“I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.” – Ian Fleming
In this blog, I would like to share about wastage. When you do a search on wastage, there are a LOT, I mean a LOT of information about wastage. In fact, I will not be able to mention all of the wastage, I am only going to focus based on what I have learnt from Lean management; 7 wastes of Lean.
I learnt from a professor friend (I once attended his class) who taught me a way to remember the 7 wastes of Lean based on the diagram created below:
Apart from the 7 wastes (based on the acronym “PIT WORM”), I added one extra waste, Human Potential. Please allow me to share some information and examples on the wastes. The examples will be based on real-life and not in manufacturing or services industry. Please write to me, should you have any thoughts or feedback to share. Thank you.
Here’s my sharing…
One of my mentors, a successful business woman once told me, “Dion, over thinking kills!” For me, over thinking is the processing that we are doing “Flexing our brain muscles…” to think, spending the time to design, putting the hours in planning. Hence the term, busy being busy. It will definitely be a waste when we only put our effort in thinking and planning with no action. Action speaks louder than words. What is stopping us from taking action? Let’s do what we can with the resources that we have… start doing and the results (big or small) will come.
“The ONLY impossible journey is the one you never begin.” – Tony Robbins
In this time and age, there is a lot of marketing… digital marketing, social media, on-line shopping and many more. Whether we like it or not, we are constantly being bombarded by things to buy and own. When talking to some of my friends, they are buying a lot, especially during sales (offer) period; some examples are keeping stock of shampoo, toilet rolls, food stuffs and etc. Just yesterday, my wife cleared the pantry and discarded a lot of expired food (some are gifts from friends and family members); lesson learned, to give away and bless others than to keep until expire. Learn not to be a hoarder… my opinion… no point buying to keep as it will get old or spoiled and it’s a waste.
I will relate this to driving, especially when we keep our engine running waiting for our kids to dismiss from school or for someone buying something. The wastage will be on petrol / diesel and emission of carbon harming our earth. One case to share will be, last Saturday, I was supposed to meet my cousin sister from the train station (in the morning), I live in the island and the train station is situated in mainland. I received a call from her that due to not being able to purchase the ticket, she will be taking the next train and arriving the station that afternoon. Lesson learned from the case, when we did not do proper planning and scheduling, delay like this is unavoidable. Another example off my head will be road closures (when we are not in the know about it), because of that, we might be late and need to take a detour taking the longer way. Best is to just do some planning and prepare for any circumstances.
Experienced any long waiting time, queuing to get something done? Last week, I went to Touch “N” Go customer service office wanting to settle my expired cards and get my refund. The moment I walked in the office, the place were like “packed sardines” and I press the queue number, there were more than 15 people before my turn! Can you imagine the waiting time? At first I waited and the average time taken for one person to complete a transaction was about 10 minutes… after about two people done… I was looking around the office and something caught my eye. The refund can be done on-line, so I scanned the QR code and access the website, registered myself and got everything done (on-line) in less than 10 minutes. I passed my queue number to the person who walked through the entrance, smile and left the office. Another example will be on-line banking… it definitely helps to save some time than waiting for the staff to serve us.
The example I would like to share on this will be something that I am passionate about… COOKING! At times when I am over excited about a new recipe, I tend to cook too much; especially food that may not taste good once keeping it overnight and best eat fresh. Apart from that, in my line of work… having the mentality to have spare copies of notes, handouts and materials… not planned properly leading to wastage. Another classic example when eating out… ordering too much because everything looks delicious and greedy wanting to try everything!!
When it comes to this topic on rejects, I would like to relate to making mistakes resulting to rejection. How does one make mistakes? Lacking of sleep, focus, planning, information and making assumptions, thinking that we know or having sufficient information to make that decision. When using the wrong tools or applying the wrong skills may lead to being rejected… not having the trust or rapport when working with others as well. The key to having minimal rejection will be preparation (perfect practicing the skills, obtaining enough information, rest well and focus.)
Work hard or work smart? For me, initially, we have to master the work (knowing the steps) by working hard. Once we know the details, we can then analyse how we can improve the task. What are the steps that we can eliminate to save time and effort (not compromising quality)? Another sound advice given by one of my mentors is to ask for directions (or help) when you are not familiar, never assume. A simple example I can think of, preparing for the next day’s exercise clothing (to bring down with me when I wake up), to save some movement from going up to the room to take the clothing. Saving a bit of movement, here and there will lead to a LOT!
In my opinion, human potential is endless. There will be lots of opportunities, provided if we want to put in the work to action. Of course, we have the talents that we would like to work on, just that I truly believe that when it comes to potential, “the sky is NOT the limit, our mind is…” we are our own biggest enemy. My own example that I can share is that I know every morning, I have the potential to run at least 5 kilometers or more (depending on the time that I am willing to put in)… and after running about 3 kilometers… I tend to tell myself that… “Hey! that is good enough… you have sweat and that’s it… stop and go home…” The potential is there and I have just limit myself once I think it’s good enough. Not sure about you… this is just one of the examples that I can share with you. How about you? What is stopping you from reaching your highest potential?