For the past several months, my living room couch has been coming apart, well, literally at the seams. Thanks to a twenty year old cat with claws and a seven year old child with too much energy the time has long passed to replace what used to be a very comfortable piece of furniture. And of course, I’ve yet to do it.
You know why? Because it’s a process that takes valuable time. I’d have to go into a store. A store full of salespeople. Salespeople who I’d have to… ugh… talk to. Then I’d have to explain what I wanted in a couch, and then, without fail, be shown countless couches that in no way related to what I’d asked for. It would take hours upon hours. I figured I could survive on my imploding couch a bit longer.
Until this weekend, when the bottom literally fell out of it, and I found myself siting on a cushion on the floor. It was time.
So this Saturday, I walked into a Raymour and Flanigan store in Union Square, NYC. Someone in my orbit told me they bought a couch from a salesperson there named Linda, who “got them.” I met with Linda, and told her what I wanted, and mentioned that I feared shopping for the reasons I mentioned above.
The first thing Linda said to me was this: “Peter, I get it. It’s about not wasting time. Let’s make this easy.” She had me sit down, and less than five minutes later, came over with an iPad that had all the couches they had in stock that matched my specs, then said we were going to walk from couch to couch. I’d sit on each one, and make my decision. That’s it.
I’m not kidding when I tell you that eleven minutes later, I’d picked out the perfect couch and was at the counter paying for it.
Why was this process so amazing? Two reasons. 1) Linda far exceeded my expectations. She didn’t try and upsell me. She didn’t waste my time asking me about things I didn’t need. She saw a customer who needed a couch, and she got me that couch. 2) She knew that me doing anything other than having to shop for a couch would have been preferable to me, so she prioritized that for my shopping experience. And it was awesome.
Question: Why can’t we do this in our lives? Can we take some valuable time to figure out what things we hate doing, and explore new ways to do them, or even not do them? My mom hated shopping for groceries online because she only knew the experience of going to the store every week; until she tried it. That gave her back two hours of her week, now she can’t imagine going to the supermarket again. Friend of mine who can’t afford to hire a cleaning service but hates cleaning his own apartment swapped with someone else in the same position as him – He cleans his friend’s apartment each week and vice versa. It takes much less time now because he doesn’t see it as a chore any more, but rather, an adventure.
Today’s thought: What can you do in your life to eliminate the things you hate doing? I bet you can find a ton of ways to remove the negatives, if you start thinking of them as time you can gain back.