Just Throw it Away

By Ron Pereira Updated on January 13th, 2011

I sometimes feel like a bit of a hypocrit when it comes to teaching people about 5S. 

For those not familiar with it, 5S is a philosophy and a way of organizing and managing our workspace, wherever that may be, by eliminating waste. 

Specifically, the 5S’s stand for: Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. 

Honey, clean up the office

But back to why I sometimes feel like a hypocrit when it comes to teaching others about 5S.  I am not a terribly messy person at work.  My desk is nicely arranged and I keep my computer pretty organized.  But at home… well I have some issues as my wife would surely explain.

Case in point – my home office.  There has been a pile of junk my wife has been after me to sort through for awhile.  For some reason I have been avoiding it.  Probably laziness more than anything.  Well today was the day of reckoning.

I went into my study, sat on the floor with trash bag beside me, and attacked the pile.  Some of the stuff brought back memories but added no value to me today so I chucked it.  All in all about half of the things in the pile met the trash can.

I feel better

Funny thing… throwing things away.  It just makes you feel better.  It’s as if when you know what you have and where it is tons of mental capital becomes available.  Not only does this feel good it makes you far more productive.

Your challenge

My challenge to you is to throw, or give away, at least 5 things this week.  Perhaps your work desk is a mess, or maybe it is your closet at home.  Guys, your garage likely has some junk in it that is… well… junk.  So just throw it away.  You can do it.  Really, you can.  And when you do you will feel better for it.

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  1. Jim

    July 16, 2007 - 2:13 pm

    Read David Allen’s book “Getting things Done” you’ll learn why you’ve avoided it and how to prevent it from piling up again. A lot of what is in there in aplicable to manufacturing /project management too.

    – Jim

  2. Ron Pereira

    July 16, 2007 - 4:56 pm

    Thanks Jim. I will definitely look that book up.

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