Few things in life are fair or distributed equally with one exception: time. No matter where you’re born, how much money you have, or your chosen path in life, everyone only has 24 hours a day. And in New York City, it often feels like 24 hours flash by in an instant. After almost 7 years of living in the city, I’ve become accustomed to the pace and often feel antsy when I need to wait a few extra minutes for anything throughout the day. Perhaps this sense of anxiety is not healthy. Luckily, there’s help! Aside from forcing time for yoga (or simple breathing exercises on the subway) and leaving New York every now and then, I’ve been delighted by products and services that offer me shortcuts. In doing so, they provide the biggest return on investment that I could ask for: time. Here are a few examples that fill me with giddy excitement (perhaps too much):
- Uber – No more waiting for a cab in the rain or searching for one in an impossible city like San Francisco
- Electronic boarding passes – Say goodbye to waiting in the check-in line at airports
- Gate Guru App – No wandering around an airport terminal looking for a decent place to eat or checking a TV monitor for updated flight information
- Kiosk check-in at hotels – Why doesn’t this exist everywhere? Dear Hertz, please provide this
- Blue Apron – As someone who loves to cook because it’s relaxing and allows me to express how much I love my fiancé, I will make time for it. This service allows me to pull together nice meals with unique ingredients without spending time planning recipes, measuring ingredients, and going to the store
- Zoc Doc – Instantly schedule next day appointments with doctors and dentists within a few block radius of my office
- Everything Apple announced at OS X Yosemite, such as handoff syncs that work across devices, airdrop between IOS and Mac, Instant Hotspot, HealthKit – an app that centralizes your health information, etc.
Time cannot be saved, only repurposed. There’s no way to stretch the 24 hours in a day, but smart companies are helping consumers use their time more productively and reallocate hours however they choose. These companies are empowering consumers with control over their daily schedules and a greater sense of freedom from having more choice.