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?