Saturday, May 8, 2010

Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective People - #1: Be a Pinball

All week, as I clean cupboards and shuffle stuff from room to room, I've been muttering to myself that I should write a book called "7 Habits of Highly Ineffective People". With all the work of homesteading ahead of us, efficiency is crucial, and it behooves us to understand where we go wrong with that one.

Habit #1: Be a Pinball
Never do just one task and see it through to completion. Always have multiple worksites going and keep adding them as needed. Bounce from project to project and be sure to maximize clutter everywhere you go.

A little unclear on how this works? Take clearing my two drawers in our dresser today. One of the drawers has pants, shorts, and sleeping togs. Seems straighforward enough. How could this lead to other projects? Well, I quickly realized that before I could put clothes in storage, I would have to know which clothes I was bringing with me. Beautiful! I already have two projects, and all I've done is open a drawer. But wait, before I can pack for Maine, I need all of my clothes available to me. I promptly start filling my laundry bag out of the basket. One load for the washer, and, lo, what is this at the bottom of the basket? Another project: hand wash. Leaving the washer load on the couch since I know Aaron has a load in the machine already, I put the first batch of hand wash to soak, and notice the shelf in the bathroom has items that are supposed to live in my dresser. As I sort these, I figure I may as well clear some of the other clutter that has accumulated up there. Before I'm done sorting the shelf, I notice the pile of clothes on the couch next to the laundry bag and get back to packing. Here, I have to confess, I go on an uninterrupted run, complete the clothes sorting, bag the storage clothes, and box the Maine clothes.

Then, after a quick stop in the bathroom to advance the handwash, I go back to the dresser. The remaining drawer is divided (in my mind, if not in practice) in two. One side is for underwear, while the other side is a catchall get-it-out-of-sight spot. As you can imagine the catchall side was so rich with project potential it isn't empty yet. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow, you're only a day away!

(It really isn't fair to say "we" on this habit. My ADD, pinball ways drive Aaron nuts. He goes project by project. Okay, time to find a spot for that last bit of hand wash to dry.)

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