Replied to Do you really know how you use your time? by Oliver Quinlan (Oliver’s Newsletter)

The clearer the understanding we all have of how we are spending our time, the more intentional we can be about this.

Another interesting piece Oliver. I always cringe when people are asked in meetings to provide an estimate about how long something will take or how much time they have spent on a particular task. I always feel like we over / under estimate such situations, especially if there is not a requirement to bill the hours.

Working in a role where I wear multiple hats, support, development and testing I really struggle to keep track of where my time goes. I wonder if the challenge is not only being aware, but also being in control of your time? I think this goes for both home and work.

I’ve read things like Cal Newport’s piece on getting things done and tried things like batching emails and responses. The problem I have every time I try such strategies is to get others onboard.

I am left with a question, how much of time is a shared resource? As you suggest, maybe I need to have a go a logging my hours.

Bookmarked 10 ways to become Time Rich (Medium)

My fifth book, Time Rich: Do Your Best Work, Live Your Best Life, is now available!

Steve Glaveski goes beyond ‘stealing‘ time to being proactive about how you use your time.

Tip #10: When you say “yes” to something, you’re saying “no” to everything else, and that might include your own priorities and goals.

Tip #9: We are aup to five-times more productive when we get into the ‘flow state’, or ‘the zone’.

Tip #8: The amount of energy required to keep a ball rolling is less than that required to get it rolling in the first place.

Tip #7: 80% of outcomes come from 20% of causes.

Tip #6: If it’s a step-by-step process-oriented task, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

Tip #5: Human beings tend to work on things long after the point of diminishing returns has been reached — we’re kind of like Forrest Gump running into the change-rooms after scoring a touchdown instead of stopping to celebrate.

Tip #4: Stop defaulting to meetings for everything, and if you must, keep them short — 15 to 30 minutes.

Tip #3: If you value your time at $100 an hour, then why are you still doing tasks that someone else will happily do for $10 an hour?

Tip #2: Reflect often on how you are spending your time. Be objective — what’s adding value and what isn’t?

Tip #1: Do work that aligns with your strengths, values, interests and market opportunities.

Replied to The Chronovirus (

For those of us lucky and healthy enough to stay home and isolate, what the virus really destroys is our sense of time. Days feel like weeks. Months feel like seconds.

I love how Ben Folds captures the current situation:

“It used to be ‘that song is so 2008’. Now it’s ‘ugh, that song is so 10am. What are you thinking? With that old song you old man?”

Virginia Trioli asked the question, what have you learned from living in lockdown? I have learnt that it is very difficult to do ‘deep work’ without a wife, especially when you are trying to work in a shared space. It can be easy to say you do not have the time, but I have found finding physical and mental space a bigger challenge.
Bookmarked What we get wrong about time (

Of course, although some physicists propose that time does not exist, time perception – our sense of time – does. This is why the evidence from physics is at odds with how life feels. Our shared idea of what the concept of “future” or “past” mean may not apply to everything everywhere in the Universe, but it does reflect the reality of our lives here on Earth.

Like the Newtonian idea of absolute time, however, our belief in how time works for humans can also be misleading. And there may be a better approach.

Claudia Hammond, the author of Time Warped: Unlocking The Secrets Of Time Perception, explores ideas of memory and time. It is often felt that memory is a library we can call upon whenever we like, however Hammond explains that we “forget far more than we remember”, instead every time we call upon a memory, we:

reconstruct the events in our mind and even change them to fit in with any new information that might have come to light.

The problems of memory is something Clive Thompson discusses this in his book Smarter Than You Think.

This continual revision of the past allows us to imagine the future.

The experience of time is actively created by our minds. Various factors are crucial to this construction of the perception of time – memory, concentration, emotion and the sense we have that time is somehow located in space. Our time perception roots us in our mental reality. Time is not only at the heart of the way we organise life, but the way we experience it … Instead of considering the past, present and future to be in a straight line, we can look on our memories as a resource to allow us to think of the future.

In regards to our sense of time going faster and slower, this comes back to questions of routine and novelty.

Some routine, of course, is unavoidable. But if you can create a life which feels both novel and entertaining in the present, the weeks and years will feel long in retrospect. Even varying your route to work can make a difference. The more memories you can create for yourself in everyday life, the longer your life will feel when you look back.

Liked T+S+R=W The necessary equation | John T. Unger (John T. Unger)

If you’re going to work in the arts, there are three things you must
have—Time, Space & Resources (Resources meaning materials and
tools, or the money to get them). You absolutely need all three and you
must have them simultaneously. In fact, this is probably true
regardless of what you’re trying to accomplish. Let’s do the math:


via Austin Kleon
Bookmarked It’s about time we inquired into time…. by Kath Murdoch (


Kath Murdoch reflects on the challenge of time and priority. She provides a number of suggestions to support this process, including being mindful, being consiously calm, remember we all have 24 hours in a day, resist the urge to plan too much and know your curriculum. This reminded me of Seth Godin’s statement

“I didn’t have time.” This actually means, “it wasn’t important enough.” It wasn’t a high priority, fun, distracting, profitable or urgent enough to make it to the top of the list.

I was also left thinking about Tom Barrett’s discussion of innovation compression:

We need to lead with a deep appreciation for what is on people’s plates. We need to avoid innovation compression by clearing the way, closing existing programmes and providing people the resources they need to make things work.

I think that hexagonal planning can be useful in helping with this process.