How facing your own mortality can make you more productive
My Life in Weeks
This poster shows your life in weeks. It shows the past and — based on life expectancy — it shows the future. Each box is one week. At 32 years old, I’ve got a lot of full boxes.
Each row on the chart is 52 boxes meaning each row shows one year. You can also see that the boxes are sub-divided into grids: small column grids to show months and larger row grids that show decades.
At the end of every week, you have to fill in one of those boxes and acknowledge that that week is now done forever.
Why would I want this?
When I tell friends about this the responses have all been pretty similar: “That’s terrifying”, “Why would you want to see that?”, and “Wait, you paid money for that?” were some of my favorites.
For me the answer is simple: I want to see that I have limited time because it’s true. In fact, it’s actually on the optimistic side. I got mine to show the number of weeks I would still have if I lived to the age 100, even though living to 80 is more realistic. And that’s just flat out ignoring all of the chances of early death by other means, which, in a COVID-19 world, doesn’t seem like the remote possibility it once did.
It motivates me to use my time better
No joke, after getting this poster, my Facebook and Twitter use dropped immediately. Do I still use them? Yes. Do I still get sucked in and let them drain my time away? Sure, sometimes. But not nearly as much.