Eliminating Waste in your Personal Work

2 min read

Most people hear all about how to eliminate waste at work, and why it is so important. While this is certainly true, it shouldn’t stop just at work. People should attempt to eliminate waste in their personal lives as well, whenever possible. Everyone has a set amount of time each day, and that is not something that can be changed. Much of that time is taken up by work and sleep, leaving an extremely limited number of hours each week to get everything necessary done. Eliminating wasted time in your personal work is the best way to do this.

What is Waste?

The first thing to do when attempting to eliminate waste in your personal work is to identify exactly what waste is. In businesses this is easy because the company can define anything that does not add value to the customer (and therefore increase profits) as waste. At home, however, this is not so easy and it will be different for every person. The first step to eliminate waste is to identify it, so take some time to do this.

Look at all the activities you need to get done in your personal time and then try to find things that aren’t helping to accomplish those goals. Some requirements for many people will include spending time with the family, enjoying some recreational time and getting house and yard work done. Whatever it is in your specific case, make that your goal.

Eliminating Waste

When you’re attempting to eliminate waste in your personal work, start by looking at every activity you perform. Think about whether or not it is helping to achieve any of your main goals. If it is not, see if it can be reduced or eliminated. Remember, however, that some things don’t contribute in obvious ways. Some people might think that watching a television show is an example, but if you’re enjoying it with your family than it is certainly contributing to the goal of family time.

Everyone is Different

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5S-guide-and-poster2What makes the task of eliminating waste in your personal life so difficult is that it is very different for each individual. Every person has different goals, and different ways of accomplishing those goals. Unlike at work, there is no one set way of doing things that works best. For one family, for example, going camping is a great way to spend time with each other. Another family might hate this activity and it would actually be counterproductive. There are endless examples of this, but the main point is that each individual and each family has to look at what is and what is important in their specific situation.

Where there is waste, make sure it is not just something you don’t enjoy. It is easy to look at an activity you don’t personally enjoy as waste, but to your children it might be time well spent. The process of eliminating waste in your personal work is much more difficult than most people think, but it is something that is well worth the investment of time and energy.

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Antonio Ferraro

On behalf of Creative Safety Supply based in Portland, OR, I strive to provide helpful information to create safer and more efficient industrial work environments. My knowledge base focuses primarily on practices such as 5S, Six Sigma, Kaizen, and the Lean mindset. I believe in being proactive and that for positive change to happen, we must be willing to be transparent and actively seek out areas in need of improvement. An organized, safe, and well-planned work space leads to increased productivity, quality products and happier workplace. Connect with Antonio on Google+