Do you ever feel like you’re always a step behind and you can’t catch up no matter what you do? Do you often find yourself forgetting to do things even if they repeat over and over? You feel like you should know how to do this by now.
Never fear! I was the same way until I implemented the launch point system. In this post, I’m going to tell you about how this simple system helps me anticipate recurring events and keep on top of things.
We ran out?! Again?
It happened again. I ran out of dog food on Sunday night after all of the stores had closed. I hurried out early the next morning to buy some dog food so I could feed the dogs their breakfast before I started an already busy, stressful day.
On the drive, I got to thinking. Why didn’t I notice we were getting low on dog food? Why didn’t I think to check the cabinet where we store the dog food or ask my husband if we had recently bought some?
In all fairness, it has been a beast of a month, with a family emergency taking most of my free time and brain cells. I didn’t fault myself for cutting it so close, but I did want to put a system in place to cut down on the likelihood of this happening again.
The launch point system
The other day my husband and I went out to eat at a local fast food joint, and I was so impressed by the organization of the kitchen. During a busy lunch time rush, they didn’t want to run out of any item and lose money. Nor did they want to cook any item that no one would buy…and lose money.
Take the orange chicken. Let’s say it takes 10 minutes to cook (I have no idea how long it takes, so just play along with me). The counter staff would have to notify the cook staff that they’d better throw on some more orange chicken at least 10 minutes before the current batch was sold out.
This got me thinking about launch points, that moment that something happens and causes you to take action on something. When I ran out of dog food, this launched me to check for extra in the cabinet, only to find out that I was completely out. The launch point for dog food was set too late.
In the case of our common food items, such as Peanut Butter, the launch point is set much earlier. I always keep an extra jar of peanut butter on hand, and the moment we open the last jar of peanut butter, I add it to the weekly shopping list.
This way, we never run out. Even if life gets in the way and I can’t go shopping until much later than anticipated, I will have enough time to buy the new jar or jars of peanut butter before the old one runs out.
Setting up a launch point
Think of the areas in your life where you’re often falling behind. You feel like you’re always a step behind. Could these areas benefit from setting a launch point?
Could you keep an extra on hand for any of your commonly used pantry items and restock when you’ve opened your last one? Could you look at the school schedule the month prior and prepare for any special days in advance?
Maybe you could do laundry when the laundry basket is half full or when you’re down to your last three pairs of underwear.
Take notice of your thoughts. If you find yourself thinking negatively because you “always do this” or “can’t get it together”, ask yourself if this is an event that’s recurring.
If it is, set the launch point to be earlier in the cycle. If it isn’t, give yourself grace and move on. Look at it as a learning experience. Don’t be hard on yourself, but also learn from your mistakes.
Setting a launch point is a simple system that can help you anticipate recurring events before they happen. With this system, you can cut down on the chaos in your life and take one step towards crushing overwhelm.