Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Universal Importance of a Buffer

In life, it's very important to establish a good buffer. A buffer will help cushion the consequences of minor problems, and prevent them from becoming major problems. It's especially important when dealing with time and money. Not having a proper buffer is the easiest way to provoke problems with catastrophic consequences. So what exactly is a buffer?

A buffer is leaving a half an hour early for a job interview 10 minutes away. A buffer is always keeping an extra $500 in you checking account, to avoid accidental over draft fees. A buffer is buying 350 sq ft of floor tiles, when the actual area is only 300 sq ft. It’s following 5 car lengths behind, when you know you could stop in 4. A buffer can be as simple as bringing a coat, when the forecast is good; or not letting your gas gauge needle dip below a quarter tank. It’s understanding limitations, and being smart enough to plan for unexpected problems.

Murphy's Law
When the unexpected happens, it usually compounds with other problems. Usually your car breaks down the day you forgot your cell phone. You lock you self out of the house while getting the morning paper in a bathrobe. You forget your wallet during a important business luncheon. Some of these situations are just a fact of life and cannot be changed, but in some situations a buffer may help to delay the domino effect. Get the help of 2 friends, even if you only need 1 to help set up the decorations for your wife’s surprise birthday. This way you don’t fall off the ladder while frantically trying to hang streamers. I'm sure your wife won’t want to blow out her birthday candles in the ER.

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