This 3rd installment of Principles to Live By and Enjoy Life More Fully hits us where we live and work. Our challenge is problem identification, and sometimes that takes an extra set of eyes.
I have found that when my clients move into a new office, they immediately start work and don’t give themselves adequate time to set up their office space. In other words they dive right in without getting organized. So here’s this week’s organizing tip.
In the office. Early in my career, I worked extensively with the Marriott Corporation in the DC area. One day, I worked with one of their senior managers. Upon entering his office to start the re-organization process, I asked him to open his file drawer so that I could see the condition of his files. He proceeded to unlock his desk drawer, and when he did, all four of his file drawers in his desk flew open! It was so quick and sudden that I was taken aback and quite shocked. I asked him why his file drawers flew open. He said that his desk was not level which caused his desk drawers to suddenly fly open simultaneously.
I then asked him if that was an irritant to him, and he said yes that it bothered him immensely. I asked him if he left his drawers open all day long, and he said no, that every time he left his office to go to a meeting, lunch or the bathroom, he had to close the drawers. I asked him to show me how he closed the drawers. He sat back in his chair, put his left foot on the two left file drawers, at the same time took his right foot and placed them on the two right file drawers and pushed. As he held all four of the drawers closed with both feet, he reached over and locked the desk, causing the four file drawers to remain shut.
I called the maintenance man to his office. He took three minutes to put a wedge under his desk, and voila, the desk became level. The file drawers no longer fell out of his desk.
Folks, I know that this story is hard to believe, but every detail is true. This senior manager at the Marriott Corporation had tolerated that irritant for seven years! It had eaten up his time and caused a great deal of consternation and frustration in his day, but he had never dealt with the problem. He had just lived with it.
In the home. Small irritants can lurk in every room of your home. One client I know was really irritated with her food storage plastic containers which cluttered up a whole cabinet. She was experiencing “Tupperware torture.” You know what I mean – as you go to seal up your leftovers from dinner, you walk with dread over to the drawer or shelf holding all of your plastic containers. And Tupperware torture and frustration begins as you search for containers and lids that match.
Here’s an easy answer to all those mismatched containers and lids. Match each lid and container that you really need, seal them and stack them. Yes, stack them. Okay, I can hear the boo birds now – what about all that wasted room! Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Most of us have containers we don’t need, so when we whittle down the number discard all the old, worn-out lids, it won’t take long for you to be a believer.
Another solution, a bit more pricey, is to purchase container and lids that are permanently attached. Take a look at the nifty solution that’s in my Amazon store: Mr. Lid.
The bottom line. The list of irritants in the home and office can go on and on, can’t it? All these minor irritations take their toll on our nerves, make us frustrated, and sap our energy.
But the good news is most, if not all, of these can easily be changed. So, identify your irritant, and rid yourself of it.
Do you need an extra pair of eyes to help you identify irritants in your life? Give me a call. I am always happy to come alongside friends to help them with these types of jobs. I guarantee that you can rid yourself of these small irritants with a little help and a little ingenuity.