When something’s just not important enough…


So… what are the thought processes you go through – perhaps subconsciously – in making a decision to do something? It was something I was thinking about today when I realised I didn’t have the same enthusiasm for the new gym routine I’d been given than I had for the one I’d been doing for the last few months. So much so that I was sure I’d end up simply not going down any more.

I reckon the decision has four parts to the equation: the importance of the outcome of something; the enjoyment gained from it; the effort involved; and the expense. If the need plus enjoyment is greater than the effort plus expense, you do it. Now, in the comparison between my old and new gym routines, the effort and expense remained the same. The importance had probably risen slightly (my old gym routine needed improving to be effective); but the enjoyment had dropped considerably (it was far too complicated, and difficult to do whilst listening to podcasts). It’s fair to say that the enjoyment was already negative, as I can’t say I’d choose the gym over, say, the pub – but it had become far more negative. And that had tipped the equation such that the importance of going to the gym and doing the routine was outweighed by the cost, effort and lack of enjoyment.

There’s probably a science to all this. Perhaps you can even measure these things in SI units. But I came up with it myself, regardless.

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