It’s Thanksgiving morning, and I’ve resolved to steer clear of any work, except for clearing my email inbox. Simple enough. It’s a holiday, so there are only two emails that actually require a response. Unfortunately, it’s also the day before the biggest shopping event of the year—Black Friday. So, every website I have ever visited feels the need to tell me about their amazing sale, coupon code, or free shipping offer. When I open my email client, I have 143 emails in my inbox. Remember, only 2 of these are emails that require a response for me. The other 141 are pure solicitations, spam, and miscellaneous inconveniences. I spend the next 7 minutes clicking “delete.” And, I spend the next 17 minutes being annoyed by the previous 7 minutes.
Suddenly, it hits me—this is how every day of my life begins—with a steady stream of nonsense I have to delete. It’s not hard to do, it’s not particularly time-consuming, it’s not even that annoying. It’s a mild inconvenience. But, it’s also a DAILY inconvenience. More importantly, it’s a completely avoidable inconvenience. All it would take is taking an hour or two to unsubscribe from every email list. I do the math. I figure I spend 5 minutes a day deleting unwanted emails. If it takes me 2 hours to eliminate all unwanted emails, I’m saving time after 24 days. By the end of a year, I will have saved 1,825 minutes—that’s 30 hours. That’s almost an entire work week! I realize that the best way I can spend my first day back at the office is unsubscribing from email lists. Fast forward to Monday. I’m up at 7am. I’m done unsubscribing by 8:13am. It’s the best way I’ve spent 73 minutes all year long.
The next realization is the profound one. My whole life looks like my cluttered email inbox. My life is full of small, daily rituals that waste a minute here or there. They go unnoticed only because they take such a small bite out of me, I never notice how quickly my time is being eaten alive.
This month, at WBI, we are resolving to eliminate inefficiency in our lives. No inefficiency is too small for consideration. If we do the math and conclude that we can save even a few seconds a day by taking a few minutes today, we will take the time.
On Thursday, we are meeting as a company to discuss our ideas for saving time throughout the year by spending it wisely today. We will share our best ideas on a subsequent blog post. It is our hope that you will join the conversation with your ideas, and that you too will commit yourself to spending your time exclusively on the people, events, and objectives that mean the most to you.
Categorized in: Runway Blog