It appears sales of oranges have been declining over recent years – and a key reason being that people just do not want to spend the time peeling them.
It reinforces one of my key messages for creativity, flexible thinking and brand communications – that you need to give people short steps, otherwise change does not happen.
It might be a short step in terms of beginning a course of action (you offer easy, no or low cost and quick-to-do trial options), or make the message as memorable as possible, so it doesn’t take long to learn.
It highlights one of the biggest motivations of modern-day life is to avoid wasting time. Maybe, we could do with a new phrase in the English language to warn people they are wasting your time. Inspired by the symbolic story of the orange we could accuse time wasters of ‘Taking the pith.’
On a more serious note I would urge Government to adopt a new tax.
Yes, a new tax.
But not in money, rather in time.
The inspiration came from many frustrating hours as a small not-for-profit business submitting our Annual return to Companies House, plus separately for my creativity business in paying my quarterly VAT bill on-line.
We should have a Time Tax – which calculates how much public sector services consume of your time. And they should be made accountable for that. Their Tax Time on you should be measured as the first step in minimising this cost as much as possible.
So, any new Government form or online service should have a time estimate of how much time it will take to complete.
Any public sector tender should have a projection of how much time it will take others to complete and take part. Managers of these processes should be made accountable for the amount of time they have taken up from the outside world.
Rather than be frustrated by being told the tenth time by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs to ring back, you should monitor how much time you have spent in wasted calls.
Have you got lots of spare time? The answer, like most people is ‘No’. So, don’t let others rob you of your most valuable precious asset that once gone can never be replaced.
Support the idea of a Time Tax.
Are you going to let others ‘take the pith?’