Time is money

Feb 20 2013 14:35
*Su-Mari du Bruyn

DO ANY of these sound familiar? “I am always busy”, “I do not really have the time” and “There are not enough hours in the day”.

If these phrases ring true for you, I would like to challenge you to start mapping your movements at work. You may just be very surprised at what you find.

Your map does not have to be 100% to scale – lines drawn with free hand will show you what you need to see.

Once you have your map, look for opportunities to improve by asking yourself these questions:

  • How can you reduce the overall distance that you are walking?

This may mean changing the order of places where you go. For example, instead of walking past the kitchen to go to your office to put down your bag first, make your cup of coffee with your bag hanging over your shoulder and then walk with both to your office.

  • Where are you walking the most?

Is there a way to bring items or places that you are walking to closer to your workstation, so that instead of walking 50 metres 10 times a day, you only walk 5 metres 10 times a day?

  • Where can you consolidate lines?

Let’s say you work in the buying department and every time you place an order you have to walk 20 metres to have the purchase order signed off by your manager. What if instead of doing this after every single purchase order, you keep all your purchase orders together and only walk there once a day?

  • Where are you wasting time waiting?

Maybe you are always wasting 15 minutes in the kitchen because you always go at the time when everyone else is going. If you can instead make your coffee or tea at a different time when there is no queue, it could save you a lot of time.

  • Where can you automate?

Instead of having to walk to the fax machine to send a fax, what if you can send the same information via email directly from your workstation?

  • Where can you delegate?

Can you perhaps ask someone else to perform this activity for you?

Although walking has its health benefits, if you could reduce the amount of time you waste walking around, and instead use that time to do more value adding work, it would be better for business.

*Su-Mari Du Bruyn is co-founder of Adapt To Change. Through this company she assists businesses to improve their business performance and better engage their staff. You can follow her on Twitter via @A2CWC.


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