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Why Change to Flowtime?


There are several good reasons for changing to flowtime:

1. Flowtime divides time up into smaller quantities.  This gives people the potential of accomplishing more in the same period of time.  Instead of 60 minutes per hour, there are now 100 minutes.  Instead of 1440 minutes per day, there are now 2400 minutes per day.  Instead of 3600 seconds in one hour, there are now 10,000 seconds per hour.

2. The advent of digital time makes the base-60 method of measuring time obsolete.  When the only type of clocks were analog clocks, base-60 type clocks made more sense.  With the advent of digital clocks, counting down from one minute 20 seconds to 59 seconds introduces a gap as the time reaches the one-minute mark.  It would be more intuitive to go from 101 to 100 to 99 seconds, than to go from 1 minute 1 second to 1 minute 0 seconds to 59 seconds.

3. Flowtime provides a more fine-grained analysis of time for sporting events.  A basketball or football game played on Flowtime would have that many more time parameters built into it.  While it will not literally make the game last longer, the possibilities for additional plays is increased because the unit of time is smaller. The same idea applies in daily life.

4. The advent of computers and other time-oriented equipment makes it necessary to measure time in every smaller chunks.  Computer time is now measured in nanoseconds.  While we donít need to measure our ordinary time in nanoseconds, flowtime gives the option of having a more fine-grained analysis of time.

5. Many time accounting systems are based on decimal time. When I was at Commercial Union Insurance Cos. in the early 1980s, I had to fill out a timesheet accounting for every minute of my time. This was done on decimal time. So for example if I worked for 3 hours and 30 minutes on a project, I wrote in 3.5 hours for that project. I always had to make that conversion from flowtime to decimal time in filling out the timesheet. Flowtime works much better with time accounting systems because it already is decimal time. (This was pointed out to me by Nora Rogers of the Flow Research staff.)

6. Here's an analogy that will help explain the value of flowtime. When I make coffee, I use a coffeepot that has markings for 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 cups. I usually make 5 cups. I have often wished that the coffeepot had marking for 3, 5, 7, and 9 cups, since I have to estimate what is halfway between 4 and 6. Flowtime is like a coffeepot with extra markings -- it enables you to measure time to a higher degree of precision.

Also imagine measuring with a ruler that only has the 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch markings on it. If you want to measure something that is 4 3/8 inches, you will have to estimate the halfway point between 4 1/4 and 4 1/2. If you then switch to a ruler that has the 1/8 and 1/16th points marked off, you can make a more precise measurement. Flowtime is like a ruler of time that gives you more precision than our current time system.

7. Where's the payoff in this switch to flowtime? Why does it matter what time system we use as long as everyone has the same one? The payoff in switching to flowtime is that when you switch to flowtime, you will almost immediately become more productive. The reason is quite simple. You have more minutes at your disposal. Let's say you have a group of tasks to do, like making three phone calls and writing two letters. Under regular time, you might give yourself 45 minutes to do these five tasks. Under flowtime, you have 75 minutes to work with. So you can allocate 20 minutes to the phone calls and 40 minutes to the letters, giving you a total of 60 flowtime minutes. You've saved 15 flowtime minutes, which is the same as 9 regular time minutes. Of course, the duration of 45 regular time minutes is the same as the duration of 75 flowtime minutes, but psychologically you will work faster if you compress the amount of time you allow yourself to do a project. Flowtime allows you to compress time because you have 100 minutes to work with while previously you had only 60.

READ MORE: How to Convert to Flowtime

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