Today, my work happens faster, and I am more productive, due to the condition of my computer.

My husband works as a IT consultant. Sometimes clients – business and residential – contact him, bemoaning the fact that their computers are slow, and asking for his help in speeding them up. They believe that a system cleanup will remove the virtual mud they are wading through day-to-day, and improve their productivity once again. But sometimes, it’s not mud at all. It’s quicksand – and the only solution that makes sense is replacing the machine.

“No, no, that’s not what we had in mind,” they say. “Right now, we just want to clean them up and get them back to normal.”

When a computer is beyond its prime, a system cleanup isn’t going to make much difference. More than once I’ve heard my husband explain to clients how time spent waiting for a computer to perform a function is costing them money – a potential greater cost than upgrading to new hardware.

Case Study:

“If Computer A is 1 second slower at everything it does than Computer B, that means every hour, 1 minute of productivity is lost. In an 8-hour workday, you’ve lost 8 minutes. In a 40-hour workweek, you’ve lost 40 minutes. In a year, you’ve lost 35 hours – nearly a whole week’s worth of work. And that’s just if it’s 1 second slower.”

I never realized the full value of my husband’s statement until a few weeks ago, when my nearly 8-year-old iMac finally died. I knew the machine was extremely old – a dinosaur by technological standards – but it was still doing okay.

So if it was still running, why replace it? After all, iMac’s aren’t cheap. (And switching to PC wasn’t an option.)

When it died, I had no choice.

On the day my new iMac arrived, I excitedly plugged it in, relishing those first keystrokes where I could see what it was made of. The difference in speed alone immediately blew my mind.

With the old iMac, when I would click an icon in the dock to open a program, my eyes would use those few milliseconds/seconds to shift to the top left corner of the screen, where I’d wait for the program to open. It didn’t feel like a very long wait. When I performed the same function on the new machine, the program would open BEFORE I could even shift my eyes to that top left corner! The processing power was FASTER than the literal blink of an eye!

It was the same with web pages. If I went to a content-rich site like the, it didn’t “load” the page – it was just there.

If your computer is old or slow, carefully consider not only the cost of repair or replacement, but also the cost of lost productivity. Then decide which path truly provides the most value for your money.

How much time and money might you be losing each day?

Amanda MiliAmanda Mili
Your Business, By Design
Ottawa, Ontario – Serving Canada and the U.S.
email: [email protected]

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