Positive Countdown

Summary – The Positive Countdown Technique
Tick Tock Tick Tock

Everyone knows the importance of time. It is so important that time is one of the most discussed subject since well, the beginning of time. Brilliant people have actually come up with a lot of time management tips to maximize the usage of time. A few that immediately come to mind is the use of scheduling, 80/20 Rule, etc.

Personally, I don’t think it matters how much time we have, what matters is what we do with the time we have. You can be 1000 years old (like some of the fictional characters in movies) but if all you did was watching television all day long, you are then no better than a 30 years old who has make his first million.

I’m sure by now we can all agree that time is very important to us. But why is it that what we do everyday doesn’t show that we truly value time? We still wake up very late every weekend just to “recover some lost sleep” (which by the way we never lost). We still don’t know what to achieve with our life and we are already 30 years old.

The Positive Countdown

We have to admit that we are not really giving time the appreciation it deserve. In this desperate time, I have to resort to an ancient technique that may help us appreciate time better. A technique I personally call “The Positive Countdown”.

Assuming you are 30 years old. And assuming you will live until you are 75 years old. That means you only have about 45 years to do everything you want to do, and accomplish everything you can accomplish. That’s 16,425 days.

Now convert that days to Dollar. You are now left with $16,425 to spend. That’s not much money, don’t you agree? We really can’t do much with it.

The next step is to write that amount of money on your whiteboard and every day when you wake up just minus one from the board. Memorize the amount and think how will you spend your $1 of the day.

Anything you do that day must be worthy and that you will have no regret losing one day of your life to it.

The Idea Behind This Technique

  • We will usually get our boost of motivation when we know that the deadline is near.
  • We can see money, we can’t see time. We appreciate money, we apparently don’t appreciate time. So by thinking of time in term of money, hopefully we will be able to associate that feeling of losing money to losing time.
  • The technique is named Positive Countdown because, there are two ways to observe death, positive and negative way. A negative person will look at death in such a way, that there’s no point of doing anything since we are all going to die anyway. A positive person will look at it differently by planning the best way to live his life.
  • For the technique to work, you must constantly be reminded of how much money you now have, and what you are going to do with your $1 of the day.

– I wonder –
Any other techniques to make us value time more?

———– Personal Note ———–
I wrote an article as a guest contributor to Lifehack.org. Tell me what do you think :)

Photo Credit – Michael Fillion

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This post has 8 comments.


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  1. 30 Aug 08 5:54 pm

    nice idea banji…
    but i’m gonna go to the detail..
    lets say that i have to pay for my 1 hour of air in my lung
    meaning that i have to pay 24 ringgit a day just to live.
    (I dont have that much option do i?)
    so instead of spending it blindly,
    lets put the 1 dollar hourly to be as productive as can be.
    If i’m making curry puff and go selling it in the market,
    i’ll get some money, and i can use it to pay the air in my lung..
    yey!!^^

    But… then i would think twice just to sleep..
    hummmm… sir, can i get a 50% cut during my sleeping.
    50 cents per hour.. please!!:)
    heheh

  2. 30 Aug 08 9:53 pm

    Your article makes me want to revalue my whole life. I know I need some @#$kicking!

  3. 30 Aug 08 10:33 pm

    i read ur article at Lifehack.org but donno where to comment there,so I am gonna do it here.

    No matter how many times I speak publicly I still get those butterflies in my tummy.

    My ex-lecturer told us during a presentation class (she is a Toastmaster) that before you go out and speak to a public, lean against a wall and channel all the negativities to it.

    But my personal experience is that,

    1)know your subject in detail.
    2) speak with high confidence.
    3) imagine others know less than you.
    4) prepare some Q&As.

    Heck! It worked for me, had presented a proposal to get RM2.5M fund and even my ex CFO (MNC) bought the idea! (Seriously he thought I knew best).

  4. banji
    31 Aug 08 12:29 am

    DaPocket – Luckily the air we’re breathing is free. Even though there’s a chance things will change in a few hundred years.

    That’s an interesting idea as well. By putting value to the air we are breathing, we will know that we must justify each breath we took, whether or not they are helping us with our aim in life or not.

    A bit extreme but that may actually be the awareness we need.

    @k@kpokpek – Thank you for reading. Just like yourself, I never had any success removing that butterfly from my stomach. It’s a permanent resident there. Still, with those techniques, the butterfly’s activity is well controllable.

    Congratulation on the success of your proposal. You must be one very convincing presenter :)

  5. gina
    01 Sep 08 12:14 pm

    Salam Ramadhan Banji…:)

    a bit sleepy today…nak biasekan dgn new routine la katakan but terover sleep plak..ops
    if i could get $1 a day for 9 month pregnancy, i’ll felt much better kot..hehe melalut la pulak

  6. 01 Sep 08 3:02 pm

    Gina – 9 X 30 is only $279. You should ask for a raise :)

  7. 01 Sep 08 4:30 pm

    extreme as extreme as it may sound yah,
    what if after a while working in the curry puff business,
    and i’ve got 24million out of it…
    wont that make me able to live 1million day?
    hahahahah

    now i’m forgetting the very reason u’r making this whole
    idea in the first place. :)

    Selamat Menyambut Ramadhan to you brother,
    cant wait to see u in Shawal:)

  8. banji
    02 Sep 08 6:34 pm

    DaPocket – Selamat Berpuasa to you too brother.. yerp, Syawal the first is definitely the most awaited day for me too :)

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