Time

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Everyday you get a fresh page to write more of your life story. Keep a close eye on your pen, people will always want to borrow it. ~ Eric Bartosz

Why I am so obsessed with time? Because time is life. Our entire lives are the results of the cumulative time up until this point. Our history has created who we are. And it's with time that we can shape our future. Collectively - all the events in time have conspired to bring us to this point in time. And by the the time we realize it, this point is in our past. And just like that, the impact of our past on the present is permanent.

So we CAN change who we are by how we spend out time. The possibilities we can image can only be manifested in time, until our time runs out.

There is a life occurrence or a sequence of events unique to each of us. How we apply the time available ultimately defines us.

I do not fear death, but I do fear the moment the clock stops and I am not longer able to use time.

If we knew how much time was left, would be better about how we allocate our time?


A recurring dream and a recurring theme in my life... I show up to a triathlon (I used to race a lot), and I miss the start. Last night was the first time in a long time I had that dream.

Time is running out...

The grim reaper is coming...

Everyday, it's your responsibility to take action and tip the scales towards realizing your goals...

Every decision puts weight on the one side of the scale or the other. Your actions weigh you down (keep you stuck & hold you back) or move you forward (and close to realizing your ideal).

How you spend your time exposes you or promotes you.

How often do we ask ourselves: "Is this the best use of my time?"

What's actually happening today is the sheer amount of information is begging for our attention. When we give 'em our attention we give 'em our time.

Car sellers use a tactic known as sunk cost. The longer they keep you at the table, the more likely you are to finally give in. Timeshare sales people do it as well. It works best on those of us who are impatient. The concept is that the more time we've invested into something, the less likely we are to want to let it go.


There's been talk about ditching daylight savings time. Why not revisit time all together? Given the pace of life today, it's high time we redefine time. In reality, an hour today moves much faster than it did 1000 years ago.

Weekends and holidays will to be revisited. It makes no sense that we all have the same days off. There are simply too many people on the planet. Let's be smart about this. If your last name ends in A-M, your days of are Sat & Sun. If your last name ends in N-Z, you are off Mon & Tues. We all work Wed-Friday.

We've been getting hit with a premium for holiday travel for too long. Ever notice how much more you have to pay to travel around the Thankgiving holiday? No more traditional Thanksgiving. If your last name ends in A-M, you are on schedule A. If your last name is N-Z, you are on schedule B. Schedule A celebrates Thanksgiving in November. Schedule B celebrates 6 months earlier. While we still may experience a bit of a bump in expenses due to increased demand, it'll be nowhere near what it is today. Best of all, the entire system will be under less stress.

Given the fact our borders are no longer limited by space, why limit them by time? A universal clock makes way more sense. No more time zone. There is only one time zone - UTC. UTC is the coordinated time of all beings in the universe. If you are New York and we schedule call at 1pm, no matter where I am in the world, I know exactly when to call you.

As a layout my own timeline for the day, I need the ability to quickly zoom in (⌘+) and zoom out (⌘-). To see my timeline (hour,day,week,month,year).

It's time to redefine time.

Here's the wikipedia definition

Time is a coordinate, like a GPS coordinate. Life exists in time & space, so without time, life as we know it, ceases to exist.

When does time stand still? When we are in a state of flow.

But I see time as a deadline. The final deadline is when we take our final breath and our time is limited. Once you discover your purpose, time becomes your most valued asset.

What gets done is driven by time.

You can't make additional time, all you can do is decide how to use the time you've got.

I am struck by the fact that of all the other people born on the same day I was. I am not sure exactly how many, but a quick google tells about 350,000 others share my same birthday. As of today, those of us still living have been alive for 17,241 days. We have the same number of days up on which to use. It's not the number of days that differentiate us, rather how we use them.

What matters is what we do before we die.

What happens tomorrow is impacted by what we do today.

Do your best today and tomorrow will take care of itself. There's no point in beating yourself up for what you did or didn't do yesterday. In fact, the more time you spend in regret, the less time you have for today. Today is all that matters.

The final deadline we will all meet is our own death.

How we spend our time is of course how we spend our life.

