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Brainstorm this... Leverage of Time, Money, whatever

Posted on 2009-04-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi Experts,

I have been thinking about the the Law of the Lever (>  I am trying to compile a list of Life areas where this law could be applied.

The Goal is: How can I "get more" for "less"

Some examples are naturally: A Job takes me 2 hours to do.  If I program a Computer and "let it run" it will take only 10 minutes.

Good examples would be:  Input: 10 US$  Output: 1 Million  (just kidding, ;-)     Or ways to expand what you could do in 1 hour....

You get the point (if not, I assume responsability and will contribute with more comments).

Thanks for your "Brain Time".  Maybe we could come up with a useful list of "actions" that have some sort of "Leverage" built into it.

Question by:MasterandCommander
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 24085945
This makes me think of "The crisis of credit" :

Especially the part about 2 minutes into the movie (watch all of it anyway - it's interesting ;) ).

Author Comment

ID: 24085946

I should add: The solutions / Ideas should be usable in practical ways....

Author Comment

ID: 24085959

Wow, Infinity08!  That was FAST!  What is your Secret???   :-)

I will watch that.  

The "problem" with my question is that in our minds it is related to "Financial Leverage" and the Results therefore... :-(

I mean to apply this Principle in other areas of Life, where this Law finds application...

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LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 24085974
That was just the first thing that popped up in my head when reading you question ;) (and that's what brainstorming is about, isn't it) I'll see if I can come up with some more ideas.

Author Comment

ID: 24086067

Very nice, Infinity08.  I just watched the Video.  Yeah, I've read quite a lot about "THE MESS"...  No, that is not what I am looking for.

Just "little solutions" for the everyday life with "big results"
LVL 53

Assisted Solution

Infinity08 earned 100 total points
ID: 24086179
Ok, some brainstorming here :

Buy stuff in bulk ... You pay less for more.

Share a garden with your neighbors ... More garden for less effort.

Install solar panels ... Initial investment results in decreased energy bill.

Do the dishes with the whole family ... It's faster and more fun.

Author Comment

ID: 24086529


Thumbs up and...

...we got the Ball rolling!  Good points.

I know, some points will be called "common sense", but I would like to have a little "collection" of ideas, since I think that a mindset like that is helpful.
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 24089056
Some people have the ability to help you with a problem in a way that makes you understand the problem -and the solution! I suppose that is beneficial to both parties: the person with the problem will not have to seek help for that sort of problem again and the helper will not be pestered by that same helpless person again with that same problem... I guess that helping people in a way that stimulates their curiosity and sets their thought processes in to "learning mode" is a way to get more for less.
LVL 31

Accepted Solution

Paranormastic earned 600 total points
ID: 24091086
Building off of rid's comment - using posting in places like EE - you can spend a couple minutes posting a question and occasionally checking in to get a congomeration of ideas and solutions instead of searching all over the web and racking your brain for ideas.  You get to benefit from saving many hours or days of research and effort by makinga  couple of simple posts.  I like to think of it as 'distributed administration' - feeding off the knowledge and experience of a couple of experts in any area that you need to know about but don't, or get stuck on an issue.

Your friends and colleagues network works similarly.  You do something simple that youare good at (say troubleshooting your friends internet connections) that requires little effort from you, in return they help you fix your car, plant your garden, obtain new recipes, decorate your house, or whatever is easy for them but difficult for you.  Your one area of expertise offered occassionally yields a number of returns all around in other areas.

Another good example, I think, is the spaghetti dinner / fundraiser.  A small investment of time and money - say a few hours of organizing, advertising, shopping, cooking, and serving yields a big turnout of people that help raise hundreds or thousands of dollars for something that would have taken weeks or months to raise otherwise.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Nancy McCullough
ID: 24093931
I am going to completely avoid anything financial, and resort to effort and time examples of leverage.

A student who struggles through school may find that they are stumped at exam time. Cramming meaningless data into their mind produces less than favorable exam results.
To leverage their time prior to exams, it would be better to get a tutor who can fill the gaps of their knowledge and provide that which would be needed to apply analytical skills. This generally results in a higher grade at exam time. A higher grade can lead to scholarships, advancement, careers, etc. School is a constant teeter totter of leverage.

