How Long Should You Spend on Making Tasks More Efficient?

By Jamie Condliffe on at

These days everyone wants you to hack your life in order to make your day-to-day existence more efficient. But there are times when the effort's not really worth it — and this chart should help you work out what to spend time on, and what to ignore.

Put together by XKCD's Randall Munroe, this chart tells you how much time you should spend on making a task more efficient based on how big a saving you can create and how often you have to perform the task over a five-year span. It makes complete sense, and is pretty revealing: if you can slice a minute off a 30 minute task you perform every day, then by all means spend an entire day trying to make that task more efficient.

A lot of the time, though, the savings just aren't worth the effort. Just make sure you don't spend too much time reading the chart — because that's hardly efficient, is it? [XKCD]