Tag Archive: Status Quo

That’s right. We can prevent as many as 15,000 house fires from occurring every single year, and I just can’t get myself to believe that the solution can be too difficult to devote our time and energy into it.

So, what causes all of these fires which devastate family after family every year?

Dryer lint.

It’s not hard to have a fire because of dryer lint. All you have to do is wash a bunch of towels and forget to clean the lint trap.

Realistically, it is one of the easiest ways to burn your house down.

How is this still ok? How have we not fixed this yet?

I think the real problem here is that we’ve learned to accept the status quo and not expect anything better.

Let’s face it, if the dryer was invented today, it would either have a system that would dump the lint itself, or it would have lights, bells, and whistles to make sure that we didn’t go two loads without emptying the lint trap!!!

We need to be careful to not let the legacy problems/safety issues/usability issues of yesterday exist in today’s products! It’s the easy way out (“It’s always been that way”), but it’s not the right way to do business.

…and put a dang lock-out on that dryer so you can’t start it twice in a row without emptying the lint trap or a pressure transducer so the dryer will shut itself off if there is too much pressure before the filter!

Task Lists.

Who ever thought that “Task Lists” were a good idea? Why are they so widely accepted and why  do we keep making them?!?!

A friend of mine at work recently showed me his current task list. He was feeling overwhelmed, and I can understand why!!!

When I looked at his task list, all I saw was item after item. I couldn’t tell what items were related, I couldn’t tell how much work was involved with each item, and I couldn’t tell which tasks were the highest priority.

Now, I realize that some of this can be overcome with boxes, bullets, arrows, bold headings, and outlining, but, while this may help create a sense of order within a project, the relation to other projects is often missed.

Here is my proposal (and please speak up if you have some better ideas or additions!):

  • Tasks are like bubbles rising to the surface of water in a jar.
  • The higher the bubble, the higher the task priority/the sooner the project is due.
  • The bigger the bubble, the larger the time commitment.
  • The color of the bubble indicates the status of the project (completed/not started/on hold/etc)
  • “Nested” bubbles are subtasks within a parent task.

I think it would look something like this (but nicer, if done with software):

Now, this may not have 100% of the accuracy of the information (the priority/workload/date due is relative), but I think this would help serve as a super quick visual representation of your total workload. It would be a much better way to have meaningful discussions with your boss about what to work on (comparing workload vs. priority).

What are your thoughts? How can we make this better? Do you have an idea as to which software could be used to create this graphic from a table of information?