Just like all of us enjoy getting a bargain, almost everybody is interested in finding ways to save some time. It seems like most would identify themselves as ‘busy,’ and the promise of saving time is certainly alluring. Whether it be tools or appliances or software or systems, the promise of saving time is certainly a powerful sales pitch.

And although saving time can be a great thing, it’s also important to consider what this ‘savings’ in time will actually cost. For instance, if I get a new gadget or piece of software, will there be an initial learning curve that will take quite an investment of time? If I pick up a new tool, or implement a new system, how much time will it take to not only set it up, but keep it going?

It can be fun to look for more efficient ways to work, but there’s also a danger that we may spend more time looking for better tools than the savings those tools actually provide in the long run.

There are no easy answers. But considering the total time investment into any new ‘time-saving’ tools—including the time spent researching and selecting these tools—can help us determine if the savings are actually worth making the switch.