Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thursday, efficiancy is my habit, good? or bad?

     One of my favorite books growing up and I have read and reread it was Cheaper by the Dozen.  It was a story about one of America's first efficiency experts.  Several books were written about this family and they were funny and heart warming.  I have always been amazed by efficiency of any kind.  How can one get more done with less steps?  How does one foresee problems and take care of them quickly?  I always tried even as a young girl to do things efficiently and quickly.  Some of it is just plain practice.  I sew very fast and seldom make mistakes because I have done it for so many years.

     I try really hard to be energy efficient in most of the things I do.  I do not leave a room without picking things up that need to go else where.  I look around me as I go through the house and make note of what needs to be done and then come back and quickly do those things.  I am not a perfectionist, I just like things put away and organized.  I still am a shover and a stuffer but as long as it looks good I will come back later and un stuff.  I try very hard not to accumulate things I will not use and I try not to bring them into my house.  These are habits I developed over the years trying to get out of debt and just live a simpler life.

     I was taught to save steps at the first restaurant I worked at.  I remember my employer teaching me not to make extra trips because every step I took that I didn't need to would make me more tired by the end of the day.  She would point out ways to save steps and I try to incorporate this into everything I do.  I know it seems silly but it does save time and I do believe that time is money.  At least my time is money when I am working.

     If a customer comes in and I am working, I get up from my machine and take care of their problem.  While they are trying on something, I will sit down and sew  as much as I can, I do not waste time waiting for them to undress and dress.  If I have to set the iron, I do not stand waiting for it to heat up, I pick up scraps or clean up an area or rip a new hem.  My mind is always saying what can I be doing right now so as not to waste this few minutes?  When I put toast in the toaster or something in the microwave, I will look around the kitchen for something to do as to not waste time.  I know this seems silly.  But time like money is cumulative.

     My question is, does this habit lead to my inability to slow down and do less?  Or does it help me get things done quickly so I can rest?  Trying to figure this out.  I know one of the reasons I get so much done is because I am fast and efficient, but is this killing me?

     I slept late this morning and got up and took a hot bath.  I am now at the computer with a wet head.  I have already started the dishes and set out the pans to make bread.  I have a roast out for Judy to love.  When I go upstairs I will finish the dishes and start the bread, while it is kneading (8 minutes) I will go make bed, dry my hair and put it up and put makeup on, as I leave the master bedroom I will pick up the dirty clothes.  These I will leave at the top of the stairs.  I will x-fer bread into pans to raise and then get carrots and potatoes peeled and ready for roast in crockpot.  I will leave them to soak in cold water to add about 2:30 before I go to studio.  Then I will take clothes down stairs and start a load of laundry before I hit the shop.  As the laundry is right out side the shop I can transfer it while I am sewing.  I listen for the timer and go up to put the bread in when it has raised and the same when it is done cooking.  If I have a basket of folded laundry or things to be hung up fresh out of the dryer I take these up when I go upstairs and deal with them when I am switching over the bread.  I just don't waste steps.  I will also save all scraps from veggies and take out to chicken and collect eggs.  It is really a routine and a habit to not waste time.

     Now when I want to waste time I really can.  I can be lazier than any slug I know but I've earned that right don't you think?

     Yesterday I had a mom come in and rip 5 company costumes apart so tomorrow students can come in  and I will fit bodices and put them back together.   But see I am trying to cut back and ask for help.  In fact I had cases of soda and water and Gatorade in the back of the truck.  It was delivered by a Dad that I put in charge of keeping the studio fridge stocked.  I no longer do this.  I asked another dad to unload it and bring in 5 cases from the truck down the long hall of the studio and into the room where the fridge is kept.  Then I showed one of my 8 year old students where the scissors were in the desk and told her to cut open the cases and arrange all in the fridge and she could have a free Gatorade.  She was thrilled, I went up to teach and when I came downstairs the heavy boring long job was done:)  I am getting better.

     Out My Window:  It can't decide to be warm or cold.  We are cut off right now because of avalanche danger.  There is only one highway route out right now instead of 4.

Have a great and productive day!



  1. You know I want to be you when I grow up, right? :) Now with two little guys here, I feel that all I do is pick up, pick up and pick up :) And my bed is not made yet today... I don't think it's happening :)

  2. Oh, Kim, we are so much alike. Let's decide that's a good thing :)

  3. Cheaper by the dozen is one of the books that I remember most reading in school. I really enjoyed it too.

  4. Well Kim that's the way I do things too so of course I'm going to say you're very wise! I think we should delegate more and it sounds like you're doing that a bit at dance school. I don't delegate much in the classroom because its just easier to do things myself rather than having to stop and explain what I want done to someone else. It is exhausting though.