Leave Room for Errors

  • extreme "productivity" usually leaves no room for error, no "slack", which makes it extremely hard to:
    • change directions - when something unpredicted (and interesting happens)
    • backtrack - when realising a different approach could be better
    • make errors - which makes the whole situation much more stressful
  • same with personal finances - Financial Independence / Retire Early crowd taken to the extreme makes it hard to enjoy life as it currently happens since the whole point is saving money for future where at some point "real life" will start
  • this sounds similar to "happy path" coding - preparing only for "clean" inputs with no issues

This gets back to the first rule of compounding: Never interrupt it unnecessarily. But how do you not interrupt a money plan - careers, investments, spending, budgeting, whatever - when your life plans change?

(...) one thing I've learned that may help is coming back to balance and room for error. Too much devotion to one goal, one path, one outcome, is asking for regret when you're so susceptible to change.

The Psychology of Money

efficiency implies fragility

— Dave Ackley

Szymon Kaliski © 2021