Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Mess Or A System?

If you walked in the front door of my house, on certain days, you'd probably step right on top of my car keys placed carefully on the floor deliberately in the way.

What a mess you might instantly think - but no, you're walking straight into a system of mine.

You see, awhile back I had this terrible habit of putting my clothes in the washing machine, turning it on and forgetting about it. Hours, sometimes even days, would pass before I'd realise my mistake. An embarrassing confession – but true nonetheless.

After having my clothes colours run together one too many times I knew I needed a system. At first I started leaving my downstairs light on but my eco-friendly side didn't like this. Then I started leaving my keys in front of the door.

I'd see them as I walked around the house and remember to remove my clothes. This worked beautifully except for the few times my extremely helpful husband decided to put my keys "where they belong" without telling me.

Now, clearly I'm not suggesting you all start leaving keys on the floor (I'm sure most of you probably don't even have this same particular problem as me) but it's a simple illustration of the implementation of a system.

* Step 1. Have a problem (in this case, not remembering my clothes were in the washing machine).

* Step 2. Come up with a solution (leaving the light on).

* Step 3. Work the solution and amend if necessary (changed system to keys).

* Step 4. Remember to let people know the system (letting my husband know so that he wouldn't mess with my system!).

* Step 5. Go back to step 3 as often as is necessary.

This five step process is exactly the same simple one that I use for implementing systems in the workplace. Now... I'm off to implement a system that stops me turning the bath on and getting distracted (yes, I've had a few floods!).

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 4 comments


Good system. for me I make sure that I get the indoor airer out and leave it in the kitchen ready... Helpful hubby has asked why it is sitting empty in the middle of the kitchen but now even the kids know so if its quite in the kitchen(wash complet) they usually give me a shout.

Nice - love any good system! Kirsty

Glad to know I am not alone in this! I have been known for leaving clothes in the wash (post completion) a wee bit too long on many occasions.. and like you I have a similar system in place, where I leave my house keys in front of the laundry door floor as a reminder.

Prithi - You are not alone!! :)

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