I previously wrote about Working Smart Versus Working Smarter. In it I spoke about how I needed to pull a bunch of fence posts out of the ground. Instead of taking the obvious option of getting a shovel and starting to dig (working hard) I chose to build something that will do the same amount of work with less effort (working smart). This contraption worked fine for a while, however I came to realize that even when working smart there are ways to work smarter.
This past weekend Mark Turansky and Dan Mace came over to help me pull an old four foot picket fence out and set the posts for a new six foot privacy fence. We started using my contraption and found that, while it was a little unwieldy to move, it was doing the job. We pulled a couple posts then someone pointed out that the 3/8″ stainless steel eye bolt was actually bending. For whatever reason the post, while it would wiggle quite a bit, was firmly rooted and was not going to come up with the aid of just my contraption.
So we took a step back to think about the situation and came up with the solution of wetting the ground to help loosen the soil. After hosing down the area for about a minute one of the guys pushed against the post, only to find that he could now almost pull it out by himself, with his bare hands. We cast the contraption aside and use this method to wrench the rest of the posts from the ground.
Working smart doesn’t preclude improvements. There is almost always a way to work smarter – finding it is the real challenge.