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Sorta Random Sunday: Why I Don’t Tie My Shoes

I don’t tie my shoes. Pretty much ever.And I catch some slack for it from time to time. So here is my defense!

Why I don’t tie my shoes

First, let me ask a very simple question. Does anyone like tying their shoes? I can’t believe that anyone does. If you do, you gotta leave a comment and let me know. Because I just don’t get it.

I don't tie my shoes

To tie your shoes, you have to complete this huge multi-step process:

  • Put shoes on
  • Bend down
  • Tie the laces

And then, when the laces inevitably come untied, guess what?! You have to do it all over again.

I have two main issues with this whole endeavor. For one, it takes too much time. And for two, it strains your back.

So, I don’t tie my shoes.

And the evidence backs me up!

By not tying my shoes, I save about 40 seconds each day. Actually this estimate is based on tying your shoes only twice a day. This is an underestimate for me since I change shoes for the OR sometimes multiple times a day.

But anyway, if you extrapolate that over an entire lifetime, that comes out to spending 2 weeks of your lifetime tying shoes!

If I could guarantee you a way to have 2 more weeks in your life to enjoy living intentionally, would you take it? I know I would (and do)!

Secondly, excessive bending, especially if done incorrectly, can lead to significant back issues like herniated and slipped discs.

As a surgeon, such an injury would be horrible. Of course, I have disability insurance so it would not be a financial catastrophe. But I love what I do and would hate to be unable to do so at a high level because I tied my shoes!

What I do instead of tying my shoes

There are 4 general strategies:

  1. Take your laces and instead of having them go from “in to out” in the last and highest lace hole (there must be a name for this) on the shoe, change it to go “out to in.” Now, the laces live inside the shoe and you can just slip them on. This is my go-to.
  2. Tie the laces once (I know it’s a horrible 20 seconds but it’s just once). Make them loose enough to slip your foot in and out. And then just do that from then on…
  3. Just leave them untied. People will tell you this is a bad idea or dangerous. But don’t fall for peer pressure. Just loosen the laces enough so you won’t trip on them and live your best live.
  4. Buy shoes without laces. I’m not hating on this at all.

The one exception to the rule

Athletics. That’s it.

If you are playing basketball, baseball, tennis, or any other sport except maybe golf, tie your shoes.

The reduced risk of a rolled ankle is worth the 20 seconds.

Join in the revolution!

Join me. Don’t tie your shoes. Let’s change the world!

Save your back and create an extra two weeks in your life. I’m always talking about how to work and make money in the margins of your life. Well, this is a great opportunity!

What do you think? Do you tie your shoes? Why?! Or are you an innovator that doesn’t tie their shoes? Let me know in the comments below!

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    Jordan Frey MD, a plastic surgeon in Buffalo, NY, is one of the fastest-growing physician finance bloggers in the world. See how he went from financially clueless to increasing his net worth by $1M in 1 year and how you can do the same! Feel free to send Jordan a message at [email protected].

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