I’m sure we’ve all had a conversation go like this:
“Hey Sally, how have you been?”
“I’m so busy, sorry I haven’t called”
Was Sally really too busy to call or did her life just seem that busy? How often are we really unable to take 5 minutes out of our month, year, whatever to call a friend? Probably not all that often. In fact, our society has glorified busy so much, that a number of articles have been written on the topic. One even being titled: “Let’s Stop the Glorification of Busy(Kawasaki, 2014)”.
It’s a phenomena referred to as psychological time
Why is this? Why do we perceive that we have so few hours in the day? Well, it’s a phenomena referred to as psychological time. Unlike clock time, psychological time, as discussed by Dan Zakay is defined as; “Psychological time is a product of the mind more than a reflection of natural chronometric order. It refers to temporal dimensions such as duration, pace and the order of perceived and internal events(2014)”. Simply put, psychological time is all in our heads…but it’s powerful enough to drive our lives and purchase decisions.
Will arrive in 4-6 weeks
I remember a time when you ordered something online,on the phone, or through a catalog and were excited when it showed up on your doorstep in 3 weeks when the company said 4-6 weeks. Now with services like Amazon Prime and others, we expect our goods in an hour in some cases. In fact we can track our goods in real time as they are being driven to us. This is something we have become quite accustomed to and perhaps has tweaked our psychological time a bit.
Remember the pizza parlor?
With our psychological time cranked into “overdrive” who has the “time” to go to a pizza parlor, sit down, order up some drinks, and wait 30 minutes for their traditional pie to be baked? Most likely not many of us. With that in mind, enter companies like MOD pizza. Their core brand statement is one word; “Superfast”. No more waiting for a pizza to be baked, simply rip through the line and get your personal sized, custom pizza in 3-5 minutes usually. On a personal note, I was actually yelled at for not making my selections fast enough. So, sorry for being Canadian and being slow by taking 12.4 extra seconds to choose my toppings. Ok, onward! How do places like MOD pizza and similar “assembly line” fast-casual type places appeal to our sense of time? They promise a decent(really, how awesome can it be if made so fast) meal quickly, allowing you to get back to the business of being busy.
Superfast or super-nice?
In the end, when you’re driving down the street looking for a meal with the whole family in the car and you’re short on time, wouldn’t seeing a sign with the word “Superfast” on it influence your purchase habit? Of course, if you’re looking for me, I’ll be in the traditional pizza parlor enjoying a pitcher of beer and perhaps a video game while my pie bakes nice and slowly.
What do you think? Does fast and fair appeal to you over slow and awesome? For the latter group, I’ll buy the first pitcher and challenge you to a game of Ms. Pac-Man!
Individual Artisan-Style Pizzas and Salads. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://modpizza.com/
Kawasaki, G. (2017, December 07). Let’s Stop the Glorification of Busy. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/guy-kawasaki/lets-stop-the-glorification-of-busy_b_5018712.html
Solomon, M. (2013). Consumer behavior: Buying, having, and being, student value edition (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Zakay, D. (2014, August 01). Psychological time as information: The case of boredom†. Retrieved from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00917/full