Eliminate Waste

You’re doing bunch of crap. Eliminate five wastes to triple your productivity.

Many people try to create processes and install tools to become very productive. But the truth is that all these processes and tools create lots of waste. The simplest way to describe waste is as “something that adds no value.” There are five wastes of Lean Productivity. The only way to improve your productivity is to reduce your waste; this means removing all elements of waste from your daily work. The five wastes are:

- Realtime Communication

- Waiting

- Overprocessing

- Overdoing

- Limitless

Remove the waste of real time communication with your peers. Usually, real time communication disrupts your workflow. Stop using Skype, Slack or whatever tool enables people to contact you without limits. And if something is truly urgent, don’t panic — people will find you. Communicate via email and avoid meetings.

Often, people feel stuck because they’re waiting for something. Even if it’s just a reply to an email. First of all, you need to free up your mind through a waiting list. On a waiting list, you write down all the things you’re waiting for. After writing them down, switch to another task and forget about them.

We tend to create sophisticated processes and never use them again. It starts with a simple recipe notebook and ends up with a big system for daily to-dos. All these things create huge amounts of wasted time, and in reality they never actually work. So instead of adding more tools and making everything more complex, start removing tools and simplifying your processes. And limit yourself to one single approach.

There are things that matter the most, and things that don’t matter at all. We tend to overdo things. If you are working on a project or studying for an exam, ask yourself, “How much should I do?” There is a rule of thumb about how to find the optimum level of input — just ask yourself “Does it help me to achieve my goals?” If the answer is, “I don’t know,” then stop doing it!

Working without any limits makes you less productive. You need to limit yourself to the most important tasks so that you can tackle them first. But don’t set too many limits. Otherwise, you’ll feel angry and pissed off. Usually, two limits are enough to triple your productivity. For example, reduce your time browsing the web to a maximum of one hour per day, and only check your emails twice a day.

A bad system will beat a good person every time. — W. Edwards Deming

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