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Measuring Time

Those that read management literature would certainly know of Peter Drucker. His famous saying “know thy time” and more importantly his emphasis on measuring the usage of your time should be a focus for any individual contributor or manager in the business world. Today with technology we have many tools at our disposal to determine how time is used throughout day. I have previously blogged on time and have mentioned tools such as RescueTime in other posts. RescueTime will measure what applications I am using on my Mac and will also provide a breakdown on whether the sites I’m visit on my browser are productive or not.

Recently I purchased an Apple Watch for the primary purpose of efficiency and measurement. For example, I can measure time, health, progress with tasks, weather etc. I am also able to receive notifications only through the watch and can now turn off all other device notifications. It is great having a one stop device versus my typical day of getting distracted by endless device notifications from my computer, tablet and/or smart phone. The watch is also great for measuring various exercise routines as I can see my pace, heart rate, distance and how long I have been at it.

The watch is the first step however the applications are what makes the real difference. I purchased a new application called Intervals so that I could measure the time it took me to complete repetitive tasks. I had tried some other applications via my iPhone however Intervals is far superior with its functionality and user experience. I have setup a number of intervals which are essentially a set of tasks with associated times that can be repeated if needed. The application will count down each task with the time I allocate as well as measure any life vitals if they are related to exercise.

For example I have an interval for my morning routine where I traverse through affirmations, reading, journaling, visualisation, meditation etc. I also have an interval when I perform high intensity interval training (HIIT); for example my weekly sprinting routine. You set intervals up and you execute the interval on your phone or watch. I can see where I’m improving and/or regressing. What is most important is that I’m committed to stick to time and not waste it with distractions given time is running out. Said differently, Intervals puts the concept of time square in my face versus not being aware of how much time I’m actually using.

Denzel Washington in the movie Equalizer played the role of an ex-secret agent. At the beginning of the movie Washington is in his kitchen performing his morning routine. You see him measuring how long he takes to execute and complete each task via his stop watch. You even see him measure the time it takes during a fight scene later in the film. Given time is your most precious resource, you should be measuring it; not wasting it unknowingly.

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