breaking down tasks into granular units

December 9, 2008 |  Category:   life the biz


The whole “unit calculation” thing is really working for me. I feel comforted that each “project” has its own designated units and I’m sticking to it (although I am a little behind today). Because packaging cookies is so tedious, you do whatever you can to keep yourself entertained and in my case, it’s figuring out how fast I can do a certain task and then trying to beat that time (yes, I may have officially gone crazy). I now know that I can wrap a single brownie in 12 seconds – my best time was 9 – which theoretically means that I can wrap 300 brownies in an hour. I can put together 12 classic sampler boxes or 9 deluxe boxes in an hour, which means that it will take me about 6.5 hours to fulfill one corporate order of 22 classic and 37 deluxe boxes (this doesn’t include packaging the individual components, but we are doing that ahead of assembling boxes). Mark is doing the same on his side with the baking. 2000 cookies in 5 hours, etc. When we look at the big picture in this manner, it seems manageable. Of course there are things along the way that throw our schedule off, but well, that is life isn’t it? Believe it or not, I’m going on a business trip tomorrow for the day down to DC which means that I am boarding a 5:30am train. Seems crazy that this of all things is thrown into the mix, but at this point? Just bring it on.

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  • Mery December 9, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    you’re on a roll!!! good for you!

  • Stella December 9, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    You’re not going crazy, you’re playing games! So great to hear things are keeping on for you both and you’re sticking with it.

  • Tamika LaShelle December 9, 2008 at 3:32 pm



    LOVE IS…

  • alicia December 9, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Just received your beautiful package of treats which just made my day– I cannot even begin to describe the yum-factor here…
    Your coconut five spice w/ white choc is AMAZING as well as your choc orange cardamom shortbread cookies! To single out any one of the 5 delicious treats from this package would just be wrong– they are ALL sooo very yummy! (but, oh boy, those marshmallows are really sooo good, too!!)
    Ahhh, what a wonderful way to warm the day. 😉

  • chris December 10, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Josh came up with a very similar unit calculation process when he was writing his book on deadline. At any given moment of the day he would start spouting the exact calculation of words per day/week/month right up to the deadline. It was always shifting, a la, “Today I only got 1144 words done. That means tomorrow I have to increase to 1711, or else work from 3-5 on Sunday, or else up my numbers next week by an average of 200 per day till next Tuesday…” It wasn’t so much logical as it was comforting, as the task itself was too huge to imagine and he brings a little OCD to the table. He got it done though. Hang in there.

    I also forgot to tell you that when I brought that box of stuff home for thanksgiving, my mother tried one of the coconut spice cookies and got this strange look on her face and for a moment I was afraid. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “This is absolutely the best cookie I have ever eaten in my life,” she said.

  • Right Out Loud December 10, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    It will not be much longer that I can resist the urge to place a order for myself. Congrats. on the busy season.

  • Jenna December 11, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    glad she liked it! LOL about josh. Uh yeah, I think I have a little OCD, as if that wasn’t obvious, ha!

  • xj December 12, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    i saw ur blog from etsy and i tot your blog is really nice. i am drooling over the food!