Identifying Pain Points
I've been helped lately by figuring out where the "sticky" parts of life are and writing them down in detail to help solve them. When I write "sticky" I just mean the pain points of everyday living that rub and annoy or make things unnecessarily chaotic. Sometimes they become more troublesome as they build and turn into something big that didn't need to be that way.
I'm not thinking of the big pain emotional points of life though identifying those could be helpful too. Right now I'm looking for the opposite of overthinking the small things (I'm handy at that) and just getting unstuck.
I love a good quick fix if it solves the problem.
Capabilities are where ability meets capacity, as my husband so nicely puts it. So when there's a pain point I have had good success in looking at it from two angles:
- Is this an ability problem?
- Is this a capacity problem?
Look at these real life examples from my journaling yesterday:
1. Not always getting up when alarm goes off. When I sleep in, I am bummed because I really enjoy that quiet morning time.
2. Struggling to uphold my responsibilities in our personal book keeping. Things just get left behind before I know it.
3. Housekeeping: I love homemaking and I'm good at that part but the cleaning the house piece is incomplete, I can never seem to get the house clean all at the same time. And I really miss that!
My first pain point (oversleeping) is a tricky one. I think it's not an ability problem, it's a capacity problem. If I don't go to bed in reasonable time the night before I can kiss getting up early goodbye! I know how to get out of bed, in other words, but if there's limited energy and willpower it's so much harder. I can also tie in something I learned from the Minimal Mom about having a strong reason to get up, which I usually do, but I may need to remind myself before I fall asleep.
Second, for the book keeping problem, this is both an ability problem and a capacity problem. I actually need some education in some of the Quickbooks work that I need to do, and because I don't know how to do it, it's very easy to put it off until some later magical date when I will. When I wrote this out and realized, "I need help" it was a big "Aha!" for me. I can go and get the ability. For the capacity, this is just time management. I don't have a good space in my weekly rhythm for this work. So I need to go Gretchen Rubin on this problem and dedicate a day/time (or maybe more than one) to work on these items routinely.
Third, the clean house. Huh. Before school started I was actually feeling pretty good about doing this and was using the FlyLady system (Thanks Kristin!) but once we began school, cleaning time got pushed to afternoons, and frankly, it's just not getting done to completion. I know how to clean, so it's not an ability problem, but the energy/time capability is my problem here. I will have to solve this one through trial and error. It may be that I need outside help which I have had before and was wonderful. Probably even just another year and the kids will be more helpful with chores. They are good sports now and pitch in but they are still young. Hmm. I think I will give myself a deadline to figure out it out or find some outside help.
Man, I feel better. There's something to naming the problem and understanding the clear steps to fixing the "stickiness". Thanks for reading along and let me know if you've done things like this to improve daily quality of life. I'd be interested to hear how other people think through their pain points.