What my eyeliner habit taught me about time

And how it affected my worklife.

Everyday, after changing into my work clothes, I spend a few minutes applying 2 things on my face — moisturizer and eyeliner. Like most days, almost on muscle memory, I went through the usual cap-twist , dip, and line routine.

Today however, I deviated by checking my watch.

10 minutes.

After over 4 years of patronizing this cosmetic, it just dawned on me that I spend 10 minutes everyday, applying eyeliner. And because it gives me a good feeling, I did my habit of mentally calculating everyday numbers — to figure out exactly how much time I devote to this over a year.

The result?

60 hours. thats 240 in 4 years. or 10 Full days. 10 full days of applying eyeliner.

And through this simple time-awareness exercise, I figured something about time that I already knew — that small numbers add up.

This means that if I consistently waste 10 minutes daily for say, stalking an ex-flame, or being in a conversation where the main goal is to conclude whether someone’s gay or not, or even just worrying — it adds up.

In the same way, if I keep with my recent goal to do x number of phone calls a day, and x number of meetings a week, it will add up. Even if it’s just an hour of focused phone-calls, and even if it’s just 30 minutes of client face-time — it all adds up.

The question is, which numbers do I want to add up?