Are only the more extensive structural improvements worth your time and trouble? By this, I mean improvements such as how we are organized, what IT-tools we are working with, how we store documents we share with others, or how the office is furnished for optimal cooperation.
Well, no. Not if you ask me.
Let’s not make things worse
Most people I meet have a lot happening around them, a lot to concentrate on and many things to do. The last thing we need at times like these are small annoyances that bother us, that we stumble on, that becomes the straw that brakes the camel’s back on days when we already feel that everything is stacked against us.
If we could just get rid of those small annoying things that are the “flies in the ointment”, we will have more energy left to deal with the real challenges that day.
A cable that keeps getting stuck
Let me give you two examples of what I mean. A couple of years ago I structured all the tools in my workshop in a better way. Every item got a space of its own, and so I ended up with a space for every item. But, the L‑square was hanging at an angle on its nail. One might think that this is a mere trifle, but every time I saw the L‑square hanging at a slant I became irritated. When I was about to grab the pliers hanging next to it, I always hit the L‑square which was intruding on its space. A well placed nail later, and the L‑square was now hanging perfectly in its place.
When I travel I like to use noise-reducing earplugs. I keep them in a case in my bag, but when I take out the earplugs they always get stuck in the short charging-cable to the active part of the earplugs, and it always falls out and ends up on the floor under the seat. I have to follow it down to see where it landed, which is something I do not enjoy doing. The other day I took a small document clip and fastened the cable inside the case with it, so now it will not fall out anymore.
None of the examples concern vital aspects of my business, but nowadays every time I see the L‑square or retrieve the earplugs I feel a sense of contentment — instead of getting irritated.
Before the pandemic, I went to Tokyo with my family. During the trip, I was fascinated by all the tiny improvements and solutions to all kinds of everyday problems I have stumbled upon. For instance, there are markings on the floor in the shops so that you will know how to best queue up for the cashier. A little sponge to wet your fingers with, hence making easier to open the plastic bag to put your groceries in (a solution that perhaps is a bit out of the question in these pandemic times). A plastic case for wet umbrellas in the shop entrance, and lots more. None of these solutions have improved anyone’s life fundamentally, but every one of them makes life a little bit easier. And more enjoyable.
During the day today, fix a tiny thing that has been bothering you for a long time. It can be something that is in your way, something that you always get a scratch from, something that always hits you in the head, something you always have to coax with, something that is loose or broken and has to be replaced, or something that is in the wrong place.
It may be small, but fixing it is definitely worth it.
If you solve these details that would otherwise continue to bother you, it will be easier to focus on more important things and tasks. Instead of always encountering difficulties, more tasks (even if they are small) will be easier to handle. Smooth instead of annoying.
How do you do it?
What small problems will you solve? Tell me! I want to know! May I suggest you email me and share your first, spontaneous idea of what to fix?