Free Yourself From Marketing – The Non Value Added Trick


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Marketing is one of the fastest ways to overspend. Looking at marketing from a quality aspect will free you to save money. Its been too long to not address the 0 Value Added nature of Marketing-

Beat Marketing – Save Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

It never looks like this. And why is there a fire in the background?



During my masters, I took a marketing class. It was horrifying and I can’t Unsee.

Your Lifechanging Homework:

  1. Turn on Cable TV.
  2. Go to BET and watch the commercials.
  3. Go to the Country Station and watch the commercials.
  4. Go to comedy central, watch the commercials.

This is an actual challenge for you, It woke me up. Spend a moment and watch commercials.

The Math

To show you how quickly a Marketing gimmick can set you back-

You buy a new car, costing you 20,000 dollars more than your specified quality requirements needed.

Future Value = Present Value (1+Interest Rate)^Number of Years

Future Value = 20,000*(1+0.07)^30 = $150,000

$20,000 as a 35 year old has the Future Value of over $150,000 by retirement.

Creating Quality Metrics

When I look at a problem, I break it down to Cost, Time, and Quality Metrics. A product’s marketing doesn’t convert to any tangible quality metric. This makes it easy to objectively analyze what value you get out of a product.

As some examples of quality: Taste, Expiration Date, Beauty, Long Lasting, Uniqueness, Potency, etc… These matter. A hilarious joke during the Superbowl? Non Value Added Marketing.

Brand Names- Hit and Miss

I’m a huge fan of offbrand products for commodities.

However, there is sometimes a correlation between a name brand product over an Offbrand. Offbrand Goldfish crackers don’t seem to have quite the Crack. Goldfish Crackers are reliable, they always tastes good.

We buy brand name Frozen Broccoli because Great Value gave you broccoli stems and called it broccoli. This is very much a quality metric that you can define:

Is a Broccoli Floret- True/False

You can make a better decision, instead of grabbing the brand name, it might be better to look into alternatives like Fresh or a lower cost Brand. But it needs to be a Broccoli Floret

(Note, not all quality metrics need to be a number like Calories Per Dollar, they can be Boolean(True/False). )

Selecting Products Objectively

  1. Define what quality metrics you are looking for
  2. Look over prices of products that meet Quality Specification
  3. Select the lowest cost product that meets Quality Specifications

You Will See Marketing Everywhere

Marketing evolves quickly. Black and white commercials were straight forward. Today entire organic looking podcasts/websites dedicated to affiliate sales yet they have fans.

Sneaky Modern Examples

Here are just a few examples that you may have seen recently:

Instant Pot on Reddit, Facebook, Mom Blogs, Twitter, and Instagram. All organic looking posts, done by marketing teams.

Soylent’s Vitamin and Protein Powder marketed as a magic drink that feeds you. They even have fake Facebook accounts to make fun of their name to seem organic and popular.

Aldi was caught on Reddit acting grassroots. (Astroturfing)

Health Insurance’s show. High cost plans actually cost you MORE money if you broke your arm and got cancer in the same year. Giving people 5 options called Gold and Platinum are marketing and a worse product. This is a scummy and unknowing people pay literally hundreds of thousands of dollars extra in their lifetime because of it. I’ll do the math when Insurance Season comes around.

Marketing Quality

Marketing is an unfortunate part of any successful business and will always be necessary. Its up to you to learn about products and break it down to things important to you.

Redbull charges insane amounts Caffeine Per Dollar to make their product a scarce luxury. Then they throw parties for various social communities. We’ve attended a Redbull Art Gallery and Starcraft party. I support Redbull’s marketing. They choose to invest their resources into their fans rather than product deception.

While I’m not a believer in Organic, Gluten Free, Preservative Free, Filtered, Natural, etc.. Products. These are real quality metrics to be considered.

There can be specialty premium that I pay for, but they are Quality based, not Marketing. H&M clothes are only good for 1 season. I will go for brand name jeans that fit well and last.

I often see Protein Powder + Nutrition Fads are putting a spin on everything to mark up whey protein more than 300%. That’s Marketing.

Superstar Brands

Gucci, Tesla, That nice watch… Those are Veblen Goods

Veblen Goods

That watch didnt cost 1,000 dollars to make, but you want it. Nike Shoes and your store only has 30? Scarcity. Rolls Royce, very pretty interior, but you can get a pretty interior for under 300,000 dollars.

What Quality do you want?

Do you want a stylish watch? You can get something beautiful AND interesting for easily less than $100.

Do you want a nice pair of shoes? Do you need the Nike logo? Or can you find shoes that have more support, fit better, and last longer than this week’s Nike?

You want a fast car? What are the lowest cost vehicles that can hit 200 mph? Could you rent them?

High prices are a marketing tactic. Artificially tricking the user to assume high quality when luxury products are notorious for a short life.

Be smart, laugh off these tacky companies.

Protecting yourself from marketing is big money.

Despite seeing through these examples, I’m a puppet to marketing daily. Top Instagram accounts, ‘The News’, the popular page of reddit, twitter hashtags, and more are controlled by massive companies with insane resources. News is what a person wants to teach people. Marketing is unavoidable and no one has time to put up their guard 24/7.

If you can beat Marketing, you will be enormously wealthy while “The Joneses” will keep buying what their TV tells them.

Keeping a close eye at you resources, you can allocate them. Looking at what you purchase and quantifying it based on cost and quality free yourself from the burden of Marketing.

-Michael Kirk

Reminder, Your Lifechanging Homework:

  1. Turn on Cable TV.
  2. Go to BET and watch the commercials.
  3. Go to the Country Station and watch the commercials.
  4. Go to comedy central, watch the commercials.

Expand your Efficiency

Get more Efficiency to improve your daily life. Subscribe and get three slow cooker recipes designed to be low cost, quick and healthy.

Protein Per Second Part 2- Cooking Proteins Fast, Reducing Effort


Quick thanks to everyone following and providing feedback on these weekly articles. You are keeping me going 🙂

This article will reduce the cook time of your meals by minutes. Lots of engineering to explain WHY, but I will be sure to bold the tips on how to implement ways to cook food quicker. This uses Chicken for most studies, but this can be replaced with any other meat protein.

The Good-

This topic is going to have a LOT of tips on saving time cooking. The tips saved so much time, it messed with the data 😛

The Bad-

This data is ‘Out Of Control‘. Which means, the data isn’t significant. The data I post on this site is the highest mathematical quality I can possibly create, and I will not post bad data.

My Compromise

I will include the Protein Per Second, however I won’t post it in an Excel file format like I usually do.

Cook Protein Faster – By Method

Science would isolate this problem and find that throwing a few thousand pounds of chicken into Lava would be the fastest way. Engineering has to make this problem applicable. Grills, Stove Boiling, Stove Sauteing/Searing, and Slow Cookers are examined.

Eggs In 4 Minutes

0.11 g Protein Per Second

Methodology for all of these is common. Prep to Clean. Writing down process is something we do in Industrial Engineering.

  1. Take out small pan
  2. Turn on Medium High heat-(Getting anything hot is likely your “Long Lead Task”, do this as early as possible)
  3. Open Fridge, Take out Eggs
  4. Spray Pan with Nonstick
  5. Crack Eggs into pan
  6. Take out lid, place on pan(containing heat will speed up cooking)
  7. Wait 2 minutes, flip(Bonus if you can do this without dirtying a spatula, Minus points if this makes a mess you need to clean up)
  8. Place lid back on, wait another 2 minutes and serve
  9. Clean pan immediately under hot water to reduce sticking.

This can be done faster or slower depending on how you like your eggs cooked. I did this with 4 eggs with the goal of over medium-hard eggs. 27g protein, 4 minutes.

4 Eggs and 9 Sausages and Toast – Breakfast

27g + 21 + 8 g protein in 6 minutes =

0.155g Protein Per Second

Eggs were cooked in a similar way. Warming up sausages and toasting bread to make taste optimal added an extra 2 minutes in prep time. This included taking out 1 extra pan, 1 extra lid, opening and closing the freezer 2 times, and taking out an extra appliance.

The biggest thing to note- Sausages will cook in a similar time regardless if you have 2 or 10.

To understand why, I drew a picture that brought me back to our dreaded ME331 Fluids and Heat Transfer.

The heat from Electric Burner to Pan is a Heat Conduction(Qconduction). Conduction is Contact-To-Contact. Meaning surfaces need to touch completely. The browning of meats require Conduction and absence of water(we will get to that later). Protein touching the surface of the pan is getting more heat than protein that isnt touching the surface.

The air inside the pan is moving heat through Convection(Qconvection). Convection is the air and liquid flowing next to the protein. When you point a fan at you, there is no surface to surface contact, but the air will brush your skin and reduce your temperature.

Convection is especially strong with liquids, which we are going to see further in Boiling.

Keeping the lid on, means water in a pan cannot evaporate into your kitchen, instead water vapor circulates in your pan. If you take the lid off, the hot air and water vapor escapes

Summary:

Cooking food with a lid ON will cook faster.
Cooking food with a lid OFF will cook slower, but will brown your meat quicker.

(ugly) Chicken With Lid

781g of chicken, cooked in 8 minutes and 15 seconds. Barely brown. 242g protein makes this 0.49 g Protein Per Second.

Similar mentality as above, adding a lid will speed up the cooking process. Cooked on Medium High heat.

Calling it ugly because there is no browning. The Mailliard Reaction when the lid is on. Any moisture kills the browning that gives chicken flavor.

The Alternative:

Fajita Chicken

14 minutes for 1041g chicken. 312g protein and .37g Protein Per Second.

This is some beautiful cooking. Searing both sides of chicken for a near perfect Maillard Reaction. Adding a little vinegar to dissolve the brown Maillard bits stuck to the pan. Adding fajita seasoning and stirring.

Quality comes at a time price.

Boiled Chicken

Despite having massive amounts of convection because boiling water is surrounding chicken, water has a high heat capacity. Instead of cooking the chicken, the heat from the burner is being transferred to the water.

Below is a table for specific heats of materials. Water has a high specific heat, water is more dense than air, and there is significantly more mass to heat up than the same volume of air.

However… once the water is boiling, water is a better conductor of heat.

The most optimal way to boil chicken is to start the water, do something else, come back and drop the chicken in. There will be no mallard reaction, but very quickly chicken will be cooked.

Tip: Use the least amount of water you can get away with.
Oil is also a very popular medium of heat transfer because oil does not boil and can get hotter than water.

If you are going to use oil for frying chicken, take note that at high temperatures, low smoke point oils will begin to smoke and catch fire.

Slow Cooker Chicken

While this technically takes almost 4 hours, this is a favorite because most of this time is inactive. I am considering how to study this given the amount of meat depends on the slow cooker(and who really wants 5lbs of the same meal?). Here are two recipes that take less than 4 minutes to make.

Two recipes:

Pulled Chicken
  1. Turn on a slow cooker
  2. Add 1 Can of Soda Pop
  3. Add as much chicken you want

After 4 hours on high or 6 hours low, the chicken can be shredded and topped with BBQ sauce and placed on a bun or eaten plain.

Sunday Chicken

Here is the recipe, takes a tiny bit longer because there are more ingredients and I suggest cooking rice + veggies. However this is a lazy favorite.

Mass Produced Baked Chicken

1500g in 9.5 minutes =

.81 g protein per second

Cut the fat off and butterflied 1.5 pallets of chicken. 15 minutes in the oven at 350F.

This is potentially misleading because most people arent eating 1500g of chicken out of the oven. It also negates the time in the oven, similar to slow cooker chicken dishes. This was further packaged for later use.

The biggest takeaway:

cooking in bulk pays off significantly.

It should be noted that both Ugly Lid On Chicken and Mass Produced Baked Chicken do not produce the Maillard Reaction.

Protein Shake

Homemade protein shake using Myprotin Impact (since it was my highest rated Protein Powder per dollar)

28g protein including milk in 1 minute flat.

.46g protein per second

This actually surprised me, I thought a protein shake would crush all competition. It seems that bulk production of food beats the competition.

Cooking food at a single time reduces the prep and clean up time.

Prep and Cleanup is a significant use of time on many proteins and I will continue to look to optimize further.

Next Steps To Eat Food Faster

An ultimate study of Protein Per Second, including fast food, street vendors, store rotisserie chicken and more is in the works. However different methods of home prep are going to be practically useful.

Tip- If you want to save time on any process, apply metrics to it and study each step. Your home chores will become more enjoyable and completed quicker.
My recommendation is to Meal Prep, the early data shows that is the best way to get as much food cooked in the shortest time

Going forward on Protein per Second, I’m looking at creating an ‘In Control’ process so you can see the fastest sources of protein ordered by Protein Per Second.

Support Efficiency Is Everything by sharing. This frees me to focus on engineering instead of spending time and money on marketing so you get more Efficiency.

Expand your Efficiency

Get more Efficiency to improve your daily life. Subscribe and get three slow cooker recipes designed to be low cost, quick and healthy.

Miles Per Dollar- New vs Used vs Uber, The Most Efficient Automobile


Request from Sophia who is in the market for a new car. Instead of pointing her at a price tag, I decided to deep dive the cost of automotive transportation and prove it with tons of math. Protein Per Second next week, get hyped.

What REALLY is a car?

Beautiful Scenery, empty roads, someone with perfect hair driving a car, trendy music, and a ‘low cost’ financing plan.

Marketing strikes again.

Commercials will try to convince you that buying or leasing a new car is your ticket to happiness, popularity, and no traffic.

See beyond Automotive Marketing so you can get a higher quality product and save hundreds of thousands of dollars in your lifetime. The goal of this article is to debunk the myth that a new or leased car will ever be lower cost than a Used Car.

Disclaimer: I work in Auto, if you want to see how unbiased and objective I make this website, this is your article.

The Data And Methodology

Usually I go through the math first, add a drum roll, and present the data. However, it shouldn’t exactly surprise anyone that Used cars are lower cost than New. This data doesn’t tell the full story of my findings, and I encourage you to continue reading and explore the raw data.

Data out of Context

Depending on what dealership you go to, what features you select, private seller vs licensed… Prices for a used OR new car are going vary drastically. The lowest cost New cars are misleading, they exist to ‘get you in the door’. An Advertised 12,000 dollar Nissan Altima is likely going to cost you something closer to 16,000 dollars by the time you sign.

To see this further, a 2014 Ford F150 ‘costs more’ than a 2017 Ford F150. A New Car buyer does not often buy the economy version.

However, to kill the myth that a New Car is cheaper, I wanted to give New Cars the benefit of doubt.

How To Compare Buying New, Leasing, and Buying Used

New, Lease, and Used cars all have different quality aspects that should be noted.

Technology And Repairs

New cars often come with 3 years of ‘fix all’ problems. ~30,000 dollars and for 3 years, you wont be worried about the cost of a surprise issue, the manufacturer will take care of it. They also have the “latest technology” and styling. Lease cars are similar, taking the risk of a future problems and granting you the latest car available. These are often lower cost out of pocket, but a New car may last over a decade.

Used cars vary greatly. A 500 dollar car is unreliable, but a used car from 2015 will be as reliable as any. Technology can be as young as 2 years old which means it will have power mirrors, windows, and a backup cam.

Methodology- Repair Math And Yearly Expenses

I surveyed people on the Efficiency Is Everything Facebook to find out what repairs they needed. I found that on a yearly average, a user can expect to spend about 900 dollars a year on Repairs and Maintenance.

Adding in averages for Fuel, Insurance, Government Licences- A car costs a total of ~4300$/year to maintain after purchase.

I was surprised that given my unique inputs, the cost of car ownership was very similar to AAA’s calculation. Also note- I did not include financing and depreciation.

Long Lasting Math

As time goes on, a 30,000 dollar car will be averaged over years and years. I used 5 years of ownership for Miles Per Dollar. The raw data has calculations for 1,2,5, and 10 years.

Comparisons

I will use the Average New Car cost and compare. Before this article, I don’t think I could have survived a Car Dealership Salesmen. ~$30,000 New or 1.4 Miles per Dollar.

For Uber, I used an estimated cost of a 20 mile, 30 minute drive, converted to Cost Per Mile, and multiplied that by the 15,000 miles an Average American drives per year.

Conclusions

The survey turned out fascinating, with reasons for buying new that surprised me, we break this down into Monetary, Time, and Perceived Quality.

My recommendation in 1 sentence: Get a used car you can afford WITHOUT having to finance it, and make sure it has side airbags.

Cost

Used Cars are cheaper than a New Car. While not a single person surveyed claimed to spend more than 7,000 dollars on repairs over the lifespan of their vehicle, a single 10,000 dollar repair would still be lower cost than the average cost of a new vehicle.

Used>New>Uber

Time

The most common words from a New Car buyer is that they avoid being stranded.

This seems to be a pretty rare occurrence, I did want to note it. I couldn’t find any probabilities, but it seems to be something that doesn’t happen in cars under 10 years old. Beyond that, it continues to be a rare occurrence.

My recommendation: Get stranded, and Uber to your final destination.

New Car Smell

“No one else farted in your car.”

I found this quote fascinating. What exactly is amazing about a new car? Is there a difference between a sweaty factory worker moving the car out of the assembly plant and having someone drive 30,000 miles in a vehicle before giving it to you? I’m not sure, I buy shirts that I know other people tried on. I wish I could quantify this into a unit. I understand, it is weird to think of people living in your Home before you. Although I personally wouldn’t pay any premium for this ‘unused’ feature.

“Keeping up with the Jones”

There is a Showoffy aspect of having a new car. Personally I think this is Tacky. To each their own. I would bet that this feeling of ‘keeping up with the Jones’ is Marketing.

As someone with a household income significantly higher than 6 figures, I’m giving permission to laugh off commercials, luxury products, and new products. This is Marketing to those that don’t know better.

“I like it”

If cars are a hobby… you probably aren’t buying new cars anyway. Older cars are easier to work with and are more unique.

If you like the feeling of buying a new car… That’s Marketing. For the same reason, collecting luxury products like $1,000 Watches- its Marketing.

I recommend a Used Car that you can afford without financing and have side airbags

The rest of this article is my personal opinion and is not backed by data.

(Optional/Bonus) Automotive Stereotypes

Working in South East Michigan has brought me around people with strong car opinions. While reviews your Model + Model Year are your greatest indicator of how your car will perform, I have some Stereotypes for each company.

Note- I’ve worked with Honda, Ford, General Motors, and Nissan.

Personal Choices

Honda + Toyota– Very Reliable but boring cars. Japanese manufactures focus on long lasting components at the cost of having older technology and styles.

Ford – American manufactures focus on the latest technology. Ford was the first company to have a Smart display Sync. However, being first, users were frustrated with the untried interface. Similar reliability as Japanese manufacturers.

General Motors (Chevy, Buick, etc..)– Similar to Ford. Latest and greatest technology. Slightly more expensive than Ford. Similar reliability.

Probably Would Pass

Nissan and Fiat Chrystler These companies have management issues that cascade down to products. The engineers have a reputation of ‘doing what they want’. Risky buy IMO.

BMW, Audi, Volkswagen

– German superiority translates into high cost vehicles, high cost components, and a funky style. People pay the premium for the uniqueness on the road. Similar reliability as Japanese manufacturers.

Avoid

Kia I’m not a fan of Kia. I have benchmarked their cars and studied their marketing. They seem to go for low quality products but sell their cars at moderate prices. Cute Mice dancing is marketing and wont have an effect on your millage.

Tesla I like Elon Musk, but if I am going to recommend a low cost, high miles per dollar car. I cannot. Tesla vehicles are brand new, first model years ever. They havent had the experience of decades of testing and lessons. This is unavoidable for a new car. When you buy a Tesla, you are buying into the marketing like a Gucci Car rather than a reliable automobile.

Take Away

Despite everything I posted, reviews for the specific Model Year are more important than brand name. I would look for something 1 year AFTER a major revision release.

-Michael Kirk

Entertainment Per Dollar- Cable TV, Netflix, Sony Vue, Audible, Youtube, and more


Edit: Fourms aren’t working as intended. I would appreciate if you mentioned breakfast foods you would like studied in the comments. I will study them for next weeks article.

Not going full social media, however there were requests to expand the knowledge base of Life Efficiency.

Contribute to the study of Life Efficiency by answering my questions or suggesting and discussing new topics.

Looking for specific suggestions for items to study for next week’s Food Study. I added the link to the menu or Click Here

Cost Efficient Entertainment And Sports

If you aren’t already watching Youtube for your entertainment, spend a few weeks watching and subscribing to videos you enjoy. Soon Youtube will learn from you and give you life changing content.

My parents are still spending thousands of dollars a year on Cable TV, full of commercials, and no ability to watch videos faster. Dropping cable TV in favor of internet entertainment will save you money.

Even with Youtube, We still find reasons to spend money for entertainment. Netflix, Big 10 Network, Game of Thrones.

Looking to optimize and find the lowest cost solutions for Entertainment and Sports.

Entertainment Per Dollar

We hooked up a laptop via HDMI cable to our Flat Screen TV. That + a USB Mouse/Keyboard gives us the freedom only a computer can provide.

Youtube is my go-to for entertainment with Netflix HD(Split with Family) slightly trailing behind in daily usage. Hulu is a low cost way to watch Game Of Thrones.

Efficiency Conclusions For Sports Fans

I was pretty excited about Sling TV(7 Day Free Promo) but they don’t have Big 10 Network, which is my biggest reason to get a sports package. If you aren’t watching Big 10 games, I recommend that for a sports fan.

I watch Michigan Football. At 39 hours per year, its a time efficient sport. Long Time Fan + Married into a Dr. from University of Michigan. However, it looks like that is going to cost me 35$/month to get fully legal Michigan Football through Youtube TV or Fubotv.

Time To Cut Cable

We have been Cable TV Free since 2012. Commercials seem extremely weird to me. Why is a hippie randomly meditating in front of a couple and why is he offering a credit check? Bizarre.

If you havent cut cable yet, I challenge you to. If you already have made the jump, optimize your entertainment so you get exactly what you need.

Friendly reminder- You should probably call your cable internet company and threaten to leave for a lower rate.

Share Efficiency with your friends so I can spend less time Marketing and you can get more Engineering.

First Cooking Show, 3 Recipe Videos + Survey Results


The responses from the survey were not as clear cut as I expected. I wanted to share responses and our first cooking show this week. After this week, I don’t expect to have any ‘offtopic’ topics until 2018 when I do a year recap. This topic jumps around, but I wanted to consolidate any ‘fluff’ into one topic, so I don’t need to release anything but engineering for the rest of the year.

tl;dr- Protein Per Second 9-27-17 Due Date. New website ‘Sections’ to come.

First Cooking Show

Heads Up- First Video and we packed in tons of tips. Goal was to teach how to take any food and turn it into a delicious low cost recipe.

Watch myself and Misses Efficiency cook an Efficient Meal here.

Recipes

Here are some low cost recipes we make on a daily basis, Facebook style-

Thai Fried Rice(Official Recipe)- Miss Efficiency’s Favorite, Better Than Thai Food

Beef Casserole – Make Enough Food For All Week

Sloppy Joe- Classic

Survey Results

Thank you to everyone who filled out the survey.

>Almost everyone wants to save Money, and almost everyone wants to save Time. I’ll keep at both, but whatever is shared more gets more articles.

>Most people don’t want to see more Restaurant Per Dollar, “Except X, you should do X Per Dollar”

It seems that everyone has a favorite restaurant that they studied, but they don’t care for most restaurants. My plan is to release these articles in combination with weekly articles.

>Keep the format similar, Problem, Process, Math, Simple Conclusion

>Biphasic Sleep seems to be a huge hit. I have friends that made the change, I’ll get their tips too.

>Most people want to try out some crazy topics, but I’ll do my best to stay grounded.

>Keeping at weekly articles, but I will aim to have larger topics covered on a monthly basis. For those that want daily tips, check out our Facebook for Efficiency Memes.

Requested topics- Streamline Digital Actions, hardware and software Efficiency, Finance, happiness/state of mind, early retirement, travel, and multi-dimensional analysis. In addition, I’ve received feedback that people want more nutrition and time studies.

“Sections”

People have approached me in sharing their Efficiency, and as long as they are data driven, I think they’d be a fantastic addition to the site. That with weekly articles, I’m needed to categorize the website.

Thinking categories- Newest/All Articles, Sleep, Food Optimization, Restaurant Per Dollar, Time Savings, Money Savings

I’m trying to stay away from lifehacks/life pro tips, but I will save time and money by any means necessary… so expect a section for it.

Monetizing Efficiency Is Everything

I had multiple people ask to give me money. Someone said I should be pushing my books harder, another asked to start a Patron.

I might do that in the future, I started this website to share my findings. My Engineering job pays for this website, and I am fascinated running it.

This year I spent 10,000 dollars and countless hours trying to get the word out. I’m an engineer, and I want to focus on finding engineering solutions to problems. I can spend that money and time on engineering problems if you can help get the word out by sharing.

Teaching Efficiency> Monetizing This Website

Misses Efficiency And More Personality

There were specific requests for more personality and more Misses Efficiency.

I want to focus on the math, data, and engineering. However the nature of ‘Engineering Daily Life’ intersects with lifestyle, there are parts of Efficiency that meld with Vacations, Hobbies, Exercise, and How We Spend Time(Leisure). Mandy, Misses Efficiency will be featured in future YouTube videos and the occasional guest post. Glad to see you liked her too.

Instead of dedicating a week to personal interests, here is a paragraph that I hope is sufficient-

I’m fascinated in quantum mechanics, the closest thing we have to a scientific approach to understanding the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. I’m a Catholic, Stoic, Libertarian Anarcho Capitalist, Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency owner. I’m fascinated by creativity/aesthetics/philosophy, as it is something unique to our species- yet mathematical principles like the golden ratio and logic are hugely influential on what “looks good”. I’m currently thinking of a way to make Business Casual ‘cool’, including finding a way to add blue to my hair without looking like a rebellious teenager. I always have something in my head, so I’ve started writing on bracelets to remind myself to think of problems. Recently I’m trying to figure out how to treat ‘Fun’ if its nonlinear. Outside of that, we are PC gamers, Netflix watchers, play rec league football, we like camping, having friends over, and attending parties.

Hope that is good enough, if you wanted to know something more specific, let me know.

Want to help?

I had a few offers from Engineers that wanted to contribute to the website. I’m interested, but I have an absurdly high standard of what I consider acceptable research, data, and math. I haven’t had the chance to think through how to take crowdsourced studies and turn that into an article. I’ll make a reminder bracelet and think about it this week 🙂

Thanks for supporting Efficiency Is Everything, your support has reinforced my excitement for applying Industrial Engineering at home. Life Efficiency is coming.

Save Time Eating – Optimize Food Consumption Without Changing Your Food


Back from a much needed vacation, giving myself a due date for Protein Per Second 9-27.

This is a touchy subject with many people. How many times should you eat per day?

Does eating breakfast actually change your metabolism?

Does eating food after 9pm turn it into fat? (No. Excess calories turns into fat)

Should you eat 10 snacks a day? Should you eat once a day?

Eat Twice A Day – Intermittent Fasting

I’m not the first person to invent this concept, but I might be the first to use it to save time.

Shoutout to Daniel Engerer of Brainchild Engineering for pointing out my eating habits are Efficient.

How It Works

There are some guidelines for Intermittent Fasting, but I use it loosely.

  1. Eat 2 meals a day
  2. First meal should be after 16 hours of not eating(I usually do 12-14 hours)
  3. You can consume small amounts of calories(less than 100) outside of this time. Think small amounts of sugar in coffee.
  4. Expect the first 2-3 weeks to be difficult

Don’t treat these as rules, treat these as daily targets during your transition. Once you make the transition, you wont be hungry for breakfast, and you wont be hungry before bed.

Benefits- Save Time, Lose Weight

Depending on your goals, you might be interested in losing weight. Intermittent Fasting is a popular way to lose weight.

I’m a believer in Calories In = Calories Out.

The Calories you eat daily decides if you gain, maintain, or lose weight. Intermittent Fasting a technique to eat plenty of food ~2 times a day, and still lose weight.

There is no magic here, just structure. I count my calories, but eating 1,000 calories in a single meal psychologically feels good.

The Math, Save Time- 380 More Vacation Days In Your Lifetime

I’m going to assume ~10 minutes to consume your breakfast.

My first meal of the day is usually leftovers, and the process looks like this:

  1. Walk to Microwave- 0.5 Minutes
  2. Put food in Microwave- 2 Minutes
  3. Walk back to desk- 0.5 Minutes
  4. Eat Food- 5 minutes

Without getting into the details of putting food in a separate piece of Tupperware, putting in the dishwasher, taking out of the dishwasher, putting it away. I’m going to give that a value of 2 minutes. I’ve been told I eat fast, for estimation, I’m going to use 10 minutes.

This is 3,040 hours in your lifetime.

Implementation

As mentioned before, consistency is key. You can imagine a time in your life that you skipped breakfast enough times that you lost your appetite for breakfast.

If you are using this method to lose weight, I highly recommend a calorie counting app, I still use myfitnesspal, but it seems to be filled with push notifications/social media/ads.

One Last Tip- Make More Food

We are huge fans of making enough food for leftovers. We just Just-In-Time for our grocery shopping, and we don’t buy any groceries for Thursday. By Thursday, we usually have enough food in Tupperware that we have a quick dinner that can be microwaved in moments. If we somehow ate everything, we always have eggs in the refrigerator and make ‘Breakfast for dinner’.

If you are open to change your eating habits, I highly recommend this lifestyle. It saves time, it aids in losing weight, and it might save you money if you can skip eating out.

Survey – The Future of Efficiency Is Everything Is In Your Hands


As mentioned last week, this week we have a survey that will impact the future of Efficiency Is Everything.

Fill out the survey here: https://goo.gl/forms/Eiv8Ekirp55qYTI63

Shouldnt take more than 5 minutes, and as an engineer, more feedback is always better. Constructive criticism is preferred over praise.

As an FYI-

The month of August I’m wrapping up edits on the book Efficiency Is Everything – In Life. This is a gigantic time and energy sink, but its almost done. After that, Myself and Misses Efficiency are taking a much needed vacation.

Then… Full focus on new studies created and designed by myself. (I like my engineering interns, but I’m craving some high impact life studies.) Get excited to see new youtube videos showing applications.

Remember to share Efficiency with your friends so I can spend time Engineering Your Life instead of marketing.

8-2-17 post – 1/2 year update


Goal for me is to have an easy article this week. Three topics I want to hit on – The Last 1/2 Year, Your Feedback, and My Time.

6 Month Update

Failures + learning experiences-

  • Over committing goals- 2 hours at the library daily? finishing 25 chapters in a weekend? I need to be realistic.
  • Daily Workout/Daily Drawing/Vegetarian- Daily mile runs… I should get back on that. Daily Drawing has gotten replaced with an other craft. Vegetarian… Its really hard to try new recipes when we already have 28 to cycle through.

Be realistic with time and energy.

Success-

  • Weekly Articles- I promised 2 articles a month, and we are getting 1 article a week.
  • Nutrition Per Dollar-is finished. This has untapped potential that I’m looking at for a 2.0 version.
  • Time Studies- Protein Per Second and Shoes Per Hour were fantastic first steps into measuring time.

Every article fascinates me, I can’t wait to see the results of our studies!

Allocate Michael Kirk’s Time

I time out my tasks on my watch to get an idea what I spend time on.

I find a weekly article takes between 5-15 hours per week. Pretty evenly spent between thinking about the problem, collecting the data, and writing an article.

I’ve hired out some studies to engineers and college engineering interns in the hopes of getting more articles done. Well… I end up doing the math for each article, explain data collection methods and standards, and went full editor when it came time to finish the article. I havent saved much time, but we are getting lots of new articles, memes, and videos.

Time Decisions

Would you rather I continue with weekly smaller studies or release a study on complex problems once a month? Next week I’m going to send a survey to decide how I spend my time.

My next 2 complex problems are Food Per Second and Fun Per (Dollar * Second).

Food Per Second requires much time, and many empty stomachs. I took on collecting 2 pieces of data, and I ended up with a breakfast burrito and 5lbs of Chicken. Given the vast ways to prepare, obtain, and consume food, this will be a study of the fastest and most popular methods.

Fun Per (Dollar*Hour) is a theoretical investigation into quantifying Life. Each unit is pretty difficult to deal with, but the math really does work and is useful.

Necessary Time

Final edits on Efficiency Is Everything – In Life.
After 4 years, its finally what I wanted it to be. Easy to read, easy to implement tips applying Lean Manufacturing Principles at home.

I unfortunately spend more time on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter promoting than I spend making content. If you arent growing, you are dying. I’m an engineer, not a marketing expert… Looking to either outsource this or go viral in the future. Consider sharing articles, that way I can spend time on engineering, not business things.

Your Feedback

I’ve gotten mail from you and I get immense joy reading them. I’ve gotten fascination, investigative minds, hilarious applications, and food questions that had me working on improving my website. I really appreciate everyone that emailed me over the last few months. They are the people that inspired me to design, study, analyze and release weekly articles.

Keep an eye out for a survey. The future of this site’s direction will be based on those results.

Okay, calling this post done, let me get to work on more Efficiency. Here are some memes for this week!


Shoes Per Hour – The Math For The Most Efficient Way To Put Shoes On


Design Engineer David Richelson has been asking me about Engineering footwear, something every human must do. He put the time in and I find his research hilarious, fascinating, and applicable.

Shoes Per Hour – Fastest Ways To Put On Shoes

David- “There has to be a faster way!”

