Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Economy of Motion
As a business major in college, one of the things we studied was economy of motion. Our focus was mainly on a manufacturing setting; the premise being that the less movements a person has to make, the more efficient they are and therefore the more productive and profitable they are. Theoretically, this would involve time studies of different processes to determine which process was the most efficient.
Economy of motion figures into work process as well as work area design. Ergonomics naturally springs forth from this principal, with an emphasis on less strain and smooth movement.
As my life evolved into that of a working mother, I knew I needed economy of motion! Time was limited and I needed to make the most of it. I also needed some time just to “chill”, so time needed to be carved out for that as well. But I wasn’t about to do any time studies (after all, that required time!).
As I went about household chores, errand running, etc., I would ask myself, “What’s the best method of doing this thing?” and “How can I kill two birds with one stone?” For example, you can schedule your errand-running for one day (Saturday is usually mine) and decide, based on where each errand is located and if there are any time or perishability constraints, what order you’ll hit each place.
I could be following a certain process for years because “I’ve always done it that way.” Then one day, a new way of attacking the chore will hit me and turn out to be more efficient.
Has anyone out there changed their ways of doing things?