Are you Organized?

I find the more organized I am the more I can accomplish. Now that doesn’t just mean in the shop or the office that means on the computer as well. Things need their place. I find I often use the see through storage boxes and label everything really well. That way the things I don’t use on a regular basis aren’t mixed in with the things I do use, but they are still easy to find or accessible. On the computer I make use of files as categories and I can usually find what I need in a very short space of time. Even emails – but that is a topic for a different day.

Does this look like your workplace?

Occasionally I have had to convince others that organizing things to be more productive works. For that I use an exercise based on one of the lean manufacturing tools called 5S. You can get the explanation for 5S for those that are interested here on my website. 5S is a process where first you eliminate those things that you don’t use regularly. Next you organize the workspace. Cleaning up is the next step which includes making sure you eliminate the source of the dirt. Finally you need to set it up so you can maintain and improve it.

This little exercise is fun and can be used to convince staff or anyone for that matter the importance of being organized. For those of you that have been at one of my Productivity Presentations you will remember the exercise. Get the exercise instructions here. Get the exercise sheets here. For those who have played before I have added one more step in the exercise just as a way of reinforcing the point.

After playing the exercise one shop owner used it at a staff meeting. It sent the point home and within a few months he was able to free up about 300 square feet of shop space to put to better use. Could you use some additional square feet in your operation?

 Productivity is a measure of how much – work, time, effort, money, or energy – you have to put into something to get the desired outcome. For more tips and tools on how to get more productive please visit Blue Collar Consulting Inc. at


About Janet, doing it better.

I grew up and still reside in Northern Alberta. While I have numerous interests I am passionate about the Peace River region, its innovation, its people, and the creative spirit that envelopes us all.

Posted on August 4, 2011, in 5S, Business Productivity, Lean manufacturing tools, organized, organizing, productivity, productivity tools and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Excellent points, Janet. When talking about 5S implementation, I like to stress, like you do, that it’s not just about housekeeping and having a nice looking plant (although that is certainly one outcome). 5S is really about ‘workplace organization’ for maximizing productivity and efficiency.

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