I once worked at a coffee shop that wasted mass amounts of espresso because its automatic espresso machines had manufacturing defects. The machines at this coffee shop couldn't pour one shot of espresso. The lowest amount they could pour was two, which created a problem for the company. Because all tall espresso based drinks called for only one.
What resulted was an espresso catch 22.
If you offered the extra shot to a customer for free, and told them why you were offering it at no cost, you would be forced to: a) admit the oversight of the company in purchasing a line of defective machines or b) risk having that customer coming back with the expectation that they would always receive a free espresso shot in their drink.
But If you didn't offer the extra shot to a customer, then the espresso would be either: a) consumed by the barista who definitely didn't need another espresso shot or b) be poured down the drain.
In both cases, money would be lost. And what this problem produced was a strange grey area where baristas were advised to use discernment regarding when and when not to offer a free espresso shot to a customer.
Essentially, they had put their foot in the consumer doggy mess and eventually had to order a line of machines that didn't have the defect.
What I learned from this experience was that we have to be as thorough as we can on the front end of planning for our work, so that we can execute efficiently and productively for the middle and back ends.
I can't tell you how many espresso shots I watched go down the drain when I worked at that company. And likewise, I can't tell you know many creative projects I've seen fail because I chose a defective idea and didn't do my homework on the front end of planning and brainstorming.
So don't waste the espresso by choosing the defective machine.
Win the creative wars by choosing the best way to produce what you need to produce so your best work won't go down the drain.
And if you do have any extras or leftovers when you're working, always share. Don't throw them away. Because it's never a waste when you're being generous with your work.