The pursuit of perfection in systems and processes has been the key theme of my career for twenty years. Now I’ve read a ton of books, lean books, theory of constraint books, books about how to combine theory of constraints and lean and don’t even get me started on books about six sigma. But earlier in my career I found that not one of those books gave me any pointers on how to move a company from one state to another in terms of culture, or how to create momentum. For sure, I knew about Value Stream Mapping, PDCA cycles and Just in Time but what I was lacking was the secret formula to making lean or any other methodology really work.
As we have gotten closer and closer to the end of the first stage, our team has started talking about what happens next and which areas of the process will be worked on next. The resulting plan is so exciting that we all feel like something wonderful is just around the corner.
I think the real lesson I’ve learned this year is that despite the obstacles, the chaos and the general randomness of life, attempting to live intentionally creates a solid, reassuring theme through it all.
For years before I started to pursue minimalism as a way of life I was a champion organised hoarder. I could satisfy my need to be on top of things by making sure that everything was labelled or in it's assigned container. Whole days were spent putting things in order when it all got out of hand, which of course it always does when you live with someone else who has better things to do than keep everything just so.
Earlier this year I wrote a post about managing workplace clutter and my own personal quest for a minimal ‘lean’ workspace. At the time, I wasn’t sure how easy my seriously pared down workspace was going to work out. Would I be buried under clutter a few months later, or constantly frustrated by having nowhere to put anything?
With a full time job and two kids, combined with the usual share of winter ailments, life is full of distractions and diversions that pull me away from focusing on actions that will move me further down the path I want to follow.
Change often comes with discomfort, even change for the better. Our minds are comfortable with the status quo and reluctant to forge ahead into known obstacles and discomfort. If we focus on WHY we want to change and fix our gaze to the horizon where our ambitions hover, we can see that discomfort is merely a necessary part of following the path to true north.
We’ve all seen beautiful images of minimalist interiors; white, aesthetically stark, peaceful and beautiful are all words that might come to mind and are examples of what many think is the minimalist ideal. Often these ideals are architectural marvels of design, outside the wildest dreams and reach of the average homeowner. However, minimalist living is more than an aesthetic, it's a mindset. While some minimalists do pursue a simple, clean, zen look in their homes, many do not. Painting all your walls white is not a free ticket to a minimalist lifestyle. My house is full of kids, pets and general chaos, yet we would happily say that we are pursuing minimalism as a family lifestyle.
No one’s going to buy an improvement program just because a version of it works for someone else. Here lies the misconception. If someone has to sell you an improvement program, you’re probably not ready for it.
We can quickly find ourselves slipping from a position of motivation when the going gets rough. Like many others I’m sure, I find inspiration in reading just one more blog or researching just one more cutting edge idea. Unfortunately, putting awesome information into my brain does not directly result in putting one foot in front of the other when it comes to getting off the couch and getting active.
In a post I wrote earlier this year, I talked about the key pitfalls of visual display boards and some tips for avoiding them. I briefly mentioned what I believe […]
Cookies will not hold me back forever. How even slow progress is still progress when it comes to Minimalism
Do you ever feel that you aren’t as minimalist as you could be? Have you had moments of guilt because you bought that extra throw pillow just for the amazing colour and texture, not because you really need a new throw pillow. For shame! Just kidding. The minimalist journey is a long one and often filled with times of slow progress and setbacks just like any other change.
One of the key pitfalls that companies fall into as they embark on a lean transformation is failing to establish a clear vision of what lean will look like when implemented in their business.
As I have pursued my weight loss journey I have assessed the quantity and quality of the food I eat and have realised that for years I have been over consuming. I did not stop and consider how much was right for me, I just assumed that whatever was in front of me was the right amount. I didn’t accept that I would need to make radical changes to clear the excess from my life.
My children are naturally attracted to leaving their toys, books, cups and pretty much everything on any surface or shelf in the house that’s available. The solution we accidentally stumbled across, apart from encouraging them to be less messy in the long term, was the effect of reducing unnecessary surfaces from the house.
Intentional Living – How I have used a key business method for improving my focus on personal growth
What I didn’t expect was that I would suddenly see how I could use these same techniques to gain focus and improve the implementation of my personal growth strategic plan and figure out how to take my goals and turn them into tangible actions and ultimately results.
By setting a perfect standard we can sometimes make the standard impossible to realise. It's much better to set a realistic standard that requires some improvement to achieve but doesn't necessarily ask for perfection all at once.