A few weeks ago I did a cost benefit analysis of flossing to work out whether it was worth the time. Though time spent flossing does add up to a lot over a lifetime, if you want to save serious time you’ve got to find efficiencies in actions that take up a lot of your time. Commenter Pattie-oh for instance made a good observation:
Showering less frequently would save more time for most people while having no negative health consequences. In the US, many people shower every day (sometimes more than once a day). Skipping a shower probably saves about seven minutes, as opposed to two minutes saved by not flossing.
Showering every second day could be a good time saver if you live in a cold place and don’t particularly enjoy showers. I shave every only second day because I find it quite time consuming and my work doesn’t especially care.
But these are still only small matters in comparison to the thing you spend the most time on every day: sleep. Even minor improvements in the efficiency of your sleep can save a lot of time.
This post over at Reddit has a number of suggestions for how to sleep better, with the author claiming to have reduced the time they need to spend sleeping by 20%, which would essentially increase their waking lifespan by 6% (HT Hugh). A few of the ideas, like the climate controlled room, are expensive, but most of them are simple. They would certainly be worth doing if they could save anything like an hour a day as suggested. One of the suggestions is taking melatonin pills, which is analysed in detail on LessWrong.
I am going to work through these ideas and keep an eye out for a better sleeping environment when I next move house.