Friday, June 12, 2009

Woggy #19 Mail & Info Sorter/Organizer

Mail sorting, message delivering and communication, and other such related issues have always been an extremely vexing thorn in the side of my household. While I understand these are not simple issues for anyone, they seem to be a particularly difficult issue for us, even though we are a tiny ole household of two.

Always one for analyzing a vexing problem and attempting to create efficiently working systems so solve them, this is one I have thrown my efforts most valiantly against in various goes over the past many years. Yet, while some aspects have improved over the various iterations, this problem has continued to plague us with its clutter, miscommunications and general untidiness. So I set out several months ago to (um, once again...) resolve this problem in a permanent fashion. And finally this time, I actually saw some hope that it'd really come together this time.

I researched products, I measured various inches, I assessed needs, I studied usage patterns, and many other probably ridiculous things until I had decided on a system, a set of products to make that system, and a blueprint for how that system would go together. I was very thrilled. I ordered all the necessary goods and waited with baited breath for my fabulous plan to come together.

As it happened, half of my order was shipped immediately, with the other half to arrive within 2 weeks. I originally decided I'd just wait until I had everything delivered to install it all, but as I unloaded my first set of boxes, my enthusiasm got the better of me. Within the ensuing three hours there were packages ripped open, holes drilled, screws ratcheted, nails nailed, magnets magneted, memos posted, and messages..., um..., messaged. Never mind this was only half of the system.

My enthusiasm still brimming, I left out all of the screwdrivers, hammer, drill, extension cord, etc. etc. to wait for the second shipment's arrival, where I was sure I would get to the finishing just as efficiently as I handled the first batch. Of course, things rarely work out exactly as planned.

I did manage on the day of the second shipment to put up a few additional items, which only required double-stick-tape to put up. the rest I left to do "tomorrow".

And so have they sat since then, waiting, waiting. Meanwhile, we have tried to become adjusted to our new half-assed system. This system, while better in a couple of aspects than the old one, is for the remainder of the aspects (namingly the where the heck do I put all this mail aspect) is much less adequate, about half as good as you might have half-expected this half-baked, half-completed system to be working. Old bad habits are mixing with new bad habits, and are threatening to tear down the fabric of my beauteous, wonderful system before it even has a chance to get started. So, I'm afraid the pressure is on, which of course may make this whole completion thing all that more difficult to manage.

In any case, I still have hope that any day now, I'll get the rest of this system put up, and everything will begin to magically begin working like the efficient dream I originally had. We'll see how this works out... I've got my hammer and step stool sitting at the ready for the moment it does.

Things Left to Complete This Woggy Project:
  • rip open all the new packages
  • begin hammering, drilling, ratcheting, and hanging
  • finish hammering, drilling, ratcheting, and hanging
  • make labels for all the new bins
  • sort everything into its proper place
  • clean up the tools and other project debris
  • amaze husband with dazzling mail and message efficiency possibilities
  • school husband and self in proper use and upkeep of said dazzling system
  • hope for the best

Update: Woggy #15

Back in February I mentioned I had been working through a difficult book called Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life. Having taken a break recently for one of my periodic spiritual retreats, where my goal is generally to center and refocus myself, I decided to put an emphasis on reopening the book and making another serious go at the next book exercise.

While it was difficult and I avoided getting around to it more than I would have liked, once I did open the book and start rereading the section that had been giving me trouble, I found myself moving through the next pages and their exercises in a foot-after-foot fashion. While it still required considerable intention to turn each page and do each exercise, I found myself on the last day of my retreat two chapters forward, where I stopped not out of fear, but due to the request of the book and exercise itself. The exercise was one of writing down a list of difficult tasks associated with the things brought up by the previous exercise, and setting yourself a timeline to attempt the first of those items on the list. Once you finish with that task, you then continue through the list. So an intentional resting point of sorts in terms of reading through the book.

I felt really good having worked through the difficulties and reached the point I had, which was made to feel even more of an achievement after reading the last summarizing words of the chapter:
"If you've made it this far, then you've done some really good work."

Things I can check off my Woggy to-do list:

x set aside time to read
x write down the answer to troublesome question
x continue reading
x keep moving through next stumbling block

Things Left To Complete This Woggy Project:

  • being working through the list of items in chapter 10
  • continue until all items are accomplished
  • consider doing the daily/weekly mindfulness exercises from the earlier chapter
  • begin reading chapter 11
  • continue reading and doing exercises until the end of the book is reached