How do timesheets work?

I had a long conversation with my mom tonight. The main one had to do with timesheets. I was able to explain to her that 4:30 (4 hours and 30 minutes) equals 4.5 hours. But when she sees 4.10 hours, she can’t understand that it means 4:17 (4 hours and about 17 minutes). I tried to show her the conversion, but I don’t know if I’m explaining it correctly. I spent a lot of time trying to show her, but to no avail. Help please? There’s gotta be some paper out there explaining it in simple terms…please! Help! (I tried below – have a laugh, then help me?)

4.30 doesn't equal 4 hrs and 30 min?

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Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. He's also a cat whisperer. Sometimes…a photographer, and card magician.

13 thoughts on “How do timesheets work?”

  1. My best tip? Pick the XhYm notation and stick to it. Your mom probably knows how to add minutes. Don’t bother giving her decimal notations. BTW 0.1hour = 6 mins, so 4.10 is 4h6m, while 4.17hours = 4h10m.


  2. 410% of an hour is just as profound as the conversions I tried to explain. You know,

    So how could I explain that to my mom? That’s pretty much the same thing. She just doesn’t understand that 4.10 isn’t 4 hours and 10 minutes. The reason is that she doesn’t work over 4 1/2 hours for this part-time job; her time clock won’t show anything more than 4.50.

    If it’s 4.20, she thinks it’s 4 hours and 20 minutes, etc.

    I made a couple notes on the sheet picture above (I love Flickr). I still don’t know how to better explain it. There’s gotta be some simple diagram how this all works.


  3. Me again. Maybe you can explain to your mom that the number after the decimal point is presented, for mathematical purpose, as if the there were 100 minutes per hour. Since it’s not true and we have only 60 minutes per hour, we need to transform the value after the decimal point.
    Here is how it works.
    Say, 4.10–> you will write
    solve for x. That’s changing the unite to regular minutes.

    Hope this helps. 🙂


  4. Hey Luce, thanks for resurrecting this post!

    I remember asking her if she ever figured it out, and she says she did. I think she just didn’t want to discuss it anymore. I’ll definitely try to remember that for future reference. (Well, if this blog is still here, it’s searchable – yay!)


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