The Subjective Optimization of Time

This ia an illuminating story:

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Difference between perceiving time passage and time management. The difference between a 5 minute commute and a couple hour commute isn’t just how you perceive time passing. It is opportunity cost. If during the two hour commute, you can use your time to accomplish what you desire to accomplish, then the two hours doesn’t have an opportunity cost. If you just enjoy the time passage there is an opportunity cost.

People often confuse enjoying the passage of time with happiness.


There would still be an opportunity cost because in the two-hour commute your options are more limited. The underlying assumption that you can “accomplish what you desire to accomplish” presumes that is fixed and well-defined. It would always be preferable to have a 5 minute commute and spend the remaining 115 minutes at liberty to do whatever you want instead of the narrower set of options available on the commute.

It’s a great, big world out there: much bigger than the inside of a train.


I chose to subjectively optimize the use of my time by not clicking on what reads like a clickbait title :wink: