This email address shortcut will help you hack your time.

Email Addy Shortcut

Many online accounts use your email address for your login username. It’s convenient in the sense that it’s easy to remember, but not-so-convenient every time you have to thumb it into your smartphone. ​​

The average email address length is 22 characters. That’s a lot of thumb time for something that gets “typed” so frequently on your mobile device (and let’s be honest here, it can take longer than the duration of a stop light which is what really matters, right?) Fortunately, both iOS (Apple) and Android devices have the built-in ability to setup keyboard shortcuts, where a short string of characters are automatically and immediately replaced with a long string of characters – like your email address.

On my phone, my email shortcut is @@. I think it’s easy to remember because all email addresses have the @ sign. Also, I’ve never encountered another reason to type @@ in everyday use so I never have to deal with inadvertent replacements.

Anytime I need to key in my email address, I simply type @@ and the @@ is immediately replaced with my email address – which is 30 characters long – for a 28 character efficiency gain, with a time investment of only a few minutes to set up. (Links to instructions are provided at the end of this post.)

In the consulting world we like to put numbers around that 28 character difference and call it a 93.33% efficiency gain. That’s gotta be good, right? But to quantify the value of process efficiency gains such as this, we have to gather some data and then do some math, which it turns out is actually pretty easy:

I know that my texting rate is about 85 characters per minute – I make a lot of mistakes and have to backspace to correct them. Follow this link from your mobile device to find out your texting rate:

So, 85cpm = 1.41 characters per second
28 character savings divided by 1.41 chps = nearly 20 seconds saved.
Multiply 20 seconds by the number of times I do this in a day, or week, or month and I can know exactly how much total time I save by implementing an efficiency enhancer like this.

Time is money, right? So if I wanted to, I could run the math all the way down to figure out the “cost” of those extra 28 characters.

Ok, yes, I know….A whopping twenty seconds saved even 30 times a month, or once a day, is only 600 seconds, or 10 minutes per month saved. That’s not going to move the needle on my bottom line much.

However, when scaled, individual small efficiency gains can move the bottom line in a truly meaningful way.

At one of my companies, we were able to reconfigure a process such that it saved 2 minutes every time that the process was performed. Each employee, on average, performed this certain activity an average of 16 times per day. That’s 32 minutes per day that were saved, or 11.7 hours per month, assuming an average 22 day work month.

Using the appropriate employee’s fully-loaded pay rate, it’s easy to convert 11.7 hours into dollars and cents.

In my case, I had roughly 400 employees executing this process, and each had a fully-loaded pay rate of right around $20 per hour. So let’s do the math:

11.7 hours x 400 employees = 4,680 hours per month
4,680 hours x $20/hr = $93,600 per month saved.

That’s an eyebrow raiser, yes? Though most of us inherently know that time is money, it’s still easy to miss the cumulative value of two minutes.

This mindset is applicable beyond routine business processes. For example, what’s the cost to the business for every employee to read (and then discuss with their peers) your company-wide email? What’s the price tag on your 30 minute department meeting that turns into an hour because it gets a little off topic?

Does every executive, department head, manager, team lead, etc., know the business’s cost-per-minute for their respective area? Do you?

A third-party perspective of your business operations by someone who’s scaled processes up to 600+ employees can pay huge dividends. Give us a call.

How to setup keyboard shortcuts for both iOS and Android: