your routine.

Saving a millions seconds per year requires a more systematic approach.  My goal each year is to eat breakfast with my family every weekday.  I’m calling this 30 minutes of “saved” time. It’s saved time because, if remember from my previous article that you really can only invest time and earn the rewards of well spent time, you can never bottle up time and use it later.

First consider what is important

Your significant other is important.
Your intellectual growth is important
Your health is important.
Your family is important.  
Your friendships are important.
Your career is important.  
You could probably name a few other important things that are personal to you.

Level Up From Recruit to Hardened Through Consistent Behaviors

Below are example of systems that reflect what is important and will yield a time savings (investment).

Breakfast with your family - 30 minutes/day   

This investment results in bonding and discussion about all kinds of interesting things … Discussion at breakfast include stuff seen on YouTube, things read on Tumblr and numerous events from school or friends.  

To enhance this breakfast activity even more, I read a impactful quote and we discuss it briefly.  I do this because I want to set the tone for the day … to lead my family in the practice of good thinking.

Reading an educational book or listen to an inspirational audiobook book - 30 minutes/day

A natural outgrowth of knowing that your intellectual growth and your career are important is the adoption of learning as a habit. 

Well planned meetings at work - 30-60 minutes/day

In order to achieve better results at work, you will want to adopt a systematic way to make the most of your time with other people.  This doesn’t necessary mean you are militaristic with your meetings, but you must use a little time in preparation. 

Spending 5 minutes of your personal time can return 5 minutes to each person in the meeting. You just clawed back 25 minutes for 5 people or 50 minutes for 10 people. Everyone thanks you. If you have longer meetings, you might try a system that I propose in “Change your Meetings and Change your Life”.

This list is not exhaustive. Take out a piece of paper and write down 3 more items.
If we applied all 3 of the items above, it would result in not 45 minutes, but 90 minutes that can be reinvested in the valuable life pursuits of your choice.

Not everyday is so well structure, so we might achieve 50% of this (as you would expect from a battle at the Hardened level) and on average we would get 45 minutes.

Wow.  You just “Leveled Up”. You saved One Million Minutes in a Year.  Congrats in advance.

Write a comment and let me know one thing you want to invest your time in during this year.