One of the re-occurring themes that I keep coming across is that, “time is our most valuable commodity.” This has been a topic that I’ve heard smart thinkers like Simon Sinek, Gary Vaynerchuck, and Annie Duke expand upon recently in podcasts, articles and video I’ve consumed. It makes a lot of sense – time represents a common asset we all own, however one that we can never accrue more of. So, how do we make the most out of our time?
I work at Oaktree Products, which is a wholesale medical supplier to the hearing healthcare professional, and therefore, we ship hundreds of packages from our warehouse each day to our customers. During my high school summers, I worked at Oaktree in the warehouse, picking, packing and shipping out orders. Now that I work here full time, I sometimes will work in the warehouse filling in when the fulfillment team is short-staffed, like I am this week.
What has occurred to me is how easy it is to better optimize my time while I work in the warehouse in ways that were unfathomable a decade ago when I was in high school. Yesterday, I was able to seamlessly work while I streamed six podcast episodes from my phone to my AirPods. To put that in perspective, when I was working back there in 2009, I could have occupied my time listening to the radio, or using wired headphones connected to an iPod. I certainly wasn’t aware of what podcasting was. In 2019, I’m able to learn on-the-go without it negatively impacting my job performance.
This is such a profound shift for those working in jobs that are conducive to audio content consumption while they work. This brings me back to the way Marc Andreessen recently answered the question, “what impact do you think wearables will have into the future?”
“The really big one right now is audio. Audio is on the rise just generally and particularly with Apple and the AirPods, which has been an absolute home run [for Apple]. It’s one of the most deceptive things because it’s just like this little product, and how important could it be? And I think it’s tremendously important, because it’s basically a voice in your ear any time you want.
For example, there are these new YouTube type celebrities, and everybody’s kind of wondering where people are finding the spare time to watch these YouTube videos and listen to these YouTube people in the tens and tens of millions. And the answer is: they’re at work. They have this Bluetooth thing in their ear, and they’ve got a hat, and that’s 10 hours on the forklift and that’s 10 hours of Joe Rogan. That’s a big deal.
They’re at work. The question now becomes, “what will be the byproducts of portions of our workforce learning on-the-go?” There seems to be a whole lot of potential here that’s only recently been made available through new, non-visual forms of content, like podcasts, in conjunction with the rise of ear-worn hardware that is more discreet, comfortable for longer periods of time, and paired to our phones, like AirPods. We tend to split our lives in thirds – work, personal time and sleep. If we can start to blend work and personal time, then, as Marc points out, it’s a really big deal, because we’re collectively optimizing our most precious commodity more efficiently.
-Thanks for reading-