Is it worth it to automate?

How often is the task done?

This is the number of times that the task will be done, and on what schedule it will occur. For example, something done each business day (Monday through Friday) would have 5 occurrences weekly.

Time period: about 1 year

This is the period over which to calculate the total number of tasks. For example, a value of "1 year" would find how much time can be saved from automation in a year.

With the current frequency and time period, this task will occur 260 times over about 1 year.

How much time is saved?

This is how much time would be saved by automating the task.

How long it will take to automate?

This is amount of time that it will take to automate the task.

Enter information about the task that you want to automate, and then a recommendation for automation will show up here.


This tool calculates whether a task is worth automating or not. It was inspired by the XKCD comic "Is It Worth the Time?" created by Randall Munroe. This calculator can help determine whether it would be premature optimization to automate a task, before actually starting any work.

The ideal way to use this tool is to start with a task in mind that will have to be completed, and with an (approximately) known frequency. Then, simply take a rough guess at how much time could be saved by automation, and how long it would take to automate the task. Then, the calculator will inform you whether it is worth it to automate or not.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is this calculated?

The recommendation is calculated using a simple formula:
time profit = (time saved ✖️ number of repetitions) - time to automate.

If the time profit is greater than 0, then it is worth automating. If it is less than zero, then it is not worth automating. If the time profit is exactly equal zero, then it is the same amount of time, whether the task is automated or not.