The first time I heard this phrase “buy time” it felt strange to me. How can you buy time? It just didn’t make sense to me.
The more I explored this phrase, the logic of buying time became much more clear. All of us buy time without understanding its true value. Deceptively, it appears to be a byproduct of a physical purchase. Those that work at buying time believe the reverse. For them the actual physical purchase is the byproduct for the need to buy time. .
Buying time is the act of pursuing convenience over putting in the effort yourself. It is a more accurate explanation of saving time. We eat out to save the time it would take to prepare a meal and wash dishes. You are buying time when paying the bill at a restaurant. Catering a dinner for a party at your house instead of preparing the meal acts in the same way.
Contracting a lawn service to cut your grass is a way to buy time. Giving you back the hour it would take to do it yourself. Buying a DVR is another way to buy time by letting you fast forward through the commercials.
Signing up and paying for TSAPrecheck buys you time at the airport by not standing in as long a line to get through security. Taking an Uber or Lyft, buys you time by not having to wait for a random cab to cross your path to help you get to your destination.
Giving up our privacy by giving online stores our credit card information is a form of buying time by making our checkout faster at our favorite stores. Spending time to organize your room, an office, a desk or a garage is also a way that we buy time. By spending now and then “buying” it back in the future. Once organized, we can find things faster thereby saving you time & frustration.
You see, buying time doesn’t always involve currency.
The list is endless. Many apps that we buy for our phones are meant to save us time. By purchasing things that are meant to save us time, we are actually buying time back. The internet and our digital lives has accelerated our addiction to buying time.
All of this leads to the question of what do we do with the time we buy? And how does our deceptive understanding of convenience keep us from maximizing the value of the time we buy? Any ideas?