How 86,400 Could Change Your Life

I’m 35 years old and live my life knowing I have roughly 40 more years on this planet before I suck earth for the rest of eternity (based on average life expectancy).

I’m 35 years old and live my life knowing I have roughly 40 more years on this planet before I suck earth for the rest of eternity (based on average life expectancy). That may seem like a depressing way of starting a blog but it’s the truth and like many things in life, it’s entirely based around how you look at it.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart,” the visionary Steve Jobs once said.

I choose to look at my remaining time on this planet as a blessing and am inspired by the countless possibilities to encounter all that life has to offer.

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with a local pastor who presented me with a more refined way of looking at the rest of my life.

86,400. That is how many seconds we have in a single day. Seconds. Days are for dreamers, hours for dry cleaners, minutes for telemarketers but seconds … seconds are for those who pursue life so passionately, that every moment counts.

The pastor posed a question to me, “What if you only had 86,400 seconds left to live. What would you do?”

The thought was jarring, as it was meant to be. What would I do? How could my life change by thinking in terms of seconds instead of days or years?

86,400 sounds like a big number but it quickly becomes small when you look closer.

  • Let’s say you get a full eight hours of sleep a night; that’s 28,800 less seconds to complete your daily goals.
  • Hopefully you’re commute to work isn’t more than the average 30 minutes; that’s another 3,600 seconds off the clock for a two-way, daily commute.
  • You eat well and set aside 30 minutes three times a day to refuel yourself; subtract another 5,400 seconds from the total 86,400.
  • Hopefully you work at a fulfilling career that values your contributions and ultimately helps to make you happy. Conservatively, you likely work a minimum of eight hours a day (I know, wishful thinking for a lot of us!); there’s another 28,800 seconds that you’ve committed to before you even opened your eyes.

That’s 66,600 seconds. 66,600 seconds just doing what we are all supposed to do at the minimum!

So what’s next?

Take a quick peak at some of things many of us do. They don’t make us bad people but now that we now we only have 19,800 seconds left in the day, let’s see how much time they take up.

  • You spend 180 seconds tearing yourself down in the mirror for not looking the way you want.
  • It took you 240 seconds to wait for your chance to complain to the face of the person who put cream instead of milk in your morning coffee.
  • Somebody cut you off as you drove into work and you spent the next 900 seconds letting it consume you and angrily venting loudly.
  • After an unimportant argument with your partner you let your pride and ego keep you from resolving the issue for 7,200 seconds.

You spent 8,520 seconds on negative things that don’t make you happier or your life better.

Now consider the opposite.

  • It takes less than 10 seconds to connect with someone by smiling.
  • Expressing your gratitude for a job well done by saying “congratulations” or “great job” to someone takes less than 30 seconds.
  • A phone call to the most important person in your life uses only 300 seconds.
  • Your pet, that faithful companion that is there for you the moment you walk through the door, only needs 2,000 seconds of your time to feel valued and loved.
  • Exercise your body with quick physical workout: 1,200 seconds. Exercise your mind by reading a book for 1,500 seconds.

We all have demands placed upon us. So many of the 86,400 seconds in a day are already spoken for, be careful what you do with the remaining seconds left in your day.

Examine how you measure time and reflect if it’s the most effective measurement both personally and professionally. Recently at Roma Moulding, we stop measuring lead times in days and instead focused on the number of hours it takes us to receive an order, create it and finally ship to our partners. It’s astounding what a difference it has made in the time it takes for us to get our products out the door!

The shocking truth: try this:

  1. Write down the three most important things in your life.
  2. Now write down three things that take up the most amount of time in your day.
  3. Now, think of ways to dedicate more time to the things you love

*You’d be surprised at the difference a few seconds can make!

Now that you’ve read the blog, check out the video I made with Roma’s Communications Specialist, Gordon Thain. We dive in a little deeper on the topics discussed in the blog and answers some of the big questions we posed!

Tony Gareri

CEO & Culture Enthusiast

Drawing from firsthand experiences, Tony addresses how a culture evolution can lead to improved business results and happier work environments.

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