Thursday, March 31, 2016

How to Save a Million Days of Time in a Lifetime

Yes, this does raise the bar quite a bit.

There are 1440 minutes in a day.  

                    Saving one million days x 1440 minutes = 1.4 billion minutes.

In order to save that kind of time I’m going to need a small army of people.  So how big is the army?  It’s about 2,000 people.  For military folks I think thats about the size of a regiment.  

The maneuvers of this army are unlike a traditional army.  This small army is rather autonomous.  Each person can act independently to achieve the goal of my previous article, “How To Save a Million Seconds This Year".  I’m using 40 years for the lifetime because it represents the median years of the average person’s remaining life expectancy.  

1.4 billion minutes / (40 years * 365 days per year) / 2000 people is about 49 minutes per day per person.  Let’s round down to 45 minutes per day per person.

Saving (investing) 45 minutes per day is pretty achievable for most of us.  Remember from my previous article, “How to Save a Million Milliseconds per Day”, that saving time is impossible, but what we really want to do is invest our time in things that matter.  

Why do you care about saving a million days of time in a lifetime? In the previous article, “How to Save a Million Hours of Time in a Century,” you were pretty stunned that I asked you to save a million hours of time in a century and that goal was impossible to achieve without enlisting 25 friends and family.

Saving a million days of time in a lifetime is a goal I have for myself.  It requires that I help 2,000 people save an average of 45 minutes a day during their lifetime.   This is a personal mission. 

If you would like to help me, please share this article with your family and friends.

Perhaps even ask if they would like to sign up to receive future articles.  But only do that if you feel you are getting value from these articles.

Here’s a couple practical things that can help you save 45 or more minutes of time in your day.

Save million days graphic

A Goal

Let’s say you want to work on physical fitness (this category is probably one of the most tangle).  A goal might be to run a 5k race.  Consider picking a local race…and there are so many to choose from.  Sign up.  Now you have a goal.  If you take this option, be sure to give yourself about 3-4 months if you are starting from scratch.

A weight reduction goal might also be very tangle.  There are a zillion ways to approach this, but perhaps a practical way to approach this is targeting a 5 or 10 lbs in 30 days.

Another way to slice this goal would be a goal to workout a certain number of days in the week.  Workouts might include yoga, weights at the gym or running.  Let’s say you wanted to start with 2 days per week. You might find a class at the YMCA or Local Gym that could help.  If you want to spend little or no money, you can easily grab a yoga mat and use YouTube as your instructor.

Another type of goal would be to read a book to improve your personal or professional skills.  Breaking this down into a daily reading goal is potentially a good way to decompose into bite size morsels. Here’s a couple of my favorite if you need a starter list
Along this same line, a family based goal would be to play 1 family game in a week with your entire crew.  Or perhaps have breakfast with everyone in attendance twice a week. 

Perhaps you are ambitious on this front and want to have dinner together every weekday.

A Calendar

You probably have a calendar app or perhaps you use Google Calendar or Apple Calendar or Outlook Calendar.  If you have a goal of doing a time saving activity such as personal growth or health or time with family or professional certification or personal activity, step 1 is to schedule the time in your calendar.  

Seriously, if you want to do that morning jog or yoga or breakfast with family, put it in the calendar.  Whether at home or at the office, we typically respect our calendar and do what it says.  So take the proactive step and put your ambitious plans on your calendar. 

A Buddy

I love to do things with my friends and family and you might feel the same way. It’s fun to go to the movies with a group or friend or spouse or son or daughter.  When you go out to dinner It’s more fun to share a meal with someone rather than sit alone at a table.  

This is also true for many of the aspirations that we have.  Enjoying solo success is seldom fulfilling.  Think about events like swimming or track where an individual competes alone. When he or she wins the race, the celebration is shared by coaches and family and not just one person. 

I had the ambition of running a marathon, and I shared it with a friend and we both began to dream and plan.  We both ended up running marathons within 12 months of each other.  Our plan to run together didn’t workout, but we achieved our dream and shared in each others the success.

Please leave a comment about the goal that you are trying achieve and your biggest challenge with reaching it.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How to Save a Million Hours of Time in a Century

In 2009 I told my wife that my new years resolution was to run a 5k.  

2009 went by without a lick of running.

In 2010 I told my wife again about my 5k plans.  She smiled.  Then awhile later she told me she had registered for a 5k.  I was shocked into motion.  I registered myself and bought a training program called couch to 5k.  The program started with interval training. 60 second run, 90 second walk and repeat for a total of 20 minutes.  By the end of the 16 week training plan I could run for 3.1 miles steadily at roughly 11 miles/minute pace.

Considering I had made a goal to run a marathon before I turned 45, it was about high time I started some kind physical activity.

