I ran into the following issue where a keyboard shortcut I was used to was no longer working in Ubuntu. That's just an example. For programming, this kinds of thing happens a lot, but it also happens in any aspect of work and life.
I'm always tempted to fix it right away because I have an idea of what might fix it in a few minutes. Of course, a lot of times the idea is wrong, and much more effort is required.
I basically go through an optimization process where I continuously ask myself "Did I spend too much time looking for a fix already?" in trying to decide whether to abandon the effort.
I think any one issue can be abandoned, but I think that if I do it for all of them, my life will be a mess of inefficiencies.
Question: How do you effectively approach this temptation of small problems?
As I wrote up in the above rambling blog post the pros and cons for the decision to pursue any one individual issue are:
- I fix the small problem the "right" way, so I don’t have to settle for a half-ass sweep-under-the-rug solution.
- I get to spend an hour being open to the possibility of learning new things relevant to my work and exchanging information with the community of fellow Linux users. The computer world evolves on a daily basis, with new technologies, approaches, ideas constantly emerging. So, it’s important to stay connected to the latest developments.
- I get to practice persevering in dealing with frustrating issues.
It is not guaranteed that I find a solution.
It always takes longer than you thin. At first, it seems like the fix would not take more than 5 minutes, and when it does (50+% of the time), I become progressively more invested in it as time goes on. It’s the same principle that keeps you gambling in a Casino until all your money is gone.
Perfectionism is an addiction. We live in a world of inefficiencies that could be easily optimized if you just give it a few minutes. Sometimes it does take minutes, but sometimes it may take days. The more you feed this addiction, the harder it becomes to exist peacefully in an inefficient world.