Who or what is holding you accountable? When you are hypersensitive to accountability, you are hyperaccountable?

To meet the major deadlines in our life, we must meet all the minor ones first.

Revisit Deadlines.

There will never be enough time, but we find the time for what's most important to us. When someone is too busy for you, it's not that they don't have the time, it's that they choose to spend it elsewhere. That is, something is more important to them right now. Don't take it personally. You can't possibly find the time for everyone who wants yours either.

To the creator, the time we are given in this life is precious. Not just time to create, but time to experience, assimilate, and appreciate. Time to love our creations and the creations of others.

Flipping the model

I pay for a yoga studio where I can sign up for classes. I have the option to buy a 'punch pass' that for example would give me 10 passes to use towards future classes. Or I can pay a fee to get unlimited classes every month. After I signup for a class, depending on my preferences, I get an email reminder and/or text reminder.

I can login and see my schedule, but it doesn't have the option to link up to my google calendar (because my google calendar is not public). I do however get reminders via email that let me add the class to my calendar:

If I miss a class I signed up for previously, I get penalized and charged a $15 fee. In a gamification model, this makes perfect sense. The owner had to institute this system because too many people would sign up, reserve a spot, and then fail to show up (because there were no consequences for failing to show up). Brilliant!

What if a system like this existed for your workday? What if you all your commitments where booked in the same way? What if your calendar existed where others could book an appointment with you, and you charged for your services?

What if there was a system where you could build your own daily schedule, and have it nearly emailed to you.

What if there was a dropdown option to assign an agent, allowing you to build their daily schedule?

What if everything you did was tied to a deadline? And if you failed to show, you'd be penalized? But when you did show, you'd be rewarded?

You'd get paid just for showing up!

What agreements are you willing to make?

The digital handshake is your commitment.

And when you fail to meet your commitments, you will be penalized.

You can change your mind 24 hours before the event, but within 24 hours, the schedule is locked in.

You might want to build in some buffer, don't you think?

How might a system like this temper your goal, aspirations, and expectations?

Time is 2-dimensional, yet life is 3-dimensional.

"The key is not to prioritize your schedule, but to schedule your priorities." ~ Stephen Covey.

Significance

You increase your time the same way you increase your wealth - by investing it wisely. The key concept in Procrastinate on Purpose is that you shift your focus on ways to multiply your time, instead of being more effective with your time.

Pay yourself first is one of the basic rules of investing. So, invest your time first in the TMs (Time Multipliers).

It's the significance of the tasks that you choose to work on with the time you have that make the difference. It requires a deloading phase as Tim Ferris talks about.

Examples of TMs (Time Multipliers): * Setting up snippets in Atom * Building a workbook for my class * PubWriter

I'm also looking at the things that cost me time (and often money). Let's call these the time wasters. Compare it to

  • Saying no to jobs that don't allow me to multiply my time
  • Saying yes to events that drain my energy.
  • Anything that will commit me to a 'time debt' owed to others (saying yes to matchers)

More random thoughts on time (aka scraps)

  • Time is an incentive for action.
  • Without time, there are no deadlines.
  • Without deadlines, there is less to live for.
  • We tend to cast judgement on ourselves when we measure ourselves against time.

Time in duration of days on earth

What if instead of looking at the time as 2pm 9-28-17, you looked it as the number of days you've lived? It would be a number like this: 47-4-24 (Years, Months, Days). It would continually count up. And it would be unique for you (but you'd share it with whomever you share a birthday with):

You can calculate your own unique day by heading to https://www.tickcounter.com/countup and entering your birthdate as the start day.

Run a countdown timer to your next milestone:

Your milestone will be here before you know it. They are literally counting down every minute (this is a nice visual reminder).

Focus on the next 100 hours. This is best managed OFFLINE and in print.

How many of those hours are billable?

Create a list of must do actions in the next 100 hours.

Each year, you lose another life. You don't know how many you've been given, so you better try to win with every life you've got!

Taking this further, you could count down to when the day ends (Midnight). It would be like your own personal longitude and latitude in time.

Latitude: 47.4.24 Longitude: -9.50 (hour/minute) written as: 47.4.23, -9.50

It's code for the current day & time: 9/28/17 2:09pm

It could be decoded.