Fast forward to 2016…

I’ve run numerous 5k’s (including a zombie 5k), many 10 milers, a few 1/2 marathons, a spartan race, a tough mudder and the marine corp marathon in 2014.  

Saving (investing) time in my physical health everyday resulted in the achievement of several goals that motivated good behavior changes include healthier eating, better scheduling for sleeping and rising, more energy and tons of fun with friends and family during these events.  

I don’t necessarily recommend a marathon, but the value of investing time for things that matter pays dividends.

What about saving a million hours of time in a century? What value is that?

If you haven’t started raising children yet, you are likely to start that adventure sometime in the future.  You will leave a legacy.  That legacy (i.e. your grown children and grandchildren) will be deeply affected by your daily life choices (even if you decided to let things just happen…that is a choice).  

My suggestion is that you make a choice to invest your time in training the next generation and help encourage your close friends to adopt the time savings (investing) behaviors.

Here’s how:

A million hours is about 60 million minutes and to save that much time you must save 1,644 minutes per day.  Wait a minute.  1,644 minutes is 27 hours.  You have to save every hour of the day plus 3 more hours that don’t exist.

You are a leader in your own right if you are a father or friend.
Including yourself, influence 25 other people to save (invest) 60 minutes a day.  And you will save roughy a million hours in a century.   For the math lovers: 1,644 divided by 25 is 66 minutes, and we’ll round down to 60 minutes.

It’s easier than you think

List 5-10 families and/or 10-15 friends.

If you are friends with 6 families with an average of 4.5 people in each family (2 adults and 2.5 kids), you can influence 25 people in the next century.

Biggest items for saving time


Personal Growth

In order to gain the greatest advantage of saving time, a deep understanding of your life’s mission and the goal of your time on earth are required ingredients.  

In fact, you might say there is a mathematical relationship between your understanding of your goals, the real depth of knowing your desires, and the effectiveness of applying your saved time.  If you know what you want, you’ll use your time efficiently to get there.

And that is why you need to use your saved time to grow personally.  To read, to think, to journal and to write down your end game.

The learning and the contemplation will result in clarity of purpose and the clarity of purpose with double your effectiveness.  It’s an awesome equation.  And it’s recursive such that you get the doubling effect over and over.

To help your friends and family (your sphere of influence) collectively save a million hours in a century, you must teach this concept.  

Go to coffee with your friends and talk about what you really want in life. Be candid and don’t use a script like, “I want to be happy” or “I just want to do good.”
Make your brain work on this topic.  And make your friends think deeply as well. 

Time With Family

This is somewhat of a platitude, “Quality time with family.”  So let’s remove some of the constraints such as “quality” and just simply say “time with family." The more the better. Why?

Consider what you would like to do in the future with your family.  5, 10 or 20 years from now would you like to take your kids and grand kids on vacation together and have fun?

Or perhaps in that same time frame would like to continue to pour your life into your kids and grand kids with love, attention and time together.

Or perhaps even later in life when you’ve slowed down to a crawl and need a little assistance, would you like to enjoy the company of your kids and grand kids?

Its easier to do that if you’ve built recurring family fun events into your daily, weekly, monthly schedule so that there is positive feeling about family. 

In order to help other families do the same, you can sponsor events to bring families together.  Invite your family friends over for board games.  For dinners.  Avoid movies events, but engage in interactive events such as bowling or roller skating or ice skating or hiking.

Time for Health 

Invest in health is one of the hardest things to do.  

We can see benefits from personal growth within days or weeks because we apply principles of better communication or leadership or listening.

We can see benefits from time with family as laughter and good feelings occur in real-time. Or a rehearsal of the memories brings back a flood of joy.

With health, it’s often a longer game.  
I keep thinking about playing soccer with my grand kids or having the mobility and energy to travel the world as a 60 year old.  And these visions help focus me on sustaining my body.  

If that doesn’t work, sign up for 5k or tough mudder and then you’ll have an immediate goal for which you must answer the call.

Measuring success toward saving a million hours in a century

I wonder what questions I can I ask myself each week to monitor my ambitions of spending time in the right place.  Here are some samples:

Given personal growth is great need, did I spend my time reading a book (or listening to an audio book) about 30 minutes a day?

Given my family and my future with them is a priority, did I spend about 30 minutes of day at breakfast or dinner or games or adventures?

Given my performance at work is critical to me, did I spend about 30 minutes a day learning a skill or reading to understand my industry better? Or perhaps I attended a professional event for a couple hours during the week.

Given my health and longevity is an essential part of my ability to meet my goals in life, was I  able to spend about 30 minutes a day on healthy activities?

Did I spend time with a friend or family member and encourage them on their path to invest time in things that matter?

If you sum these items above, you get 120 minutes. Let’s try for half of that amount : 60 minutes or 1 hour per day.  Let’s dedicate ourselves to  investing time and teach the next generation and teach our sphere of influence and we will save a million hours or time in a century.

