Simple Productivity Task Of The Day: Wash Your Car

by Randy Murray on September 21, 2010

Today’s simple task has two aspects. It’s designed to help you break from frustrations and logjams of too many things to do as well as accomplish something real and useful.

It also counts as a Spend Nothing Game activity.

Go and wash your car. Or your bike or motorcycle or Segway scooter or whatever other conveyance you might have. If you have none of those you can select anything around your household to clean. I recommend your oven or refrigerator.

I didn’t say take it to a car wash. This task is for you to take a bucket and rag and a hose, if you have one available, and clean your vehicle. Leave your phone or iPod on your desk. Don’t turn on the radio or music. Just go and wash your car.

Feel the surface as you rub it down. Watch the dirt and grime wash away. Scrub off the bugs, the tar, and the other nasty accumulations. Clean the windows inside and out. Vacuum or sweep the seats and carpet. Throw away all of the trash. And while you’re working, let your mind wander. For the thirty minutes or so you are cleaning the car there is nothing pressing or important. Think only about your immediate task of cleaning your vehicle and in whatever direction your mind takes you.

Once you’re through, put away your cleaning tools. You’ve accomplished something and finished a simple and useful project. I’ll bet you’ve thought of a few things and ideas or tasks you’ll need to capture. And if you’re lucky, you’ll feel like tackling another project and finishing it, too.

Yes, this task is very similar to the Karate Kid approach, but it’s not intended to train your muscles and help you defend against attack. It’s designed to help you think and relax and get ready for more work. And your vehicle will perform better clean. Up to 7% better on long trips.

If you accomplish nothing else, you’ll have a clean car!

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The Simple Productivity Task Of The Day: Wash Your Car by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John September 21, 2010 at 9:53 am

The other thing with washing a car by hand is that you learn every flaw and oddity in the paint. You see every scratch, notice every swirl mark, feel every dent. At first, this is painful, and for a car you bought used, I think it continues to be painful for a long time. But after a while, you start to not mind the scratches and dents and bumps so much because you start to remember that the car still works fine, you’ve seen all the scratches before, and the scratches never stop the car from doing its job.


2 Randy Murray September 21, 2010 at 9:56 am

Very well said. The imperfections of your car, of all your tools, becomes a part of their personality.


3 ann janzen September 21, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Woooaah! “Leave your phone or your ipod on your desk”… Can you do it?


4 Randy Murray September 21, 2010 at 3:52 pm

If I think I may damage it by getting it wet, it makes it easier to leave behind.


5 Ann Janzen September 22, 2010 at 9:19 am

There is a freedom to be had… I am almost in a panic when my cell is not on my person.


6 Windshield Wonder September 23, 2010 at 10:43 am

Washing your car by hand might be more effort, but it is probably worth it extra time. Thanks for sharing.


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