Lately, I have been contemplating the idea of getting myself one of those fancy Apple watches, since my brain tells me that it might be able to add value to my life.
Since I identify as a man who enjoys the benefits of “simple living” or minimalism, you can imagine how the thought of getting such a superfluous item has been a source of internal conflict for me.
I am torn on the subject, because I am also a productivity enthusiast, and in this regard, I get immensely excited every time recognize an opportunity to save time. Even if we are talking about a few seconds here and there on a continual basis.
In the case of the Apple watch, I envision how I could save a few seconds whenever somebody texted me, and I would be able to tell whether or not to respond, by just looking at my wrist, as opposed digging up my smartphone from a tightly fitted pair of jeans.
Another case example would be, whenever I want to shot off the Philips Hue lights in my apartment. It would be a few seconds faster to do it by tapping my wrist, rather than unlocking my phone, and do it from there.
As I said, the potential wins in time I could enjoy from getting the watch would only be minuscule. But seen through an accumulative lens, a few seconds gained every day, quickly amounts to hours on a yearly basis – at least, this I how I rationalized getting it at first glance.
But then I thought deeper about it
If we seriously want to do the calculation of whether the acquisition of a time hack is worth it, we have to include all possible variables that might be related to time and energy.
In the example of the watch, we need to factor in the initial time investment we have to make, just to actually get the watch. Here, I am talking about the required money that you will have to work for and earn, plus the time it takes to go out and actually buy it.
Doing my regular job, it might take my around 30 hours of work, just to accumulated enough funds to match the retail price. Add the about 30 minutes it would take me to order it on the internet, and decide on the design.
Further, we need to imagine how much of my time it will take on a continual basis. For instance, the watch has to be recharged every night, and this will probably cost me something in time.
Lastly, we have to think about, for how long this gadget will be functional and able to provide me with the gains in time. I estimate that such an advanced watch would probably last me around 3 years.
We are then ready to make the final calculation
We guess that the watch:
– Costs 30,5 hours (1.830 minutes) to acquire
– Takes about 5 seconds of my time every day
– Gives me around 15 seconds in time every day
– Lasts for 3 years (1.095 days)
In total, the watch costs me:
5*1095+1830 = 7.305 minutes
And in total, wins me:
15*1095 = 16.425 minutes
And I thereby get a surplus in time of: 9.120 minutes, or 152 hours (during 3 years).
About 50 hours a year. Not bad actually!
Of course, all variables in this calculation are completely pulled out of my ***.
I am only presenting this method, to give you an idea about how to think of potential time hacks.
It even gives you a way of comparing difference hacks, to make it easier to decide on your next investment.
To be honest, making this rough calculation was kind of an eye-opener for myself, and now I have to think even deeper about whether to get myself a new watch or not 🙂