"Spending 20 hours remedying a 'problem,' for instance PPP/email automation, could take much more than a 'few months' to recoup (though mathematically just over one month for a 5 minute task)."
Actually, by my math, a task that takes 5 minutes a day, every day, would take about 8 months until time spent totaled 20 hours. (I really don't think he's talking about a repetitive task that reoccurs every 5 minutes.)
So basically, obsessing over a "solution" to this problem, at the expense of other deadlines, wouldn't start to "pay off" until the 8th month. Even if this task occurred twice a day as the writer describes, it would take 4 months to pay off.
Is it worth it?