How Much Time Do You Save?

How Much Time Do You Save?

I am big on trying to be more productive with my time. I am always trying to make my workflow more and more efficient, and cutting out steps where I can.

It is a great goal, but it can be easy to spend so much time trying to optimize a workflow that you don’t actually get the work done.

Melanie Sobocinski pointed me to this great xkcd comic that shows how long you can spend trying to optimize a task before you’re actually spending more time than you save.

Is It Worth The Time?

For example, if you have a weekly task[1] and you can shave off five minutes from that task, you will save 21 hours (not bad!) over five years. Therefore, if you spend more than 21 hours trying to shave off that five minutes, you’re wasting your time.

The point of all this isn’t the numbers, but to be mindful of what you are doing and why. Focus on the optimizations that will have the biggest payback time-wise. Launching ScanSnap Manager when the lid is lifted probably isn’t going to change your life, but making your documents file themselves just might.

(Image by xkcd)

  1. Like, for example, scanning and processing.  ↩

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

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