The Joy of Doing it Yourself
When we compare the options of doing tasks ourselves and paying to have them done, we often overlook the intangible benefits of doing the work ourselves, such as the joy it creates.
Comparisons often begin in strict financial terms. You may look at the cost of changing the oil in your car and conclude that you can spend much less money by doing the work yourself. At the next level of comparison, you may consider the value of your time and conclude that doing it yourself is actually more expensive. Taking it even further, you should evaluate the joy you get from changing your own oil. If that’s an activity that makes you proud and that you enjoy, then the time you spend doing it doesn’t really cost as much as you calculated your time to be worth.
The value of your time is really what it costs to do activities that you don’t enjoy. Assuming you calculate your time to be worth $50/hour, you wouldn’t conclude that going to your child’s soccer game “costs” you that amount if you like watching the game. The investment of your time is worth it. Doing your taxes, however, may warrant the calculated cost. It all depends on the joy you get from the activity.
If work were pleasant, you wouldn’t have to be paid nearly as much as you are to get the job done. The opposite also holds true. You would gladly do activities that you enjoy for little or no money. When comparing the cost of doing those tasks yourself versus paying someone else to do them, your joy will likely skew the comparison in favor of doing the work yourself.
Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 at 9:35 am