A few months ago, I moved into a new apartment that had a closet system already installed.
I hung up my dresses and shirts.
Put my leggings & pants in the top drawer,
And then put all my underwear & socks in the other drawer below my pants.
Usually when I’m getting dressed, I go into my closet and grab underwear first, and then a shirt.
Let’s be honest here… As an entrepreneur, I do a lot of video interviews and conversations online, so I’m never required to wear pants lol
And let me clarify another thing… I know exactly which drawer has the underwear (the bottom one) and which one has the pants (the top one)
For some WEIRD REASON
I always open the TOP drawer FIRST…
And then I realize that’s where the pants are..
And then close it and open the bottom one to get the underwear that I was looking for…
Literally every time.
I never learned my lesson.
I kept opening the wrong drawer,
The top drawer,
To get my underwear.
AND I DON’T KNOW WHY
Yesterday, I found myself complaining about this to my boyfriend
(I know, what a huge problem to complain about 🙄 but stay with me here…)
That’s when I realized something…
And before I tell you that realization
First, let’s look at the options I had to fix this issue:
OPTION 1 — Continue to open the wrong drawer
And hope that one day I’ll somehow remember to open bottom drawer instead of the top one for my underwear
And then hope that wasn’t just a lucky strike and that I can actually open the bottom drawer consistently each time I want some fresh panties
OPTION 2 — FORCE myself to open the correct drawer
Maybe put a sticky note on the drawers that label them
Maybe use Maneesh Sethi’s Pavlok and shock myself every time I open the wrong drawer
Or some other way to force myself to break that habit and open the right drawer
OPTION 3 — Just change the system by switching the drawers…
Put the underwear drawer at the top
And put the legging drawer on the bottom
IT’S THAT EASY!?
I’ve literally been living here for almost 5 months now…
That’s maybe about 150 days
That’s 150 times (not even counting opening the same drawer for socks)…
That I’ve opened the wrong drawer and wasted a few seconds of my time and energy being frustrated
Not to mention the amount of times I’ve complained and done nothing about it
It seems silly, but here’s the truth…
Entrepreneurs do this EVERY. DAY. in their business
We don’t realize it because it seems sooo minuscule compared to the BIG things going on
Hiring team members…
Managing the day to day tasks…
Delivering client work…
Have you ever stopped to think… What are all the little things you’re complaining about on a daily basis?
And how much are they adding up in wasted time, money, effort, or energy?
It seriously took me 5 minutes to switch the drawers yesterday.
And then today, without thinking
I opened up the top drawer for underwear
AND I FOUND MY UNDERWEAR THERE 🎉
It’s so simple, but as entrepreneurs we complicate this stuff all the time.
I’m guilty of this… not just in my closet, but in my business too
I’ve over-complicated onboarding processes for new hires…
I’ve over-complicated client work & delivery…
I’ve over-complicated marketing funnels…
The list goes on.
And here’s the worst part…
The whole time we’re over-complicating things,
We’re also judging ourselves for not making it work “right”
For 150 days, I thought there was something wrong with ME for opening the top drawer instead of the bottom drawer when looking for underwear
(and maybe I’m a weirdo that naturally assumes panties are always in the top drawer, who knows?)
But what I could’ve done from the start is just change the system.
>> When a system doesn’t work, change the system <<
You don’t always have to change yourself, or change your habits, to make things work.
There’s a time and a place for both.
So next time you catch yourself complaining about something that seems to small to matter…
“Why do I have such a hard time finding the document I’m looking for in this Google Drive folder!?”
“I know running is good for me, but it’s soooo boring and I never do it consistently”
“This team member ALWAYS makes the same mistake, over and over again…”
Maybe this time…
Change the system instead of changing the person.
And see what happens 😉