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Track Your Time with this Popular Toy

legosWe read a very interesting post by Michael Hunger at the Better Software Development blog. What we learned from Michael is that sometimes it pays to think inside the box! He uses Legos to track his time. You have to see his illustrations to really understand it. So go to his site and check it out!



His system

He puts a whole week on a single 8-peg by 16-peg base. He uses a different colored 1-peg by 8-peg piece for each day of the week. He breaks each hour into four 15-minute segments. So each row has a maximum of four blocks across, one for each fifteen minutes. If you work eight hours, you’ll have a max of eight rows high, one for each hour.

Then he assigns one of the nine colors to each project. He checks his start time and end time and then places a block for each fifteen minutes worked on that project. So if he worked on two projects in the first hour, for half-an-hour each, he would have a row with two colors in it, one color for each project.

The result

The overall result is that, at the end of each week, he can look back and see exactly what projects he worked on and how much time he spent on each one.

We loved how you could see what you worked on with a quick glance.  It really pops. It’s in 3D, so it brings time management to life. You can get a real sense of accomplishment by seeing exactly what you’ve worked on.

And it’s fun! Who doesn’t like playing with Legos?

In fact, Michael’s been using this system for four months and can only come up with one disadvantage – his co-workers keep coming into his office and disassembling his blocks!

Plan vs. actual

He points out that you could easily use this system to plan your week. You could determine what projects you need to work on and plan for how long it should take.

We thought it would be great to use one base for your plan for the week. Then use another one as Michael does to track your time. Then you could compare your plan vs. actual at a glance.

Identify time wasters

Instead of using the different colors for projects, consider using them for categories – the ways you spend your time. For example, one color could represent time at work, another could be for commuting time, yet another could be for watching television. You pick the categories. At the end of the week, you’d have a great visual of how you spent your time.

All kinds of other uses

There are a number of other ways to use Legos as a system. For example, why not track your diet. Use a different color for each food group and track the number of servings. You’d know at a glance if you have a balanced diet.

Why not track spending with Legos? Use different colors for different categories so you see where your money goes.

What are some ways you can think of to use Legos as a tool?


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(Image by Michael Hunger)