Waypoints

Another way to use your lifepoint is to define waypoints toward a desired location.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waypoint

A balance sheet for time

A basic financial balance sheet contains 3 columns:

  1. Assets
  2. Liabilities
  3. Equity

In regards to our time, you can break it down as follows:

Assets: Time available for our most important projects.

Liabilities: Time we are indebted to by obligation to work on other people's priorities. The financial debts that we owe can be tied to an obligation of time to earn to pay off the financial debt.

Equity: Time accrued is essentially unused assets. If you are employed, it's the paid time off you've earned by haven't yet used. It's the time you've blocked in the future for important projects and R&R.

How many of us are in the plus column when it comes to time?

What if before engaging a partner, we could look at their time balance sheet?

As you look at your week ahead, look at the time available as you would money in the bank. Where are you investing time? Where are you spending time? Where is the time predefined by existing liabilities?

What important projects (and people) are being neglected because you've failed to take into account your current time liabilities that must be first attended to?

When you start looking at time as you would a balance sheet, you will see who (or what) steals time, and importantly how to get it back.

Just like smart retirement saving, pay yourself first is the mantra to live by. Automatic investing is when deductions are taking directly from your paycheck and funneled to a retirement account. The money you save today is accrued (with interest) to be used later in life when your income earning days have ended.

The automatic investing for a seasoned time pro reflects auto calendar repeats for the important projects. The idea that I often plan my day around my yoga and meditation is a key example of this. If I sign on to support a project, it's vital that I allocate time in my week to work on those projects. It's also why deadlines on a project are so important.

As you begin your week, let's assume you have 40 hours available. You may have more or less, but for the purpose of this example, let's assume you are given 40 hours at the start of each week.

Make time for your existing priorities before making new commitments. Conflicting priorities arise when something potentially more important arises. Deal with it and recommit.

Time Debts

If you feel like time is a debt, then you've made some bad investments. Cut 'em loose now. You wouldn't hang on to a stock that lost have it's value would you?

Unbound

You are not bound by time. You are bound by the decisions you make on how you use your time. I've learned work begets more work. When you work yourself so hard that you're overwhelmed, stop working. It may seem like a paradox, but it works. Work begets more work!

Your time recipe

What does an ideal day look like? How much time would you spend on what? I love to read, write, and listen to music. I like to meditate. I like to eat. I like to hike. But would I enjoy those things if it's all I did all day? Not likley. This is the reason why what is fun as a hobby often loses is luster after it becomes a job. A job indicates obligation. A hobby indicates choice.

We are each unique, and rather than look at an ideal day, I choose to look at an ideal week. I use the LifeCycle App to help me get a better sense of where I'm actually spending my time.

My calendar is a plan. My log is reality.


Today, more than ever, can we ever afford to 'kill' time? Time was never free. Your life is loan and you have pay it back with interest.

In my work, I always seek ways to work more efficiently, but more importantly, how we do can make a greater impact.

Time is always on my mind. I know it's running out and few things are as irritating to me as a wasted hour. But I also have days when I awake and I feel like a misguided missile. I am like a heat guided missile chasing every hot spot or bright shiny object.

Because time is our scarcest resource, wasting it is the greatest crime.

The older I get the less time I have left to waste. Why did I ever waste time to begin with?

I think we waste time pursuing other people's goals because we've never taken the time to define our own.

A high payoff activity (HPA) is when we get to spend our time with the people we enjoy on what is meaningful to us.

Time is like Tetris

Like Tetris, time keeps moving. There is no 'pause' button. The blocks keep falling. You are rewarded when your blocks align and a row falls away. When that happens, you have more whitespace. The whites represents possibility of what you can do with the time that hasn't yet fallen.

I see each hour as a Tetris block. And when those blocks align - like completed a set of tasks that complete a milestone, there's a sense of completion. And with that completion comes reward.

Eventually time runs out at the game is over. Until then, the more rows you clear, the higher your score. The higher your score, the further you advance in life.

Time Apps

Further Reading

Want to dive into the topic with me further?

Books & movies about time

What are your thoughts on time?