I just wanted to touch base on a concept that can be applied to our everyday lives. For a lot of us, we all want to perform at our best in our personal life and work life. To do so, we must ensure we have a clean and organized work and living space.
I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with Marie Kondo for her iconic question: “Does this bring you joy?” on her Netflix documentary: “Tidying up with Marie Kondo.” Her show encompasses helping others find joy through proper organization and maintenance of their living space. A lot of her concepts are routed from the lean six sigma methodology of 5S.
5S like Marie Kondo is routed from Japan from lean six sigma methodology concepts to organize and maintain workspaces to optimize efficiency and productivity.
5S Stands for:
- Seiri – Sort
- Seiton – Set in order
- Seiso – Shine
- Seiketsu – Standardize
- Shitsuke – Sustain
The 5S’s work as a guide and structure to create and maintain a clean and organized workplace.
This is how you can apply these concepts at your work desk:
1st: Sort Through all belongings on your work desk and decide what is a necessity and what is unnecessary (clutter) that we can get rid of.
2nd: Set In Order or organize these belongings so they are where they need to be. For example, put all your pencils in a cup/mug/drawer where they are easily accessible.
3rd: Shine– Shine refers to “Keep everything clean.” Eliminate trash and maintain cleanliness.
4th: Standardize: Create a process of where things should be and ensure they return to where they belong.
5th: Sustain: Sustaining a process is always the hardest part and requires the most effort. Like diets, stick with it and ensure that your workplace is maintained with the process you set up.
The concept of 5S aims to be more efficient and reduce waste. When we think of waste, we can think of the Acronym: “DOWNTIME.” DOWNTIME stands for: (Defects/ Overproduction/Waiting/ Non Utilized Talent/ Transportation/ Inventory Excess/ Motion/ Excess Processing). The DOWNTIME concept of waste works most effectively when thinking of manufacturing/ production, however, I think there is a lot of applicable concepts that can be applied to your home office.
When we are working at home, I think what most people need is to reduce waste at their desks in the following areas: Motion and Inventory. I think why most people are unproductive in their home setup is due to the fact that they don’t have everything they need readily available. As a result, they’re looking all around their home for the things they need. I can’t name how much time I waste looking for a writing utensil or a document around my house when I’m in the middle of working. This wasted “Motion” adds up and can take a hit on your productivity.
As stated in the 5S concept of SET and SORT, inventory can also play a role in waste. Not enough pens/utensils will result in wasted motion and waiting to do assignments as you go find more, and too much can result in clutter and disorganization. There’s always a balance that must be obtained when thinking of inventory waste.
All in all, I believe that the concept of 5S and DOWNTIME can be effective in helping improve productivity. In addition, to these concepts, making plans and agendas can ensure proper focus and help build an understanding of the tasks at hand.
“What Is 5S? 5S System Is Explained Including Tips On Getting A 5S Program Started.”. 5Stoday.Com, 2021, https://www.5stoday.com/what-is-5s/.