With our kids out of the house, we are moving from Pennsylvania to be closer to family in the Midwest.
One of the many challenges of this move is to make sure we will be able to fit into the new place. We are shrinking from a single-family house to a town home. In the process we’ll lose about 50% of our current square footage.
What will fit? What won’t?
On move-in day, we don’t want to have to play Tetris with our furniture.
I only want to move that heavy sleeper-sofa once – it’s all my back can handle!
The solution? Like any big endeavor: Invest the time to plan it out.
On a simple piece of graph paper we drew out the floor plan; every block on the graph paper equals a square foot in the real world.
Then my wife and I ran around the house with a tape measure, pencil and scissors (actually, we weren’t really running with the scissors – that would be wrong!), and cut out shapes to represent the major items of furniture.
With scale paper furniture on a paper floor plan, it’s easy to slide things around, move them to different floors, and even store things in the garage on a whim.
In fact we’ve redesigned the whole place several times; it’s easy and fun.
I’d much rather move a paper couch 100 times with my fingers than move the real thing twice with my back.
Patton liked to say “A pint of sweat is worth a gallon of blood.” His idea was that training hard and preparing with diligence can save a lot of pain, whatever your battlefield happens to be.
He’s right, but I’ll go him one better. A piece of paper is worth a pint of sweat.
Whether it’s moving furniture, or a more ambitious project, you have a better shot at getting the results you are hoping for when you invest time in planning.
Draw a diagram, sketch on a white board, make a model, scratch pictures in the dirt, and by all means, get input from your team.
Leaders do this so that when the time for action comes, they can act decisively.
The harder you work your brains, the easier it will be on your backs.