Time really is money

People have been telling me this for years but it only recently started to make sense.

A while back I ordered a few things from an online electronics retailer. Just a few small items, a USB-hub, a HDMI cable and something else. Being true to my nature and well enforced students ways I automatically picked the cheapest possible shipping. Hit OK and sat down to wait for the deliver notice to be delivered by text. The text came (three days later) and it told me where to pick my things up from. It was a store a few clicks away from work. No big deal, I’ll just take care of it during lunch.

And so I did. Walk to the tram (5 minutes), wait for the tram (5 more minutes), ride the tram (15 minutes but since we are talking public transportation here, it felt like 30 minutes thanks to the gentlemen who also chose to ride that tram that day), walk from the tram (2 minutes), wait in line (20 minutes(!)) and then back again. When this was over and done with, I had spent more than one hour just retrieving my package. Time I could have spent at work, billing my customer.

Next time you have the option of paying a little bit more to save some time and still arrive at the same destination. At least consider paying a few bucks extra. Provided your ability to put food on the table doesn’t depend on it, it might be well worth it to pay a little more.

Like, if you are travelling, don’t get a dirt cheap motel an eternity away from the attractions you are there to enjoy. You’ll spend time and money on going back and forth, time any money that could be spent enjoying the attractions. (I once got a motel room about 45-60 minutes away from Yosemite, it was cheap but it also made me not do Half Dome)

The “trick”, figure out how much money you make in 5 minutes. If you ever can pay less than that to save at least 5 minutes. Take the deal.

Peace of mind does have a price and sometimes it isn’t even expensive.


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