Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Doing it right is least optimal!

This surprising fact is almost forced logically....

For most things in life we have decreasing marginal utility, that is the more we use, the less valuable it is (the last bite of the icecream is vastly less exciting than the first one etc.)

Similarly, most processes also have diminishing marginal U. Most benefit from exercise is by doing the first little bit (not being sedentary). Ten minutes of social interaction give the most benefit of not feeling lonely, while the rest is nearly useless.

Now to my toothbrushing that made me realize this point.
The "right way" to brush is clearly to twice daily, 3 minutes brushing + floss.

But if I brush once a week for one minute, the effect of this brushing will be five times stronger than the last minute of my seventh day brush. Because this superficial weekly one will remove most dir in a minute, while the effect of every minute in "doing it right" is much lower.

The idea is that the more throughout and "right" you do something, the lower the value of each point of time used.

Now brushing? the second minute per week will still be hugely valuable, even if much less than the first minute. and so on. But the twice daily 3 minutes will have the lowest per minute effect.

Ouch, for "doing it right"