I’m reading a really good book right now about Stanley Kubrick, written by his driver for 30 years. One thing that struck me to apply to my life was one of Kubrick’s house rules: If you take it out, put it back. A very simple idea to help you to organize your life. Clearly, if you can follow this simple rule, you will always be organized.
When I’m behind the bar, this can sometimes be a difficult task. You open up a liquor bottle, the empty bottle sits there taking up space before you have time to put it in its proper place. Everything should have a home, but when it’s busy, it’s easy to try to cut corners. Thinking: I’ll take care of this when I don’t have 15 customers wanting drinks. But then it piles up. You look behind your bar when you have a moment, and see the kind of destruction you’ve made when busy. But maybe if you take the time in the moment to put away the empty bottle, it won’t inevitably clutter up your bar, making things look messy. Nobody likes to look at a messy bar.
Cleaning empty glasses is an absolute CONSTANT struggle. Sometimes it feels like, when you finally get the glasses done, a whole new load appears. It’s not just cleaning the glasses, but sometimes the hardest part, the most time consuming, is putting them in their proper place. At one of my hotel gigs, they actually have a dishwasher, which is a miracle for bartenders. Not only is it easier to manage dirty glasses, but it cleans the glasses better as well. Here’s a little secret you don’t want to know: when you’re at a bar and it’s super busy, probably the sinks are not getting changed as much as they should. The last thing a bartender has time for is to dump all three of the sinks, and fill them back up, when it’s busy. That means your glass is not getting as clean as it should be. Problem solved when there’s a dishwasher. The glasses come out clean every time. The only small drawback is that usually the glasses are hot. But I’d rather have a mildly warm glass that just came out of the dishwasher, instead of a cold glass that didn’t get cleaned properly.
Getting back to the original concept everyone could use help with: if you take it out, put it back. Think of your car. I just found a bowl in my wife’s car with a half of banana in it. And it looked like it had been there for awhile. Obviously, the bowl’s home wasn’t the backseat of her car, but it’s just another thing to have to carry in from the car. We all get lazy, I get it. But you will find your life, and work, will be more functional if everything you have has a home, and when you take it out of its home for whatever reason, you put it back in its home when finished.