Living in a house with a family of six, soon to be seven, things can easily become chaotic, especially if you know the kids (ages 8, 4, and 2-year-old twins). Certain tasks such as laundry and picking stuff up need to be done . . . EVERY . . . SINGLE . . . DAY. The kids are not yet at that age when we can count on them to help with these and other chores, but we try to reign them in to this responsibility. I remember the simpler days (before kids) when it was just my wife and me and it was easy to maintain the household.
Now our life is more complex, and our daily tasks have increased, even though our resources have essentially stayed the same. As parents, my wife and I could easily become overwhelmed with the constants of laundry that needs to be done, a messy home, feeding and playing with the kids, nap time, learning time, bath time, and finally, bed time. However, we have two critical things working for us: patience and a good plan. Dealing with overwhelming situations can be daunting, but they can become less stressful if we take time to figure out ways to accomplish tasks more efficiently.
When it comes to picking up a room, we first walk a circle and push all floor clutter to the center of the room. (This pile can get rather big some days!) We then create a game plan to put things away by breaking down this pile into smaller piles organized by what things are and where they go. Now we are no longer picking up four items that go to four different places and then backtracking our steps only to find more items that go right where we just put something else away. Rather, we are organizing the larger pile into smaller piles, and when we put things away, we have streamlined the process by already identifying everything that needs to land in any given place.
Using this approach, we can clean up a room in 10 minutes, as opposed to the 15-20 minutes it would take without our plan. So now we are seeing a 33%-50% increase in efficiency. After taking the time to patiently identify those things which are causing stress, we come up with a plan and then execute that plan.
So how does all this transfer into the world represented by those familiar buzzwords of profit improvement and continuous improvement? It’s all about increasing efficiency and developing a tailored approach to meet a specific set of needs. Taking a best practice approach as a starting point for real-life solutions. Using a blueprint for Lean practices as a blueprint for efficiency and improvement to the bottom line. The clear result is that time and patience invested in planning can pay off big, whether it’s planning for a pile of toys, loads of laundry, or a professional engagement.
Let Wipfli help with your next steps, whether it’s performing an audit engagement, consulting on profit improvement, or identifying areas for continuous improvement. Reach out to your Wipfli representative, or contact us at WipfliFIpractice@wipfli.com.