Please leave a comment and let me know how your 'save a million in time' strategy is working out.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

How to Save a Million Minutes in Your Life Time

A million minutes is
16,667 hours or
                     694 days or 
                                         22.8 months or
                                                              1.9 years.

The median age of the population of the U.S. is about 37 years and life expectancy is 79 years of age.  Subtract 37 from 79 and you get an average remaining life expectancy of 42 years.  To make the math simpler, we’ll round down to 40 years.

Assuming you are at the average age you would need to save about 68 minutes per day to save a million minutes in your lifetime. Let’s call it 1 hour per day.

If this extra hour is invested properly it will results in a bounty of awesome results for you personally and for people in your sphere of influence.

This series of articles started with ‘Save a Million Milliseconds in a Day’, with a target of saving roughly 15 minutes a day. Followed by a second article ‘Save a Million Seconds in a Year’ with a target of saving roughly 45 minutes daily.  And this article focuses on consistent time savings throughout your lifetime with a higher bar of 1 hour of per day.

Time quote by oogway

How do we move from 15 to 45 to 60 minutes of savings (or rather investing our time)

Invested time is the time that you spend on things that matter, things that are truly important and that will leave a legacy.

The first step to saving a million minutes a year is to be consciously aware of that which is important.

In Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, he suggests an exercise of envision your 80th birthday party.  In this self created visualization consider the location, the people, and the conversations you will have with those attending the party.

For me, I placed my 80th birthday party in my backyard and visualized my wife, my daughters, my grand kids, my extended family and my friends.  I thought about my own character and legacy and the character of my children and grandchildren.  And I wrote this down and try to refresh the content or add details year after year.  

Another addition would be the end game of your professional pursuits. That could be the successful sale of a business or the retirement from a company after attaining a certain leadership position or perhaps the accomplishment of a significant goal that impacts the world.

Perhaps there are few things on your bucket list that you include in the 80th birthday party visualization.  
  • A pace of life that is active but not frantic.
  • A positive note about your personal health that enables you to be mobile, active and feeling good through all the years of your life
  • A lifestyle of traveling to places around the globe

Write down your visualization now…take 5 minutes…this article will still be here when you return…

This visualization will now be a beacon to guide you toward investing your time.

Here are some areas that may show up for you…

Investing in time with family

-This will develop a pattern of closeness and allow you to build character into your kids.

Investing in health to increase your longevity

- This increases your capacity to leave a legacy because you have energy and mobility.

Investing in your professional expertise 

-This provides you with tools and skills to achieve your work related goals.

Investing in your personal growth

-This will improve your understanding of your own goals and motives, and improve your relationship with others.

Tips to save (invest) 1 hour in your day

Let’s start with family…

In my previous article I mentioned that I have breakfast with my family every morning. The selection of breakfast is just a sample event.  The important thing is spending time to insure that the legacy of your family is strong. Other obvious options include dinner together or games.  If you have an intention or desire to see happiness together in the future, you’ll need to build that practice into your daily routine. (30 minutes daily … breakfast, dinner, games, etc.)


Part of your capacity to lead a fruitful life is your energy and mobility.  If you’re around the median age, you probably don’t have too many mobility issues, but as you move later into life, investments in physical fitness will be required to reduced your stress (longevity) and increase your stamina and muscle tone (mobility). (20 minutes daily)

Professional Expertise…

In order to achieve the results that you envision, you have will invest time in learning skills and collaborating with others.  Part of that learning on the job, but you will need to invest additional time outside of your daily job role.  In other words, you will be better equipped to achieve your professional goals if you analyze the things you need to know and the skills you need to acquire, and then allocate time to learning those specific skills.

For most professionals, interpersonal skills are the single most important thing you can learn.  Second is how to organize people to achieve a goal. A third priority is to engage in a community of other individuals in your field (30 minutes daily or 2 hrs in a single week).

Personal Growth…

What is personal growth and how does the visualization of the 80th birthday party relate? I’m going to suggest that the depth of your friendships, the ability to positively impact your family and community, your conviction about what your life is about, and your ultimate satisfaction or happiness or contentment in life are all wrapped up in this amalgamation called ‘personal growth’.  

This area of life is akin to a rudder and therefore the time spent here will direct the ship. Investments here have the highest return.  Examples of include, consistently reading books that move you toward your goals (30 minutes daily), time for contemplation that includes analyzing your daily and life goals (15 minutes daily)

30 minutes (family) + 20 minutes (longevity) + 30 minutes (professional) + 45 minutes (personal growth) = 125 minutes

That’s about 2 hrs a day, which sounds like a lot.  Let’s assume you consistently spend half that much time for all the activities listed. That is 1 hour a day. You are on course for saving (investing) a million minutes in your life-time.

Write a comment or send an e-mail and let me know where you struggle the most with your time savings?