The Eight Wastes of Lean Manufacturing and How They Apply to You (Part 2)

Today, I am writing part two of  “The Eight Wastes of Lean Manufacturing and How They Apply to You”. You may want to go back and read it in order to fully grasp all eight wastes and how they effect you personally.

Lean manufacturing is a method of cutting out waste to improve efficiency.

Lean manufacturing is an advanced form of organization. Primarily used in industry, it helps production within the company and allows everything to run more smoothly. However, when we study it for ourselves, it can be an essential tool for better time management, a more orderly schedule, and phenomenal organizational skills within our homes.

There are eight wastes that experts consider “deadly.” These wastes are anything that eat up our time, money, and energy. It is important to identify these wastes so we can remove them. When we do, we will have more energy throughout our day, we will save money, and we will have more time to do the things we enjoy with our loved ones.

In order to clarify, the eight wastes are as follows:

  1. Defects
  2. Overproduction
  3. Waiting
  4. Not Utilizing Talent
  5. Transportation
  6. Inventory Excess
  7. Motion Waste
  8. Excess Processing

In this post, we will be talking about the last four wastes, transportation, inventory excess, motion waste, and excess processing.

Transportation Waste

I would say that transportation is one of the more confusing wastes and probably not an easy one to start this post off with. But I will do my best to explain it in terms everyone can understand. Transportation waste means to unnecessarily move an object when you don’t have to move it, or moving an object from one place to the next without any value added to the object. Transporting things unnecessarily usually causes confusion and possible loss or damage to the item. If you have ever worked in the back of a store where inventory is kept, you might understand transportation waste a little better. For example, when I worked at the salon, part of my job was to go into the back supply room and find the boxes of product to stock the shelves. Since the salon was located in a huge department store, I would often have to dig through hundreds of boxes just to find one labeled “salon.” In fact, sometimes other employees would move our boxes to some unknown corner of the storeroom and we would have no clue where to look. Me, my manager, and some of the other stylists could’ve been spared a lot of trouble if the salon boxes had a specific location.

But how does this correlate to our homes? How can we cut transportation wastes personally? Well, how often do we find ourselves moving objects for no reason, other than for aesthetic purposes? I used to be horrible at this. I found myself constantly moving essential items out of view, or putting them “away” because they didn’t look pretty enough. This became a bad habit for me, and the end result was more work for myself and my husband as we scrambled to find something we needed in our cluttered drawers and cabinets. I had to remind myself that there are some things that need to be kept out, especially if it is more convenient for the family. Even if it isn’t the prettiest thing in your house, it is often just necessary to keep the ugly toilet brush next to the toilet, or the old sponge next to the sink. It is just easier for everyone, and you won’t need to take the time to look for something crucial when it’s in plain sight. It’s the old saying, “A place for everything, and everything in it’s place.”

Inventory Excess

Inventory Excess refers to anything that you have that is sitting idle in your home. This could mean uneaten food that goes to waste, subscriptions which haven’t been cancelled that send you unwanted items every month, or those old toys in your child’s toy box that are collecting dust. When you have inventory excess, often money is being wasted, and there is more for you to clean because you likely own too much stuff. It is important to identify inventory excess in your home so that you can remove it before it gets too out of hand.

Motion Waste

Motion waste refers to taking unnecessary movements. I have talked a little bit about motion waste in my previous post called Linear Thinking. One thing I said in linear thinking was that when you are doing a task, do that task until it is finished. If you start to daydream, get distracted by something, or start “multitasking,” you will find that you aren’t nearly as productive as you could have been. Therefore, in order to get rid of motion waste, only do the one task that you set out to do. Do nothing else until that task is done. Don’t try to multitask by doing a million things at one. You will find that when you cut out unnecessary motion, you will save tons of time and be far more productive throughout the day.

Excess Processing

Excess processing means to overdo something that doesn’t need to be done, or basically, to be a perfectionist. How is this a waste? Although there is nothing wrong with doing something to the best of your ability, in reality, perfectionism takes it a step further. Oftentimes, perfectionists overthink their task so much that the end result becomes shoddy.

When I was in the hair industry, I saw perfectionism constantly with new stylists. They would fret so much over a haircut and then the haircut would turn out terribly because they would keep cutting and cutting. In the stylist’s eyes, it was never good enough. Usually, the client would leave angry, and the new stylist would start crying at their failed attempt. If they would have stopped worrying from the beginning, they could have saved themselves a lot of time, pain, and embarrassment. My point is, excess processing is a waste for a reason. When you finally let go of perfectionism, you will find that you let go of anxiety, overthinking things, and wasting time. Then you will have more energy to finish all your tasks rather than spending that energy worrying about the unnecessary details.

Now that I have explained all eight wastes and given examples on how to remove them, we can use this information to cut clutter from out lives. It is important to live an efficient and orderly life so that we can grow finances, save time, become less stressed, and be able to spend time with the people we love. Although it is a lot of work and takes dedication, cutting unnecessary wastes from our lives is well worth it in the long run. That being said, I challenge you to start by cutting three out of the eight wastes from your routine for three weeks. I am sure that if you do, you will feel so much better and more energetic in just a few short weeks.

I hope you enjoyed this two part series I did on the eight wastes. If you have any questions about any of these things, comments, or concerns, or you just want to say hi, let me know in the comments! Thank you everyone so much and have a blessed Sunday!

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