Another example might be that of a typist. A secretary who types one letter to 100 clients, with minor differences in each, might need 30 minutes to type each one from start to finish. This would total 3000 minutes, or 50 hours (an entire work week+)
However, if he had a template and changed only the fields that varied with each one, it might only take 5 minutes for each from start to finish. This would be a total of 500 minutes or 8.3 hours (1 day). Leveraging resources of the computer is an important part of the 21st century as we know it.



Author Comment

ID: 24095038

Very good points.  I like the idea of "Pay it Forward".  And a better usage of Computers (sometimes we make Computers our "Masters" instead of our "Slaves"...)

Simple, yet brilliant observations.

Waiting for observations from other Experts as well...

Assisted Solution

cdbosh earned 100 total points
ID: 24103536
Don't forget the "opposite end" of the lever law - don't apply pressure to the short end of the lever!

A good example of this, and sorry to throw your mind back into our global financial meltdown, but, don't borrow money to make a payment on another loan.

Another short lever: spending more money on a hybrid car to save money on the gas - do it for the environment, but don't do it for the money!   ;-)

And another: engaging in daily nagging for your spouse to change a habit - give it up, they don't change!  Instead, find the other end of the lever, i.e. something they do that you actually like, and encourage he or she to do it more.  You'll both feel better, and you may even feel good enough to overlook that annoying habit of theirs.

Author Comment

ID: 24105390
Quoting cdbosh:

"And another: engaging in daily nagging for your spouse to change a habit - give it up, they don't change!  Instead, find the other end of the lever, i.e. something they do that you actually like, and encourage he or she to do it more.  You'll both feel better, and you may even feel good enough to overlook that annoying habit of theirs."

Smart! :-)  

Never read it that way...very smart indeed.  

See, how valuable it is "to put our heads together".

Hybrid car > True.  My father did it for the money savings and they are, well....not worth the hassle.  At least he's paying on the R & D Costs these things have and hopefully further "down the road" we can have "all green cars" (whatever that will be).


Assisted Solution

mandelia earned 600 total points
ID: 24144974
Well excuse me for diverting a bit, or may be taking a step back.
"Leverage", this is a dangorous word. because it hides the risks inside. The risks that should be understood well before leveraging. We have all seen the curent financial crisis and much of it was due to un-understood risks while leveraging.
Now this holds true even or time. The example that you presented, looks fine as a progressive step, but to use that kind of leveraging without fully understanding where you want to "invest" your saved time is dangorous. Further risks are loss or process knowledge in a longer run.
We leverage a lot of things. Money and time as most easily understood, but relations religion, friendship, emotions ..... are things that we do leverage more often. And the joke is : then we try and hedge them. A husband takes leverage of wife's trust. A sinner leverages belief in GOD. Leveraging is like a lever. you need lesser efforts to pull heavier objects and so you tend to lift heavier objects without analysing what to do with it.
Well comming back to the question. The best and worst form of levergaing i can think of is leveraging ones thought.
Some interesting ideas:
Leveraging Land: Mutlistoried appartments.
leveraging Intelligence : Outsourcing, using more machines.
leveraging language : Slangs
leveraging self : Cloning
LVL 49

Assisted Solution

DanRollins earned 600 total points
ID: 24190904
Little things add up.  For instance:
  • Place the things you get from the cabinet most often at arm-level.  It may save you only a one second and  half of a Joule each time, but if you live in that house 10 years, that's a lot of lost time and wasted energy.  The time you spend reorganizing your shelf is leveraged into the future.
  • Get rid of overhead.  It's amazing how recurring costs add up over time, and soon they seem like background noise over which you have no control.  Pay off the car.  Get rid of two of your landline phones.  Buy your own cable modem (instead of paying the cable company $4.95 each month to use theirs).   Wear a beard and a ponytail --- save time and expense in shaving everyday and avoid monthly barber costs altogether.
  • Don't do everything yourself.  If your time is worth X per hour, and doing Y takes away from your billable hours, then leverage your time by hiring somebody to do Y part-time at X/2 per hour.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31567438
Loved the answers.  I will leverage off your answers and branch this out ;-)  

Good stuff DanRollins > loved the "Organize your cabinet" idea (saving half a joule, funny...but true)

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