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Re-design the low point of your day

After-Dinner Clean Up Design by Raphael and Elijah de Araujo

Pick whichever part of your day is predictably unpleasant, and re-design it. I gave this exersise to my audience at my Vivid Ideas Festival event. My sister's children picked after-dinner as the 'Crazy Lonely Messy Silly Selfish' time, and created this design.

They proposed this: Elijah does drinks, the glasses in the dishwasher. Raphael does the cutlery, Dad deals with leftover food, and Mum does the plates and final wipe. To my amazement, most times I visit, years later, up they spring and without any protest or willpower expended, things disappear. The design worked, and is now just how daily life goes. The scene of devastation that always followed dinner has disappeared. No more smeared plates all sitting looking guilty on the shelf, waiting for someone to get brave and do something about it. Pick up a plate, and its in your hand till its in the dishwasher. No middle man, no sitting on sinks, dilly-dallying to the final destination.

This worked thanks to these alternative energy sources:

Divide and Conquer

One person, one 'species' of tableware to deal with.

Power of Rhythm

Same thing every night, it becomes second-nature, no willpower required.


Everyone is happy they aren't doing it all by themselves, and that someone they love isn't stuck with it either. Seeing eveyone else jump into it gives each person power.

Think of the time of day you like least. Wake-up alarm? Commute? Make a design, implement. Then pick another time, make another design. I'll do it too. We are going to be pretty blissful after a few cycles of this.

My nephew Raphael cooking dinner. Theres a design for this too.

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