I once didn’t change my air conditioner filter for almost two years. I know this because I write the date on the new one when I change them out.
I knew it needed changing because I often thought about it. I would be going up to bed when the heat switched on and think, “Gosh, it’s been a while since I’ve put in a filter. I should really do that.” Or I would see the new filter sitting in the closet and reprimand myself for not getting to it, but since I was about to go to the Y, I’d decide to wait until I returned from exercising. And, well, you get the picture. Day after day, week after week, month after month went by with my never changing that filter. And that’s how I removed the dirtiest filter in the history of air conditioning filters.
Last week, I started reading The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology by Gregg Krech. He reminded me that folks could get a lot done (and get rid of a lot of mental baggage) if they simply did a task the moment they noticed it.
This weekend, I saw a stain on a tshirt in my closet. My first thought was to put it in a pile of clothes needing care. But wasn’t the pile itself an indication of my past failures? So I took the tshirt downstairs and rubbed stain remover on it.Then on coming home from the gym, I noticed my iPod needed charging. I immediately plugged it into my computer instead of tossing it on a table as usual. For the first time in a long time, I will not have to worry about my iPod dying when I’m on the track.
These are not revolutionary things, but both made my life a little easier. And I can see that if I keep it up, lots of little irritations will disappear from my life. And with those irritations gone, I will probably be less grumpy. And that’s always a good thing.