It’s been raining a good bit around where we live the past few days (in Southern California where we don’t get much rain, typically). Last night, we were getting ready to leave the house and I realized that the garage door was open. Being in a bit of a hurry, I quickly walked over and just yanked downward on the door. The one that had been open for several hours. In the rain. You can probably guess what happened next.
After a few gallons of water came pouring off of the door onto me, I realized that an extra split second of consideration would have saved me from spending the next several hours with very wet pants (as well as the few dollars I now owe the “swear jar”).
This kind of crap happens to me all the time, if you want to know the truth. I become so consumed with the idea of finishing or accomplishing things that I don’t take a little extra time to really think about what I’m doing or why I’m doing it.
Virtually any problem I find myself up against ships with a great deal of wiggle room. If I’m assembling a piece of Ikea furniture and I realize that the Swedes shorted me a couple of wooden dowels, my initial reaction is to see how far I can throw the included Allen wrench and go find a cold beer. But, a couple seconds of consideration would lead me to the revelation that I just need something short that will fit in both holes. A rolled-up-and-taped index card, maybe part of a pencil — plenty of possibilities exist.
My point here is that there’s a whole pantload of advantage and efficiency to be gained by just stopping and thinking about what we’re doing.
Photo by mikmikko