Have you ever been trying to complete a task, but it was taking longer than usual? Were you less effective than you’d like to be? Did you think that perhaps you just weren’t doing it right? Did you consider that the tool may be the problem?
Wait, there’s nothing wrong with my tool! So it HAS to be user error, right? Nope, *I* know what I’m doing…I need a new tool. Not exactly. Maybe you just haven’t been maintaining your tools properly so that they can work the way they should. When was the last time you did the following:
- Emptied or replaced the bag for your vacuum cleaner
- Cleaned or replaced your broom/mop
- Sharpened your knives
Let me tell you a quick (slightly embarrassing) story.
We have one of those sturdy-built Kirby vacuum cleaners…you know, the kind with all the attachments. Well, as you may know, those things are pretty heavy. The thing is, my vacuum seemed heavier than usual and wasn’t really picking up like it should. I was having to go back and forth over areas and cleaning was just a general struggle. Then it hit me…CHANGE THE BAG!
Of course, I had extra bags. Why had I waited so long to change it? It’s not like changing the bag was difficult or time consuming…was I just being lazy? Since I had seen the error of my ways, I also cleaned the brush roll. When I finished CLEANING the tool I CLEAN with, it was like a had a new vacuum! I could immediately tell a difference.
I could tell you a similar story about how easily I cut through meat with a freshly sharpened knife, but I think you get the idea. In order to get the most out of our tools, we MUST maintain them. This probably makes sense when I’m talking about household tools, but have you thought about how this lesson relates to other parts of your life?
Are you working and living within your full potential? Is there something that you could “clean up” or “sharpen” in order to get optimal results? I know I have a personal maintenance list, but I want you to think about yours. Let’s all work to be our best selves…after all, it’s not like we can just go out and purchase a new one.