If Only I Had That Tool

If Only I Had That Tool

We have a tendency to get bored sometimes. For many, the trend is to make plans, gather materials to start work, and then about 60 to 70% through the project, get tired of that project and move on to the next thing. I understand because I am a painter. And, this happens a lot with painters.

I know we all collect various things for different projects we want to complete. And then, when the project wanes, we have a tendency to forget about all those tools, software, and other gadgets. Then, six months to a few years later, we come up with another project we want to do, and instead of inventorying what we have for what will work with the new project, we often go out and procure similar items to those we have already and could have done the job.

I am not going to accuse anyone, because if I did, I’d have to be pointing that finger at myself. The act of going out and getting new items when we have something similar that could do the job is something everyone does. I have done it before, and I am sure I’ll do it again. Yet for now, I plan to make an easy lookup list of everything I’ve got so I can take a look and see what I don’t need to go and procure.

I would like to tell you that this is an easy one-stop solution. If I said that, my nose would grow. The second step is actually more manageable if you do it while you’re doing the first step. You must find the items and store them in a way that you will be able to easily find them in the future. Yep, there’s always a catch. Worse yet when you get an item out and use it, you need to put it back where it belongs.

I know this is never as much fun as going out and getting a brand-new toy. It is economical, ergonomic, often ecological, and ready at hand. Knowing you have the old one and using it saves you the grief of realizing you already had one of these six weeks after you buy the new one. And it will save time and money for you to get the new things you really need.

Of course, this is just one mean old master sergeant’s idea. You should try it for yourself and see if it works.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.


How good is your memory? I have a photographic memory. I don’t have any film, but it is a photographic memory. I was going to upgrade to digital, only I don’t have enough memory for that.

Did you know that when we remember something, we don’t always get the full and complete story? When we recall what we have remembered, we recall an impression of the event. It’s not like going to a file and replaying what the camera actually recorded. It is our thoughts and memories of the event the way we viewed it, with our emotions and foibles edited in.

I remember in Indiana Jones movies he tells his students that archaeologists search for the facts. He also explains to the students that if they want the truth, they need to leave his class and go to the philosophy class down the hall. When we remember something, we remember what we can of the facts. Even playing back the video recording can only show you one viewpoint and not the entire scene.

So why do I tell you this? I say this because of a great chief Master Sergeant that I used to work for. He kept his desk calendar up to date all year long. And, when the year was over, he carefully took it out of its holder, bounded in rubber bands, and dropped it into his bottom desk drawer. He called it his Pearl Harbor File. This level of organization is something I strive for and yet fall short on.

My actual office looks like a cluster of notes, blogs, study material and other paperwork piled in some places over a foot high. Weekly I have to dig, looking for something, and at least once a month I make an attempt to straighten everything out. Just a hint, if you clean the place by moving everything from one room to another, you can have a clean office and no place to sit and watch TV.

I believe the only way to solve this problem is to actually take a stand. Take a three-day weekend and dedicate it to once and for all, straightening everything out. As you do this, make sure everything has a place and the things you really don’t want are appropriately removed. When you do this, your brain will reward you by releasing many endorphins, and you will really feel good when you take a look at the entire place cleaned and organized.

There’s one other thing you have to do. You should give yourself 15 or 20 minutes sometime during the day (usually at the end of the day,) to go through and straighten up. Put away what you’ve been working on, put the dishes and glasses back into the kitchen, and file the paperwork. You do this for two reasons. First, you keep your place looking good, and secondly…  all those endorphins!

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

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