Day Eighteen: Tiny Upgrades

I’m trying to be a bit more “see a problem, solve a problem” this year.

A quick f’rinstance: USB cables make me nuts. I have to rearrange stuff from time to time. Figuring out which end goes to which thing is a tugging, follow-the-wire, jerk-ass exercise in frustration. So last weekend, I did this:

Tiny upgrades - USB plug tagging
Now I know which USB plug belongs to my external hard drive. Small improvements!

Tiny upgrades are easy, and pay off in the long term.

The stickers had been in a drawer for about five years. It took less than five minutes to do all my external devices. Four colours of sticker, and single/double stickering, means I can do up to 20 devices. And the dividends are going to be paying out to me for the rest of my computer-using life.

I’d even done this at work, months ago, when I was dealing with microphone cables and got hacked off. I numbered the ends of each cable. I don’t know why it took me so long to bring this idea home.

At any rate, I’m trying to be more attentive to tiny frustrations. I’m the sort of person who will be careful to step over the lifting edge of the carpet for years. I should be the sort of person that gets a hammer and a carpet tack and tacks it town.

“I don’t have time to do X” is my go-to excuse for not dealing with things like this. Often, it’s true. I have to get to work. I gotta shower. I gotta eat. Sometimes I really don’t have time.

So the challenge is really twofold:

  1. Actually engage with an annoyance rather than just instinctively getting around it;
  2. Ask myself if I do have time, really;
  3. Frame it as an investment rather than dealing with a hassle.

I guess that’s threefold. I could go up and change the “twofold” above to “threefold,” but I don’t have time right now. Ha!