Defrosting and due diligence
I rarely defrost things in my microwave, but when I do I never remember to switch back to high power mode after.
The memory of moving the analogue dial on my microwave disappears within seconds of performing the action. It's one of those mundane things you barely register doing. You're body is on autopilot. "Take it easy, we got this," your limbs say to your brain.
But then, several days later, you're back at the microwave. This time you're heating up some soup for lunch. You stick it on for two minutes, as per the packet instructions, give it a stir and then go for another minute.
Finally after three minutes of waiting you notice something curious. The soup is not steaming as you might expect. In fact the bowl is barely warm. You’re stood there in front of the microwave with your sleeves pulled over your hands wondering what the hell happened.
Then it hits you. The goddamn thing is still on defrost mode! That's why your soup is not steaming. Hell, it's not even tepid. Slightly above room temperature is the best you can hope for.
Time to start again. Another three minutes plus standing time. Your bread is already buttered, your glass of water poured. But alas they will have to stand and wait with you.
The Switch to Full Power
Before we embark on any activity, performing a few pre-flight checks can save us a lot of time and effort in the future. This doesn't need to be an exhaustive list of activities that simply serves to delay the action itself, just a checklist of things to be done before you progress with the actual work.
Before leaving the house check your pockets for keys, wallet and phone.
Before you set out for a run make sure you've set your timer properly (if using one), double check that your laces are tied securely and that your running is playlist ready to go.
Before you overhaul the UI on your website, check with your users that you work will add value for them.
Before you buy a new computer make sure it will suit your needs.
Check the microwave settings before attempting to heat up your soup.
Whatever it is you are doing you can potentially save your future self a whole lot of time and effort by taking the time to perform a few small checks up front.
Get rid of the stumbling blocks before you stumble on them.