Trouble Keeping Your Desk Clean?
Does this sound at all familiar? Anybody out there?
Things did not get better in my business until I developed and implemented what I call the “100% System of Cleanliness.” I went into great detail about that in my book, “System Busters.”
Some of you know about the “5S of Lean” (sorting, straightening, systematic cleaning, standardizing and sustaining). When I learned that you had to have a PLACE FOR EVERYTHING, and that place had to be CONVENIENT and LABELED, or in a PERMANENT (LABELED) CONTAINER, that’s when I started having success. By permanent container I mean something that looks good and can be cleaned—not just a cardboard box with Sharpie scribbling on the side to identify its contents.
Why do I call it the “100% System of Cleanliness” vs. the 90% System?
The simple fact is...
If EVERYTHING (100 percent of all items) does not have a place, then those items without a permanent and convenient location—even if it’s only 10 percent of the total—start to break down the system, and it returns to chaos. That’s why a desk goes back to clutter after just straightening up or even cleaning it.
What IS chaos, anyway? What’s WRONG with a little chaos?
Below are a few quotes from some “well-knowns” on the subject of chaos:
“Sometimes, when there’s literal chaos, it’s like being in a war zone, and that’s kind of exciting. You’re just running through the crowd of people chasing after you, and no one knows what’s going on.”—Robert Pattinson, English actor, “Twilight” movie
“I'm interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos, especially activity that appears to have no meaning. It seems to me to be the road toward freedom.”—Jim Morrison, singer/musician, The Doors
“Civilization begins with order, grows with liberty and dies with chaos.”—Will Durant, Historian/Author of “The History of Civilization.”
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.