When was the last time you had a chance to get away from work and enjoy a truly relaxing vacation? If it’s been too long since you got away from the office, what in the world are you waiting for? Stop making excuses and learn to manage time with a remarkable system called 5S.
The five S’s and what they mean
Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke. Unless you speak fluent Japanese, you might not have a clue what we just said. You may understand better, if we give you the rough English equivalents: sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. Still baffled? No worries. By the time you’re done reading this blog, you will be up to speed with the concept of the 5S system and how it can help you clear your desk before your next vacation. 5S works wonderfully to eliminate workplace clutter, and the concepts can be utilized to simplify your home life, too, say efficiency gurus at Industry Week magazine.
Where 5S comes from and what it can do for you
Alternately referred to as ‘lean manufacturing’ or ‘workplace organization,’ the concept of 5S was the brainchild of the Toyota Motor Company. Developed in the mid 20th century to boost automobile production, 5S identifies and eliminates waste all along the production line while increasing product value for consumers. When you adhere to the 5S workplace philosophy, you won’t ever stay awake at night at the Washington Dulles Marriott Suites or wherever you are with the nagging feeling that you’ve forgotten something of importance. Business people who follow the precepts of 5S find it easy to be organized and efficient before, during, and after a much-needed vacation.
How to use 5S
First, sort. Eliminate everything you don’t actually use or need. Not only will you save money on storage, you will be able to find the things that you utilize in record time. Next, set in order. Define task zones and establish storage methods, and stick to the rules. Streamline your workspace, and spare yourself the stress of hunting for misplaced tools and other lost items.
Shine as you go. Do a deep cleaning, then it will be simpler to maintain order and cleanliness throughout your workspace. Pick a definite time of day for cleaning, and get every employee involved. It worked for Toyota, and it can work for you, too.
Standardize your systems. Establish color-coded containers and other visual management techniques so it becomes second nature to notice when something is out of place. When you observe such a thing, put it where it belongs without delay. The more often you do this instantaneous organization, the more natural and effortless it is to leave a tidy, no-worry workspace when you leave for vacation, claims New York Times bestselling author, Michael Hyatt. As an added bonus, you will return to a clean space when you have finished up your vacation.
Lastly, sustain. Once you have organized your workspace, keep it that way. Set your own workplace standards according to your specific need and practice cleanliness daily.