How do you attack a jigsaw puzzle?
Odds are, you are constantly staring at the box it came in, looking for the bigger picture. You’re probably searching through the pieces, separating the edges and isolating those all-important four corner pieces.
Then, you start matching similar colors, and jamming and wedging whatever fits.
Not my wife’s Aunt Marjorie.
She’s more organized than that.
She has developed her own system, classifying the pieces by general shape. There are “pieces with two outies and two innies,” and “three-outie one-innies,” and “stars.” Some pieces have the odd “foot” in them.
Marjorie has them all laid out by shape, because when she needs a foot to fill a gap, she doesn’t want to look through a bunch of three-outies.
After separating the pieces by general shape, she lays them out on cardboard palettes, where she can at a glance spot the color she needs from the sheet.
It’s odd to me to see four palettes of puzzle pieces stacked on top of each other — but it works for her.
I can’t say whose system is more efficient, because I don’t know how long she spends sorting and organizing her palettes. I can say that her method is more efficient for her, and she has a lot more experience putting puzzles together.
It’s definitely something to keep in mind, that we often just jump into tasks and projects the same way we’ve always done, and never thought about the existence of a better way. Likewise, we never really benchmark the cost of organization and structure, to be sure it is providing value.