Well, it finally happened, I ran out of my precious stash of Costco coffee filters. Is there anything special about the size 4 cones? They don’t break and they are cheap, like $4 for a bazillion. In fact, they were such a good price, that when my Costco stopped selling them, I asked my mom if her local Costco still had them. They did!
Once a year, she’d bring me half a pack to keep my caffeine addiction going for a fraction of a penny. About a month ago, she lamented that her Costco was also done stocking them, but that the Costco Business store should have them. Then for the last 3 Saturdays, I tried to schedule a trip down south about 10 miles to this magical store who supposedly had the most economical coffee filters on earth in stock.
As I ran down my filter supply to the final few with little time for a pilgrimage, I came to this realization. I have wasted SO MUCH brain space worrying about acquiring coffee filters! I immediately added them to my grocery pick up order and freed that space for something that matters.
While you may not struggle with an accidental obsession with coffee filters, you likely DO have something simple taking up brain space as you work through the optimal solution that isn’t serving you. Maybe you’re worried about which meeting to attend when you got double booked, or your you’re obsessing over the return to office plan at work and which days to be there. If you’re ready to clear the space and make room for complex problems, ask yourself the following when you run into your own coffee filter problems:
- What would an easy resolution look like?
- Is that possible today?
- If no, then acknowledge that and set the time you need to resolve it this week.
Finally, once you take action, notice just a for minute how you’re talking to yourself.
- Are you upset you wasted so much energy?
- Are you relieved the issue is behind you?
- Are you worried you’ll obsess over something trivial again?
Looking back, my answer was a resounding yes to all three. I had to choose a new soundtrack.
“I appreciate being raised in a household that valued saving money. I also am thankful that as an adult, I know the value of my time, and can spend a few dollars to make a small problem go away. As a bonus, I’m glad I could share my mistake with my kids so they can learn to recognize their own simple problems in life, too.”
We all have coffee filter problems in our lives. The key is to recognize and resolve them so you can move on to tackling the big challenges in work and in life.