Posted in Future

Busting the myth about being time poor

This will be a real short one. (I am cheating with 2 posts today) and then none for a few days as I go away to celebrate my wedding anniversary (22 years) and the reason why it lasted this long is because I know well enough what will happen if I even try to get to a computer this weekend…

Anyway, being time poor:
Firstly, and most obviously, the amount of time can never ever vary. The way we measure it, the way we perceive it, means 24/7 is the amount that we have and it is the same for everybody. Get that people? It is the same for everybody, and it is the same every single day. Rich or poor, young or old; no matter how you ‘feel’ about it does not change the number of hours in the day available to you.

(Actually, there is no ‘secondly’.)

People are not and can never be time poor. The only thing that has happened is that we have become option rich: we have soooo many things we can do, choices to exercise, brands buy, places to go, that we feel a bit stressed. Some smart-ass came up with a lable for the obvious and got it wrong, and now we all believe it.

Now it wouldn’t matter so much if it was just a ‘manner of speaking’, but I worry about how my clients respond in the wrong way, because the problems is framed in terms of people having too little time, and they come up with corresponding solutions – except that it is the wrong problem!

The solution is not increasing speed of service (for example) but simplifying choice. Say you are a fast food operator: The wrong approach is to have a comprehensive menu and then trying increase speed of service. The right approach would be to make your menu simpler and take the time saved by the customer having to ponder their options, and use it to prepare a better quality meal. (Waiting time is the same, the customer feel less stressed and it is a better quality meal.)

I am not saying slow everything down and I am not saying anyone in the world wants to waste their time waiting in a line. I am simply saying the trade off required is not what most people think it is.

Next time someone says ‘time poor’, give them a gentle slap around the ears, and politely correct them: it is option rich…

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