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.