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What do you waste the most?

Commentary by Richard Hainrihar, Operational Excellence Expert with Luvata Special Products Division

Waste…. ‘to use, consume, spend, or expend thoughtlessly or carelessly’.  In Luvata’s most recent poll results we see that the top waste identified by poll participants is Time.  I could not agree more.  As an LPS Expert, I have spent the past 8 years on a mission to help our manufacturing plants eliminate and/or reduce waste in their operations. 

Often we complain, “There just isn’t enough time in the day!”  Everyday demands or chores seem to engulf the day, leaving very little time to pursue those things we enjoy.  But we do have choices about how we spend our time.  All we need to do is become better at how we use our time.  Easier said than done, I know.

One great tool that has been implemented in many factories within Luvata to help with time management and productivity is the 1-to-1 Cockpit Chart Review.  With priority driven Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or goals, and the ability to review them 1-to-1 with your manager on a regular basis, gives greater confidence of alignment and that the actions we are working on will contribute to achieving our goals.

Similarly time management skills are developed through tools and habits over time.  I believe the key is to understand our strengths and weaknesses, and have a roadmap for short and long term goals. 

Some key questions to consider when evaluating your time management strategy:

  • What is your most productive part of the day?
  • What are your short term and long term goals?
  • Do you delegate and ask for help?
  • Do you live and work in a well-organized space?
  • Do your priorities at work align with your manager?
  • Do your priorities at home align with your family?

In the end, good time management simply means deciding what we want to get out of life and efficiently pursuing these goals.  It does not mean being busy all the time.  It means using our time in the way we want to use it, which can include time for day dreaming and doing nothing.  Good time management should bring increased relaxation, less stress, more satisfaction and greater success.

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