in Creativity, Motivation, Philosophy, Psychology

Money, Quality, Or Time – Which Is More Important?

You’ve got 24 hours to finish a project for school before the holiday break. You’d like to have some supplies to increase its quality. You can take a cab (fast but expensive) or the bus (slow but cheap), but all you have to make it through the holidays is $20 and you really want to hold on to every dollar”.

Here are your options:

  • “Screw it. I’ll make due with what I can get a hold of.” This saves you time and money, at the expense of quality.
  • “I’ll take the bus into town.” This saves you quality and most of the money with, at the expense of time.
  • “I’ll take a cab.” This saves you quality and time, at the expense of money.

Most of the time I tend to opt for option number 3. I’d much rather save time and sacrifice money and quality.

You can always make more money and you can always make something of higher quality.

What you can’t do is make more time.

That being said, there’s a certain threshold of quality that I wouldn’t go below. That’s basically my “good enough” level.

For example, if I only had 2 minutes to answer this question I wouldn’t bother because I’d feel I can’t give the kind of answer I feel would be useful. Thus I’d spend those 2 minutes on something else where the time is put to better use.

Now, if I had 5 minutes then I’d consider it. I feel comfortable in my ability to type out a “good enough” answer in that time, I just wouldn’t edit it.

However, I wouldn’t spend 2 hours writing and polishing my answer because after about 10–15 minutes I’d probably have covered most of what needs to be said, edited out most of the “fluff”, and would hit a point of diminishing returns.

Speaking of which, I think I’ve taken up quite enough of your time and mine.


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