Filling in the Gaps: Making the Best of Unexpected Downtime

Filling in the Gaps: Making the Best of Unexpected Downtime by Laura Stack #productivity

"There's no such thing as downtime for your brain." -- Jeffrey Kluger, American writer. As a survivor of the dot-com bubble and the Great Recession, you've probably developed a kind of "go-go-go" attitude about business and work. Agility, flexibility, and speed are the name of the game for those of us who want to maximize our productivity and success. But I admit I do sometimes get frustrated when other people or circumstances affect my productivity, and there’s seemingly nothing I can do about it. Going to my doctor’s office is a prime example. Because I know the value of time and respect her time, I arrive before my scheduled appointment and sign in. And then I wait. And wait. Then the nurse will eventually take me to a little room in the back, where she’ll leave me after taking m … [Read more...]

Lean Processes and DOWNTIME

While it hasn’t always been practiced with any great rigor, the concept of waste reduction has long been a part of American business tradition. Ben Franklin's common- sense reminders of "waste not, want not," and "a penny saved is a penny earned" have been well taken by such luminaries as Henry Ford, who introduced the modern assembly line, and the founders of time-and-motion studies and scientific management, Frank Gilbreth and Frederick Winslow Taylor. By the 1970s, Japanese industrial engineers had integrated all these concepts and more into a framework that eventually came to be known as lean manufacturing. Mostly derived from the Toyota Production System (TPS) and guided by industrial engineers Taiichi Ohno and Shigeo Shingo, lean manufacturing is based on the idea of preserving (or i … [Read more...]