If it doesn’t work…Change it up!

I like problem solving. It pisses me off when something I want to work doesn’t. It brings me great satisfaction when I figure out how to make it work. So maybe I get an inherent dopamine buzz when I solve a problem? Either way, it has served me well. Here’s a small example that happened recently to use as a template.

I have a huge garden. It is my primary hobby, brings me great enjoyment, but is a lot of work. And, by definition, is a seasonal endeavor. This is my fifth year doing it. When I started, I had read a few books and knew, essentially, nothing about gardening. Five years later, I know slightly more than nothing. But it is an improvement.

The problem is that what I do know, I tend to forget over the winter. When do I start the seeds indoors? When should I transplant? How much do I harden them off first? What diseases happen and when? What do I need to order? How long will it take for everything to germinate? How much yield am I getting? How many of each plants should I plant? Since I don’t necessarily remember the answers to all of these questions… or any of them, I need to take notes. I’ve always had a nice little 4x6ish leather notebook that I keep in my gardening dry sink (see picture) on the porch. The problem is that I basically never used it.

This year I asked myself why I never used it. The best answer I could come up with was that it wasn’t visual enough and felt like it was way too much work to find the info I was looking for. Really it was just a blank book that I wrote a date on the top of the page and filled in details. Not much structure either. I decided that a month view calendar would would better. As you can see, I’ve kept super up to date. (Though I’m still dreading transferring the early season notes from the other notebook.)

Of course it took me four years to question my paradigm and figure all this out. But the takeaway is: if it’s not working, question it! And keep trying solutions until you find one.

Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.

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