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Looking at Value-Added Activities within Time Management

By Emilie Gerhart 

Imagine yourself to be an industrial engineering professional. Trust me. You conquer every problem and disturbance on the job with an IE mentality. You eliminate the waste and remove non value added activities. You make things safer and reduce cycle time. Now, think about how you handle your life outside of your job tasks. Are those actions value added?

As an industrial engineering professional, you focus on eliminating the 8 major wastes: defects, overproduction, waiting, over processing, transportation, injuries, motion, and excess inventory. These activities do not change the form, fit or function of the product and therefore the customer is unwilling to pay for them in most cases.

In your daily life who do you consider your customer to be? Your customer is disguised in many forms. It can be your peace of mind, family, or friends. How do you keep them happy? What if you could satisfy them the same way you satisfy your company’s customer? Identifying and eliminating the wastes in your life could improve the relationships between you and your companions.

One major obstacle to success is time management. Time is invaluable. Once you start treating time like the expensive consumable it is, it becomes much more difficult to throw it away.

Give yourself a limit on web browsing. It’s important to be connected with the world, but one link can lead to another and before you know it one cat video has turned into three hours of countless websites.

Step away from the big screen. When sitting down to catch up on your favorite shows, set a maximum number of episodes. You’ll stretch out your series, and create a lot more time for yourself in the evening.

Create a to-do list and stick to it. It’s easy to get distracted and forget to do important tasks when you don’t have a predetermined plan. Sometimes the simplest chores can prove to be a major hindrance in the hustle and bustle of the work week if they aren't checked off a list.

So you've removed some of the waste from your life. Now you can concentrate on your value added activities.

Spend some quality time with your loved ones. As your most important customer, your friends and family play a significant part in your self-worth.

Spend some quality time with yourself. Settle down with a novel, try that hobby you've always dreamed about, or create and execute an exercise schedule.

Remember, you’re an industrial engineering professional. If how your spending your time isn't changing the fit, form or function of your life, take a step back and utilize a lean method to add value back to your life. Your customers will thank you.

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