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George Little: Time saved now pays off later

March 15, 2013 at 07:28 AM

The State Journal-Register

A recent study of the way Americans spend time revealed that we spend 14 days over the course of our lifetimes looking for the TV remote. Of course, this number is an average, and will increase dramatically with small children or a golden retriever in the house.

Granted, these lost days aren’t a spit in the river compared to the time we spend working, eating and sleeping, and we wouldn’t gain appreciably more time each day if we wore our remote controls on belts. Still, when you start adding it up, little things eventually become big ones. Just ask anyone involved in the government budgeting process.

When I gave up searching for the remote, found the instruction book, and manually switched off the television, I started thinking about other things that I have, but haven’t a clue where they are.

In my equipment room, there are scope rings, my hunter safety course card, turkey tags, warranties, a pretty good whetstone, a slate turkey call and a great pair of shooting gloves. All those things are missing in action, and will be needed eventually. When they are, it will set off a frenzied search that will seem like 14 days, even if only takes 15 minutes.

I’ve always thought the Felix Unger types with all their stuff in neat little alphabetical rows were a little creepy. After all, you have to go on a treasure hunt once in a while.

So, I came up with a practical approach to reduce my time spent looking. I put up signs in the garage and equipment room that say, “Put Stuff Away As Soon As You Get Home.” Seems simple enough. That visual stimulus could short stop a scavenger hunt next time a hunting or fishing trip breaks out on short notice.

It may take an extra 10 minutes when I come home cold or wet, but that 10 minutes will save 20 or more down the road. Besides, it might mean:

no moldy coveralls behind the truck seat.

no more searching for overshoes, a life jacket or orange hat.

no more leaving that gallon of milk I know bought on the way home.

Over of the remainder of my life, it might give me an extra three or four weeks to go quail hunting. Granted, this idea is not akin to the discovery of fire. But when one is trying to get organized, no ideas are too small.

Regardless of your degree of organization, or lack of it, there are times when the gremlins attack and stuff just disappears. My scope rings are still AWOL. My shooting gloves turned up in the freezer, sitting between the crappie filets and the back strap. This begs the questions: What was taken from the freezer when the gloves were placed there? Was it eaten? If not. Where is it now and how long has it been there? It might make its olfactory presence known eventually.

Until then, it seems best just not to know.

Contact George Little at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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