I spent about 3 months taking my shoes on and off at least twice a day. Every time I’d think to myself, “there has to be a faster way!” Since trying out different shoes and different laces, it turns out there’s not much I can do.

I’ve finished a time study on tying and untying my shoelaces, slip ons, shoe horns, and more. The most Efficient way to put on shoes.

Methodology

To keep it consistent, I would place my phone on the table in front of me, in timer mode, with my shoes in front of me. Then I would slip each shoe on, and tie them at my regular pace, being careful not to rush. I took four samples for each shoe for 7 different shoes: my personal dress shoes, my personal running shoes with standard laces, my personal running shoes with “Lock Laces”, basketball shoes, work shoes, running shoes with braided laces, and running shoes with standard laces. Ultimately what I want to know is: how much time does it take, on average, “per cycle”. In engineering, a cycle is when a given process is complete. In this case, a the process consists of putting the shoes on and then taking them off.

Tested Shoes

Dress Shoes

Puma w/ “Lock Laces”

And 1

Dr. Scholl’s

Athletic Works

Starter

Slip-on

Before I can discuss the results, I need to mention that my Puma shoes and the Starter shoes came with comically large laces (pictured below). It was unreasonable for me to single knot these shoes. Realistically, I’d double knot them, which is how I timed it. This added significant time to taking them off as well as putting them on.

Results

You can see from the chart below, that most tied shoes require relatively similar times to take on and off.

I suspect that the length of the shoelace has more to do with the time, than the profile. I was surprised to see that the Athletic Works shoes, which had a braided shoe lace, had no noticeable effect on the time.

The most dramatic difference was between my Pumas with the stock laces vs replacing them with “Lock Laces.” I shaved at least 15 seconds off putting them on! That’s the most relevant improvement for me, since I know that my motivation for working out is fleeting, and can easily evaporate in 15 seconds. But once I have my shoes on, I might as well work out.

For better or for worse, I’ve got the need for speed. Can I shave off any more time? I needed to think outside the box. I tried stylish slip on dress shoes for work, and velcro shoes for working out. My most inventive idea was leaving my dress shoes tied, and then pushing my feet into them with a shoehorn to assist me.

Slip-on shoes are the clear champion. It was almost too fast to measure. Since there’s no laces for either the Slip-ons, or my pre-tied dress shoes, timing the cycle consisted of just pushing them on. Here’s a quick video of how I timed it.

Switching to slip-ons would save me about 25 seconds per day. That’s worth 15 days vacation(120 hours) over the course of my life! Pushing my pre-tied shoes on did technically work, but it was destructive to the shoe and slightly painful for my feet.

When it comes to working out, I could commit the fashion faux pax of getting Velcro. But, I’ve gotta look stylish in the gym too.

At the end of the day, 25 seconds doesn’t sound like a lot. But it adds up over time. This was a great exercise and I can’t wait to apply these time study techniques to the next part of my life.

Data:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IS1lgoWiqvJ43TNQ9HVNxQ9zKq15DzzUHu_PH-BMAXA/edit?usp=sharing

Michael Kirk- Shoes Per Hour

Utilizing David’s data, I just had to… I can’t resist 🙂

My conclusions

I currently use Dress Shoes + Shoe Horn set up, but seeing that slip-ons are 2x faster, I’m going to be on the lookout for nice Slip-ons.

I haven’t tied a pair of shoes in memory and this data shows why. Tying your shoes takes 2x more time than using a shoe horn.

Thanks to David for completing this study to my Engineering Standards.

In other news follow our Facebook page, I’ll be posting Efficiency Memes on our official Facebook page. They are a combination of Data Driven Tips and Personal Lifehacks. I try to contain my personality on the Efficiency Is Everything website, but I leak a little bit on Facebook. Beware 😉

The Efficient, No Effort Way To Cook Pinto Beans- 80g Protein Per Dollar


Have you ever eaten pinto beans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?

I did once. Or a few times.

Pinto beans are absurdly easy to cook, throw them in a slow cooker with water. Wait ~8 hours, and its cooked.

Yep, its that easy.

(I’m intentionally making this a short article to prove how easy cooking pinto beans are)

  1. Put water in a slow cooker(~3 cups per 1 cup pinto beans)
  2. Add pinto beans to slow cooker(keep an eye out for small stones, I have found a few in my lifetime)
  3. Turn it on low, put a lid on, and wait ~8 hours

When its done, eat it.

I strain out the Pinto Beans, put in a container, add salt and cheese.

These make low cost, high protein, and fast lunches for the whole week. 1 minute in the microwave and you are eating food.

If we don’t have leftovers, I’ll often do Lentils for breakfast, Pinto Beans for lunch, and make a fresh dinner.

Try Pinto Beans. Low Cost and Time Efficient, if you don’t like it, you didn’t waste much of either!


There are a bunch of new articles being worked on, each conclusion I find changes the way I live. Here is a tease:

Expand your Efficiency

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