There was a guy who worked in a factory making parts for aircraft. In his younger years nobody cared about recycling. After a few months on the job, he realized he was throwing away 10 plastic caps, 20 metal screws, and 2 pounds of wires, every single day. He calculated how many parts he was throwing away every month, and figured out how many parts he would be throwing away each year.
In a years time he would throw away 2,400 plastic caps, 4,800 metal screws, and 480 pounds of scrap wires. That was just working the base 40 hours a week! He didn’t include overtime.
He began to count how many other workers there were and what recyclable materials they were throwing away every day. Many of the workers threw away almost twice as much as he did!
He decided to start a daily collection of all his recyclable materials as an experiment. In a few weeks he had filled buckets with the scrap parts. He decided to save them all in their own containers. At the end of the year he asked to have a meeting with his managers and explained to them what he had been doing. He then took them to a small storage room to show them what he had saved in years time. Everyone was flabbergasted! They couldn’t believe it! The entire room was full with recyclable materials.
He then explained that after a few months of working at this factory he became bored and made up a game to simply keep his mind busy. He decided to log how many hours in a day he actually worked. In an 8 hour day he calculated he actually gave the company about 6 hours of his time.
An 8 hour work day, 5 days a week added up to 1,920 hours a year.
The 6 hour work day he was currently giving his company added up to 1,440 hours per year. In one year, that was 480 hours he was getting paid for that he was not actually working.
Between breaks for the bathroom, team meetings, stretching breaks, getting drinks from the water fountain, and visiting with co-workers, along with other daily interruptions, he accomplished a lot less than he had originally thought he would.
He began to realize a few things:
Every second counts. Every minute matters.
Character counts. Mindset matters.
This being true, this man decided to really try to optimize every second and every minute of every 8 hour work day he possibly could.
That was when he came to the realization that there are another 16 hours in he day besides the 8 at work.
Could this same idea apply to other areas of his life? He wondered, “How can I be a better husband? How could I be a better father? What could I do, consistently, that would slowly but incrementally improve me in ways that will help me add more value to my workplace, the people in my life, and to people out there in the world I don’t even know yet? What are some simple and easy things I can do each day that will slowly add up into something of great value and worth?”