Mauriat Miranda     mjmwired

Saving Resources Wastes Time

So anyone who has worked closely with me know that I like to write small. Small because, I think personally I can see "more" at the same time, and also, keeping small saves resources - mostly paper (trees, environment, ...). Sometimes I take it too far. Usually if I have an email or message I need to print that just would not fit on one page because of 2 extra lines, I would use the "book" feature that most printers have where each page would be rotated and fit on 1/2 the page - 2 pages on 1 sheet. This has always worked well for me.

So today I received an updated software spec. Previously it was about 20 pages, but now it had exploded into 30. I knew entirely what was in it, but for implementation I still found it easier to have a hard copy print-out next to me. The new finely detailed diagrams included took up whole pages, so my "2-for-1" trick would not help. Skimming over the document, I often saw 1 title on one page and because a diagram was so big it would jump onto the next page leaving sometime 95% of the previous page blank! This irritates me to no end! So I thought, "I am the one implementing this and it is only a temporary copy, so why don't I just tweak the spec layout?" And, so, I did. I reduced the bulky header and footer. I removed the ownership details. I removed the revision log. I tweaked the margins and brought it back down to almost 20 pages again. And it was good ... and I was just about to print it ...

Then my mind starts thinking. I don't like to have multiple hard copies, so I will have highlights and notes all over this. I'll probably use it in discussions and point out things to other people - all of whom will wonder why my spec looks so "unofficial". Then the page numbers will be all mismatched and I'll confuse other people. And when I need to point out errors or changes, I'll need to double check my locations. And what if I have to print this again? Should I save a "temp" print copy? So many questions. Why do I torture myself?

I printed it out, all 30 pages, untouched, exactly as I received them. My amalgamation of OCD, faux pas environmental awareness and over-thinking has gotten the best of me once again. Sometimes my petty attempts of saving resources just wastes time and, had I followed through with my original thought and later re-printed, would have wasted even more resources. Do I value my time? Maybe not enough.

Posted in: Random,


  • RZD on December 1, 2009 ~ 04:16 PM

    Heh! exactly what I do. If ever I have to take printouts it is always 2 sided and 2 pages on 1 sheet, thankfully no one else has to read them. a tiny austerity drive!