Daily Archives: January 23, 2012

On a particularly chilly morning last week one of our LMPs arrived at Argo Tea (I am not categorically against decaf beverages) for our meeting particularly distressed. He had just discovered that, somehow, against all odds, his Gmail inbox was NINETY SEVEN percent full. Now, I know you don’t believe me, I didn’t believe him either. How in the world could he have even come close to filling the seemingly infinite free capacity of a bazillion-million-jillion-giga-mega-bytes-watts that Gmail so generously provides?!?!? I quickly learned he had managed this incredible feat through his graphic design habit, and after 10 years of emailing enormous files and archiving his tuchus off – here he was. 3. Measly. Percent. Left. What to do?! He went on to say he would have to find some solution, some new-email-address-with-auto-forwarding-linking-multi-level computer geek solution or face the alternative: a $5.99/ year fee for more storage. The horror right? No! No horror! Actually, MY horror when I realized this entire problem could go away for $5.99/year or .49 cents/ month or 0.01641096 cents/day.

This is a prime example of how we so often create more aggravation than expressly necessary when a few dollars could eliminate not only the problem, but an ulcer and a costly Rx for Valium. I’m by no means saying throwing money at problems is a good habit or a blanket solution. I am saying however, that spending $5.99 to make a $200 headache go away is the smartest, most efficient and best choice you can make for yourself. If our Gmail stricken LMP spent 2 hours creating his workaround solution instead of working with a client, that is 2 billable hours worth of money he lost. By NOT paying $5.99 he is in fact SPENDING money.

When you are deciding whether or not to do the upgrade, extra this or extra that in order to keep a good working system in place, put a dollar value on the time, stress and aggravation you will incur if you don’t pay the (usually under $20) fee. Then decide if it’s worth it. In the case of things you use monthly or daily – do the math. Factor in the time it took you to put this nicely working system together in the first place, that counts because if you don’t do the extra this or that you may be back at square uno.

The main point here is that dollars are not the only currency of value. Your time, energy and level of personal well being and fulfillment are valuable too. More so even than the value of the papers and metals in your wallet. When you are making choices about your spending and trying to get the most bang for your buck, take a minute and look at the trade off. Make sure it is a fair trade.

Post authored by Brooke Stone

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