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The Cost of Convenience

The Cost of Convenience

The crazy prices we’ve had to pay for gasoline in Hawaii have revived a debate I have with my husband every so often:

How much are we willing to pay for convenience, and how much do we value our time?

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My husband is one of those people who will drive all the way down the coast line, about 30 miles from our home, just to save a few nickels at the gas pump. Sometimes he’ll take that same drive to trade in cents-off coupons for stuff that’s on sale, feeling he’s finally getting even with a retailer he feels charges too much.

In comparison, I’m one who will pay what hubby considers an exorbitant price for something because it is more convenient, in a single purchase essentially blowing those savings he managed to get over a month’s diligent shopping time. I’m not willing to give away my time to make that same drive he will.

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We’ve gotten to the point that our debate is more good-natured fun at each other’s stubbornness than anything else. We both stick to our own habits and are not changing them, and we both know it. We value different things, and frankly, the math that may settle the argument-turned-entertainment is never done to prove our case.

However our last episode of soap-boxing about this over dinner stayed with me the next day, echoing in the recesses of my brain during a conversation I had with a manager over how much convenience in her workplace factored into so many of her decisions. She insisted she had much more important things to do, than take the extra steps which would have turned a short-term bandaid fix into a long-term added-value decision. Frankly, those “much more important” things she justified her actions with just didn’t add up to much more comparative value to me.
It struck me that we probably don’t confront our own intellectual honesty with these questions often enough when it comes to our internal operating processes, and unfortunately, when you’re a manager, these processes can affect a lot of people, and the environment in which they work.

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We’re much better at going for value versus convenience in our attitude with serving the customer. We seek to make it easy for the customer, and we seek to make it right, no matter how much we might have to go through to make it happen. Yet there can be quite a double standard internally, going for the easiest, and most convenient way to get stuff done, without taking the necessary time to evaluate just how much value is in any of that stuff in the first place, or how much potential value may have been lost for the lack of effort.

Think about your last week at work, and some of the decisions you might have made because it was just more convenient to take the easy route, or to settle for the short term quick fix. Then, think about those situations which may end up rearing their ugly heads again as a result. If you don’t take the time to do things right in the first place, when will you have time to do them over?

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At work, it gets far easier to see how the cost of convenience can really add up.

Just do me a favor and don’t tell my husband I caved on this.

Rosa Say is the author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business and the Talking Story blog. She is the founder and head coach of Say Leadership Coaching, a company dedicated to bringing nobility to the working arts of management and leadership.For more of her ideas, click to her Thursday columns in the archives; you’ll find her index in the left column of www.ManagingWithAloha.com

Rosa’s Previous Thursday Column was: Humility in the Workplace.

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Last Updated on August 20, 2018

Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What

Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What

Do you know that feeling? The one where you have to wake up to go to your boring 9-5 job to work with the same boring colleagues who don’t appreciate what you do.

I do, and that’s why I’ve decided to quit my job and follow my passion. This, however, requires a solid plan and some guts.

The one who perseveres doesn’t always win. Sometimes life has more to offer when you quit your current job. Yes, I know. It’s overwhelming and scary.

People who quit are often seen as ‘losers’. They say: “You should finish what you’ve started”.

I know like no other that quitting your job can be very stressful. A dozen questions come up when you’re thinking about quitting your job, most starting with: What if?

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“What if I don’t find a job I love and regret quitting my current job?”
“What if I can’t find another job and I get in debt because I can’t pay my bills?”
“What if my family and friends judge me and disapprove of the decisions I make?”
“What if I quit my job to pursue my dream, but I fail?

After all, if you admit to the truth of your surroundings, you’re forced to acknowledge that you’ve made a wrong decision by choosing your current job. But don’t forget that quitting certain things in life can be the path to your success!

One of my favorite quotes by Henry Ford:

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

Everything takes energy

Everything you do in life takes energy. It takes energy to participate in your weekly activities. It takes energy to commute to work every day. It takes energy to organize your sister’s big wedding.

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Each of the responsibilities we have take a little bit of our energy. We only have a certain amount of energy a day, so we have to spend it wisely.  Same goes for our time. The only things we can’t buy in this world are time and energy. Yes, you could buy an energy drink, but will it feel the same as eight hours of sleep? Will it be as healthy?

The more stress there is in your life, the less focus you have. This will weaken your results.

Find something that is worth doing

Do you have to quit every time the going gets touch? Absolutely not! You should quit when you’ve put everything you’ve got into something, but don’t see a bright future in it.

When you do something you love and that has purpose in your life, you should push through and give everything you have.

I find star athletes very inspiring. They don’t quit till they step on that stage to receive their hard earned gold medal. From the start, they know how much work its going to take and what they have to sacrifice.

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When you do something you’re really passionate about, you’re not in a downward spiral. Before you even start you can already see the finish line. The more focus you have for something, the faster you’ll reach the finish.

It is definitely possible to spend your valuable time on something you love and earn money doing it. You just have to find out how — by doing enough research.

Other excuses I often hear are:

“But I have my wife and kids, who is going to pay the bills?”
“I don’t have time for that, I’m too busy with… stuff” (Like watching TV for 2 hours every day.)
“At least I get the same paycheck every month if I work for a boss.”
“Quitting my job is too much risk with this crisis.”

I understand those points. But if you’ve never tried it, you’ll never know how it could be. The fear of failure keeps people from stepping out of their comfort zone.

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I’ve heard many people say, “I work to let my children make their dream come true”. I think they should rephrase that sentence to: “I pursue my dreams — to inspire and show my children anything is possible.” 

Conclusion

Think carefully about what you spend your time on. Don’t waste it on things that don’t brighten your future. Instead, search for opportunities. And come up with a solid plan before you take any impulsive actions.

Only good things happen outside of your comfort zone.

Do you dare to quit your job for more success in life?

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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