The cost of time

Plan Your Next: Letter No. 13

How much time is lost by saying, “Yes?”

You know what I’m talking about. There’s a new email about a new thing that is now available from that one company.

In my inbox this morning, I’ve got 4 emails asking me to buy, subscribe or learn something new. The cost of saying yes to each of those is not insignificant.

What if, instead of determining the cost of our expenses in dollars, we thought about the time we had to give up to pay for it?

Saying yes to just one of those products would have cost me 14 hours.

That’s the equivalent to watching an entire season of The Office.

If I had clicked “yes” to each of those emails, the sum would have burned 58.33 hours of my life.

What does each hour of your life cost you?

How much time could you gain back?

You’re being sought-after, re-marketed, and targeted. You’re easy to spot. Your habits, your interests, your desires are all out there.

We can buy directly from Instagram or Pinterest now. Soon, our reality will include the virtual buying will never be easier.

At one time, we thought we were wasting money on cable channels we never watched. The telecoms and newly created companies found ways to fill those gaps.

Netflix. Hulu. HBO. Showtime. Amazon Prime. Sports. Phone plans. ISP connections. All sold separately.

It seems that no one is losing time faster than us.

Apple just released their new phones and watches. Start preparing for more new products this fall.

Capitalism says that the consumer is always right.

We’re losing more time than ever before, and our opportunity costs are piling up.

We’re great storytellers, and maybe you just need a story from a new perspective to see things differently.

So what do we do?

You stay flexible by minimizing the impact each hour has on your life.

Your question

In the moment you’re considering a purchase, do you have method of choosing whether it’s worth it or not?

The most basic equation

It’s not perfect, but add up all of your monthly expenses, and divide that by the waking hours in a month. Let’s round that nicely to ~480 hours in a month. (I’m hoping you’re sleeping enough)

Monthly life expenses/480 = Hourly lifestyle cost


Matt D’Avella directed the Netflix documentary, Minimalism. I’ve found his popular YouTube channel refreshing this week. I often revisit the concept of minimalism, since I’ve lived in small apartments for the past 7 years.

Have a great week!

xx Nate