Time to Tweak the Process
Recently, I took a vacation to Playa del Carmen, Mexico with 3 other friends. We had planned this trip last September and were very excited to finally be able to get away from the cold and all the snow for several days. Since there were enough of us to split the cost of parking, we decided to treat ourselves and park in the garage attached to the airport. All we had to do was park the car and walk to the terminal and at the end of the trip, reverse what we had done a week earlier – no waiting for vans to transport us.
Since I was the one who drove, I was the keeper of the parking ticket. We wrote our parking location on the ticket, so we could find our car after we collected our bags and went through Customs. I even said to my friends, “This is where I am putting the ticket [in my wallet]. I’ll need your help in remembering this safe spot.” We were being so careful and organized, right?
As we were leaving our condo in Mexico to return home, I decided to make sure I had the parking ticket. Guess what – I didn’t. That began the frantic search, first by me and then by my friends, through my wallet, pocketbook, and carry-on backpack. We couldn’t find it and although it upset me that I had lost it (a certified professional organizer – how could this happen?), we figured we couldn’t be the only people who lost a parking ticket. I kept saying “What happens if your wallet is stolen and that is where you put the ticket”?
When we drove to the booth to pay, I had to tell the cashier I lost the ticket. She yelled out “We have another one who lost her parking ticket”. All we could do was laugh as it seemed like she announced it for the whole city of Philadelphia to hear. Actually, I was very happy to find out that this happens many times, and they do have a way of checking when you give them your license, registration, and approximate time of arrival. We paid and off we went.
As organized as you may be, there may be times when your system doesn’t work. These are the times when you need to either develop a new one or tweak the one you put in place because your needs have changed. I don’t want you to feel like I did at the parking garage. For example, it’s tax time and whether or not you do your own taxes or give the information to your accountant, you still need to get all your papers in order. It sure would save a lot of time if you used the same process over and over again so you wouldn’t have to scramble at the last minute every year. It may sound overwhelming, but in reality it’s not, especially if you know you can get help.
This particular vacation had a lot of lessons to be learned. The lost ticket is just one story of many. What I learned is not to carry around the parking ticket in my wallet during a vacation. When I lock my passport and other important papers in the room’s safe, I will put the parking ticket in with them.
The biggest lesson learned is somehow inconveniences like this work out, and situations can be recreated. Too bad we don’t have a crystal ball to know that. However, wouldn’t it be nice if we had a system in place in the first place so we didn’t have to waste our time having to recreate it?
What processes do you need to tweak that used to work for you but now don’t?
Now is your time to Go from Bedlam to Brilliance!
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