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What is Unregretted Time?

How Twitter's goal to maximize 'unregretted user-minutes' can apply to your life more broadly

By Matty Reed
December 15, 2023

The idea of measuring and maximizing "unregretted user-minutes" has recently caught the attention of the digital world, a vision introduced by Elon Musk to transform Twitter into a platform that users relish spending time on. This intriguing concept has opened up exciting conversations about the essence of 'unregretted time' and how it can be quantified, not just on social media platforms, but in our daily lives more broadly.

Tweet from Elon Musk about Unregretted User Minutes

Unregretted Time: Not Just for Social Media

Unregretted time, simply put, is time spent doing something that leaves us feeling satisfied and contented, rather than remorseful. It's the time we spend on tasks or activities that we deem rewarding. This idea, while coined in the context of Twitter, can indeed be a guiding light in our quest for contentment amidst the whirlwind of distractions and unfinished tasks that constitute our lives.

How, then, do we measure and maximize unregretted time?

The Psychology of Regret

First, we need to understand a bit about regret.

A fascinating aspect of regret is that, often, people lament over what they didn't do more than what they did. It's the missed opportunities, the roads not taken, the “fomo”, that lingers in our minds. This insight prompts us to take calculated risks, embrace new opportunities, and strive to reduce instances of such missed opportunities in our lives.

Instead of merely evading negative experiences, we should aim to plan and accentuate positive ones. Crafting a schedule that includes experiences that elicit positive emotions is indeed challenging but rewarding. We can in large part avoid regret by being intentional with our time and planning activities that are important to us.

Application of Unregretted Time in Daily Life

The philosophy of unregretted time extends into our day-to-day routines, relationships, leisure activities, and health practices.

For instance, when we evaluate our routines, we can identify activities that lead to unregretted time and reallocate resources accordingly. This conscious approach to time management can lead to greater personal productivity and fulfillment.

In our relationships, focusing on meaningful conversations and genuine interactions can lead to more unregretted moments. Similarly, planning recreational activities that enrich our lives and stimulate personal growth can provide more satisfying and unregretted leisure time.

Investing time in our physical and mental well-being invariably leads to unregretted time. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, sufficient rest, and mindfulness practices can significantly enhance our quality of life and lead to more rewarding experiences.

Including these important routines and activities in our weekly calendar is a great way to ensure we reserve enough time to do them.

The Role of Time Management in Unregretted Time

The application of unregretted time in our daily lives starts with a deeper understanding of our own time usage. Good time management practices and using time tracking tools can give us valuable insights into where our time is being spent.

In his seminal book Measure What Matters, John Doerr describes the concept of identifying OKRs (objectives and key results) and tracking metrics that indicate progress toward those desired results in an effort to improve management. We can apply this concept to our everyday time management.

While Twitter might monitor the users' activities on the platform and solicit feedback to improve the user experience, we can track our own behavior and adapt these strategies to other domains of life.

By identifying activities that leave us feeling fulfilled, we can optimize our schedules to accommodate more of this unregretted time. Time-tracking tools can provide a tangible measure of how much time we're dedicating to different activities, helping us to adjust our routines, minimize wasted time, and increase our overall productivity and satisfaction.


In essence, unregretted time is more than a metric for social media platforms; it's a guiding philosophy for our lives. By focusing on activities and interactions that provide value, satisfaction, and positivity, we can all strive to maximize our 'unregretted user-minutes', whether on Twitter or in the grander scheme of life. So, let's redefine our approach to time, turning minutes into meaningful moments, and building a life of satisfaction, fulfillment, and above all, no regrets.

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