My husband loves to shop. The thing that will make him get annoyed quickly is how people use doors. Yes – I’m serious. Typically in most stores there are two doors next to each other. It makes him crazy that people would rather wait and make it annoying for someone else than open the other door. He is always the first one to open the second door and use it. And then others follow suit.
So why does that happen? Granted, my husband is brilliant. However in this case I think it is something different. I think it has more to do with people thinking about where they want to go and what they want to do and not paying attention to how they do it. Someone else is using this door so I’ll use it too. But, it is faster, more efficient for everyone and intended to use multiple doors.
Switch gears to another extremely smart person in my life. He is always looking for smarter, more efficient ways to do things. He says he’s very lazy so he has to find ways to be efficient so he’ll get the work done. In reality, he is a master of process. He can look at a process and see what is working and perhaps even elegant, and what could be improved. Â And then he does it. He walks through the second door.
Third (and final) example. Â Years ago there was a wonderful story in a women’s magazine about a woman who always cut the end off the ham to cook it for the holidays. Â She asked her mother why they did that and the mom said they had to ask grandma. Grandma’s answer? Because my pan was too small and the ham wouldn’t fit otherwise. So two generations of cooks did the same thing without knowing why because it was “tradition”.
What’s my point? Â As the year comes to a close, take a look at your procedures. Â Really look at how you do things. Make a list of those things you do on a regular basis – is there a second door? Â Are you doing things that way because the person in front of you is doing it? Do you know WHY you do things? It is a great time to really get into the details and figure out what makes sense.
It occurs to me as a lefty, I probably lose a lot of time to mis-dialed phone numbers since my phone is on my right…. time to make a change!