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Big Idea 2015: Technology Can Save Us Time, But Are We Spending Those Extra Hours Well?

4 minute read
Maynard Webb is Chairman of the Board at Yahoo! and founder of Webb Investment Network. Webb is also the author of "Rebooting Work: Transform How You Work in the Age of Entrepreneurship".

Everyone starts with the same number of hours in the day. But what differentiates us is how much we get out of those hours. The most successful people achieve things in less than a third of the time it would take an average person to complete the same task.

But now — and in a trend that will grow in 2015 — we are seeing more tools and hacks that will allow everyone to gain an edge on Father Time, allowing us to complete more, achieve more, and enjoy more in less time than ever before.

There are several advances in technology that will rapidly increase productivity:

Electronic Payments: Apple Pay and Visa Checkout enable us to save time from filling out information and making payments simpler and more secure than ever before.

Working Idle Assets: Airbnb and Relay Rides allow us to leverage our assets when we are not using them, and make money when we are not working, allowing us freedom do more in other areas.

Automobiles: Incredible advances are being made with cars, and I know my investment in a Tesla not only saves me money — I charge it at home overnight, when I get better rates and get credits for the solar panels I put in — but it also saves me time. I’m never wasting cycles of productivity sitting at a gas station. In the future, we will have driverless cars, allowing us to accomplish other things while we are in transit.

On Demand: I no longer wait to see the news in the morning paper, but get my updates from Yahoo! News Digest, an amazing tool that culls the biggest headlines curated just for me. I read all of my news on my sports teams on my phone and when I am waiting in line at Starbucks. Twitter is another example of an increasingly popular platform for scanning real-time news. I used to spend my mornings searching for that news; now I use that extra time I get back to work with the entrepreneurs we invest in and help more people make their ideas a reality.

Wearables: No question that there’s been a lot of hype around IoT, especially as it relates to high-tech wearables. Wearable devices are now at the heart of just about every discussion related to IoT, and I believe that 2015 will see us continue to move from viewing these as fun novelties and interesting gadgets, to a game-changing influence with the potential to not only disrupt the modern business world (i.e. Salesforce Wear), but also help us to be more productive in our personal lives.

In 2015 we will all have the opportunity to save more time than ever. But in the midst of all of these productivity hacks and exciting advances we must remember to retain our humanity. We must not spend meals with loved ones on our smartphones. We must not squander this saved time scouring Facebook or binge-watching seasons of TV shows. Too often we get savings in one area, and we waste it in another. Let’s not do that.

This coming year we should think about how to spend our newly gained time and resolve to give it back to the world. The people who learn how to harness time for good will be the most successful and make the biggest impact.

This Influencer post originally appeared on LinkedIn. Maynard Webb shares his thoughts as part of LinkedIn’s Influencer series, “Big Ideas 2015” in which the brightest minds in business blog on LinkedIn about their predictions on ideas and trends that will shape 2015. LinkedIn Editor Amy Chen provides an overview of the 70+ Influencers that tackled this subject as part of the package. Follow Maynard Webb and insights from other top minds in business on LinkedIn.

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