One of the great challenges in life is that we always seem to be “one behind”.
For many of us, we’re conscious of this manifesting itself in (functionally-speaking) having our next paycheck spent before we get it. Or maybe we find ourselves getting our schedules goofed up in the morning such that we’re 15 minutes late to everything, all day.
And while those are the most obvious examples, I’ve also found that it can manifest itself in much smaller ways that can cause significant hassles.
For example, you discover that you’re out of shampoo. Not a big deal if you’re living by yourself, but if your spouse used the last of it and forgot to tell you it can mean you can’t wash your hair properly. And something as simple as that can start a ball rolling that can mess up the rest of your day!
Ridiculous? Sure. But does it happen? Absolutely!
I’ve taken to deliberately trying to get “one ahead” on some of these items. For example, take some of my basic bathroom needs:
- Razor blades
- Body wash
- Toilet Paper
To eliminate the possibility of ever running out of any of these items ever again, I realized that all I had to do was get “one ahead”. This wasn’t that hard, and didn’t even really take that much time. But it saved me a ton of hassle going forward!
How To Get “One Ahead”
Clear out a space that will hold your items. I used a spot under the bathroom sink, because these are all bathroom-related items – but you can use any space that makes sense to you.
Buy one extra of each item during your next trip to the store. Or if some of your items are expensive and cash is a little tight, buy a couple of them during your next trip, and a couple more during the next, etc.
Put away the items in your space that you’ve set aside.
Check the space before you go to the store, and see if anything is missing. If so, add it to your list and pick it up at the store. And if you’re the sort of person who gets forgetful about what belongs in that space, feel free to make a list and tuck it inside!
Discover The Benefits
Now, I don’t have to guess whether I have 1/3 of a bottle of shampoo, 1/5 of a bottle, etc. I just look under the sink. Is a bottle there? If so, I’m good! And if I’m out of shampoo, I just grab the new, full bottle from under the sink and know that it’ll be replaced before I need it again.
Likewise, if I use the last of the toothpaste, I just grab the new, full tube. And since most of these items only get rotated once a month or so (with the exception of toilet paper!), I don’t ever have to worry about running out – as long as I check the area before I go to the store, and I go to the store at least as often as I can burn through any one of the items.
Of course this doesn’t just apply to toiletries. You can apply it to your toner cartridges at work, the milk in your refrigerator, and dozens of other things. The only requirements are that it be something you can buy ahead and use before it expires or otherwise becomes unusable.
What about you? What sorts of things would you benefit from getting “one ahead” on?