Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Continuing to Walk With The Pebble in Your Shoe

Why do we do it? We have a problem. It is some minor irritation that causes us inconvenience or pain, and we just limp along with it, sometimes day after day, instead of taking the time to stop and address it?

It is like knowing we have a pebble in our shoe, but continuing to walk anyway. We might experience discomfort or even pain, but still we press on. Instead of taking a pause to remove the pebble, we simply live with the irritation and proceed.

I had yet another encounter with this phenomenon this past weekend. I've been living with a software problem since I upgraded my computer at the beginning of the year. One of my programs was not retaining all the 'preferences' that I set when I first installed and initialized it. What this meant, was that each time I started this particular application, it would act like I was using it for the very first time. The 'set up' process took about an extra 2 minutes. This doesn't sound like much, but I use this program multiple times a day, seven days a week. Those minutes add up.

It's true that I didn't know what was causing the problem, nor did I know how much time it would take to resolve it. What I do know is that I was losing approximately 5 minutes a day, 7 days a week to this repeating task that should not have needed to be done! That adds up to 35 minutes a week of lost productivity. That's over 2 hours a month! I've been doing this for almost 7 months! That's 14 hours of time that I've basically wasted on this pebble in my shoe.

This past weekend, I finally went to the website for the company that makes this software product and searched their knowledgebase to find information on the problem I was having. Lo and behold, there was a known issue with the software, and a hot fix had been issued to address it! All I needed to do was download the patch and install it. The whole process took me about 30 minutes, as I needed to do this on two machines). PROBLEM SOLVED!

In addition to the 14 hours of wasted time I spent on re-setting up the software each time I used it, there was an untold and incalculable amount of frustration involved in that! That, in and of itself, increases the 'toll' that situations like this can take on us.

The buggy software was the pebble in my shoe. I walked with it in there for almost 7 full months!

Got any pebbles poking at you? Maybe it's time to stop, take off that shoe, and remove the irritant!!

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