Lean in your everyday life
Lean as a strategy gains more and more followers. It is proven that successful Lean increases company’s profits and customer’s satisfaction. No wonder that Lean is becoming more popular by the day. What you might have not known is that you can apply Lean philosophy to your everyday life. Wouldn’t you like to get more for your money, or have more free time? Yes, it is possible if you apply Lean to your everyday life. Same as in business, you cannot expect big results if you don’t apply Lean in every aspect of your life possible.
5S in your everyday life
5S is a Lean methodology developed by Japanese companies. It’s based on 5 phrases which should be applied to every operation undertaken by the company, or in our case, by an individual. The 5 “s” stand for: sort, simplify, shine, standardise and sustain.
At first, adopting Lean thinking might feel complicated and overwhelming. The first step is, very much similar to the approach in the business environment, to analyse your everyday activities. Deciding which of them are necessary and beneficiary and which are simply “a waste of time”, or “an unproductive activity”.
Once we name all our daily activities we can see it any of them seem to be unnecessary. We should eliminate them immediately. Other we might want to tweak a little in order for them to become as efficient as possible. To give you an example, you might want to choose a shop to do your daily shopping at near your work or home. First of all, driving across town to purchase three items might is a waste of time. But even a shop on the way might prove not to be as efficient as shop near your home or work. Why? If you stop by on your commute it will make travelling much longer. When driving you’d have to find a parking spot, if you travel by public transport you’d get off and after shopping wait for another train or bus. Going to shop right after leaving work or just before walking into your home won’t disturb your commute.
Let’s get organized
Changing your daily routine is not all. An important part of Lean implementation into daily life is getting organised. When we have too many things in our house, when our closets are bursting at the seams from overcrowding, it is impossible to find what we are looking for. When we are surrounded by chaos, we don’t function to our capacity. Even Einstein said, “Out of clutter, find simplicity”. This stage is otherwise known as “shine”.
Create a pattern
Finally, as in business life, you must standardise and sustain your newly planned and organised activities. Unfortunately, it’s proven to be one most difficult as it requires, especially at the beginning, a lot of attention.
Lean way of life = Right way of life
Of course, you can use a different Lean method to improve your daily life. A poka-yoke, JIT Lean and 5 Whys also prove to be effective.
For some, it might seem that life with implemented lean methodology is boring and very much scheduled. On one side this thinking is correct, but there is another side to lean life. We organise activities that are part of our daily life and are bound to take our time everyday anyways. We still have to go to work, go shopping or clean our house. But by organising these activities well, we can muster some free time which we can use any way we please. We can get some more sleep; go to a cinema of for a trip. The choice there is absolutely up to you.