Time is Money: Part One - Don't ever hit snooze

To kick off the new year I’ve created a four part “Time is Money” series that looks at how you can change your habits in order to boost productivity and reach a greater potential. This series reveals a handful of areas in which you can look to make subtle improvements in your day to day habits in order to get more out of your time.


I’ve always liked the thought that it takes three weeks to form a habit, so for the last three weeks I have somehow conjured strength from depths previously unknown and not hit snooze once!

To give some background context, I have never been an early bird and have a loving relationship with the snooze button, but to close out 2018 I decided it was time that I got up with the first sound of the alarm to get the proverbial worm.

Let me tell you why I chose to break this habit and why the old Lachlan was committing such a sin.

Previously, I used to be a serial offender of hitting the snooze button. In fact, at some point in my life I would quite literally set up 25 alarms at 2 - 3 minute intervals just to ensure I could get myself up, and you could bet your bottom dollar I was still lying in bed when that last alarm went off - disgusting I know!

But the focus of today isn't the psychology of this atrocious habit, it's the numbers! 

Now I don’t expect everyone to be as bad as me, but let me show you how half an hour of snoozing per day costs you both time and money.


Of course you love the feeling of whacking that snooze button and rolling over back to sleep, but how much time is it actually costing you? Only half an hour? Perhaps, but half an hour adds up. If you keep up this habit over the course of an average life expectancy of 80 years, you're literally snoozing away 1 year and 8 months of your life, or almost 15,000 hours!

Let’s think about what you want to achieve in life. Whatever it is, that extra time would help, and I bet when you’re on your death bed you would do anything for time like that.


For others, there's a more effective metric we can use to get this point across, so let’s talk about money.

It wouldn’t be fair to say you you lose $10 for every half hour you snooze if your hourly working rate is $20 because you wouldn’t be normally working at this time anyway, so let’s do a slightly better analysis on how much the snooze costs you!

Let's calculate a lifetime’s earnings for someone who works 50 years from the age 20 to 70. I’ve conservatively assumed this person starts on a $30k salary, which increases at 2% per year until retirement.

This person earns $2,587,382 over this 50 year period. On average, this is $51,948 per year, $142 per day, or $5.93 per hour. So really, our time costs us $5.93/hr. In this same 50 year period, if you fail to break your snoozing habit, you’ll have snoozed away $54,111.


Of course, we can't really ever calculate the cost of our wasted time, but the exercise itself is a fun way to show that time really is money. Unless you don’t care about 15,000 hours of your life, or think you'll have $54,111 lying around to foot the snooze bill, I'd be looking to break the snooze habit now.