Nothing is worse than being part way through a process, only to realize that you have run out of some key thing that you MUST have to complete the process. It does not matter if it happens at work, or if you are at home and you are making a recipe when you realize you are out of a certain ingredient, or whatever the situation may be – the frustration of being thwarted mid-process is universal. It feels like a sucker punch, and life is tough enough – I could do without that, thank you very much!
I’ve been on a quest for a while now to reduce, or even to eliminate that particular kind of frustration from my life – I just do not want to deal with it ANY MORE – period. And it is working! Here’s how I’ve been dodging this sucker punch, one punch at a time, and how you can reduce the number of times you experience this frustration too…
There are things that you consume consistently, right? Copy paper, in our case NNEP membership cards, paper clips, staples, embroidery bobbins, embroidery needles, etc. Think of all the different sorts of “everyday” products that you must have to function smoothly on a day to day basis.
I started using a very simple “get more” system to alert myself and the staff here at NNEP as we run low on something. We mark something near the end of the container or supply to let us know that we need to order more, SOON!
On the rolls of stamps, you cannot open the 2nd to the last roll without seeing the note MORE on it. When you grab the 2nd to last ream of copy paper, whether it is stacked on end or flat, it is marked that we need to get more when we place the next office supplies order. This specially marked membership card comes up about one inch from the end of the box, and we even ran the pink highligher around the edges of that card, so that as you come closer to it as you use up the cards, it really stands out.
We have a note on the 3rd to the last box of our embroidery needles, of each kind and size of needle, so that we never run out of them when we need them. We pull out and mark the first bobbin in the first bottom row of each box with a big pink dot sticker, so that we have to remove the dot to use the bobbin, which then reminds us to order more bobbins.
We have teeanagers at home. So I never know what I will have in the kitchen when I go to make dinner. Will the things I need for this recipe be in the frig or pantry today – who knows??? To increase the chances of having what I need, I now use a Sharpie marker to write a note to the bag of Fritos that I want to use it for taco night (our taco night is really taco salad night, built on a pile of Fritos. Try it sometime, you will thank me!). After taco night, the kids know now that the Fritos are fair game.
We’ve also all agreed that if we use the last of something, we are responsible for writing that item on the weekly grocery shopping list which lives on the side of the frig. If they forget to add something to the list which they eat, it will not make it in the grocery cart if they do not put it on the list! When I get near the end of a jar of spices, I jot it on the list.
All in all, this “get more soon” system has really made things better – I rarely find myself in the middle of a muddle because I do not have an everyday item to complete the task at hand. It sounds really simple, and it is! Sure, it takes a moment when we bring in more stuff at the office, like unloading the case of paper into the office supply cabinet. I have to grab a marker and mark one of the reams as I stack them into the cabinet (hint, a pink Sharpie marker now lives on the shelf where the paper is loaded). Buildng this one habit into my work and home environments HAS made a difference – and there are a lot less sucker punches around here because of it!
Well, I’m off to order more NNEP membership cards and laminates (need both in equal quantities), since that is what prompted this Recommendery in the first place! I would love to hear about ideas that help you make your day, your work, your life better, easier or more fun – post it here, or email me about it!
Recommendery = Good ideas and tips for embroidery (and apparel decoration) professionals. If you have one to share, post it below or email me at jennifer @ nnep.com sometime!
Want to be sure you never miss one of these posts? You can make that happen! We send out an email about once every 2 weeks. Just poke is big green button…