I read Rob’s blog with great interest. I have a personal interest in mental health having had a number of close family members being severely affected by issues from work.
Mrs G asked me the other day why I belong to the 25% of the population that appear to be unstressed. This was a reaction to a news item about the large numbers of people in modern life who are stressed and followed a lady who on the face of it had a stress-less job but when you looked in detail her stress built up and was never released (Mrs G by the way belongs to the 75% but then she is a teacher and has to cope with other teachers!)
Once upon a time I did have a very short fuse; my temper tantrums were legendary (ask my mother!) So why do I give the appearance of being relatively unstressed?
I have a busy job, I talk to many people including the most senior members of our company, I drive many miles a week and often have to spend time away from home. All should lead to stress.
Part of the answer lies in a positive outlook and to smile a lot. However, I also think that a knowledge of Lean principles and putting them into action in my own area greatly helps.
Let me give you an example.
I run all the Lean Six Sigma courses for the business. These require a number of things to happen both before, during and after the course
So I have a list on my wall (no it is not just wall paper) that I refer to. This ensures that the course runs relatively smoothly. It is actually a form of SMED (Single minute exchange of die) which strictly speaking is about changeovers but can be used in many aspects of your life. The essence behind SMED is to be well prepared and not leave anything that can be done before the event to the time of the event itself.
The course invites are all controlled by me, as previously there were bottlenecks in the process leading to delays and mistakes. Again, utilising principles of lean; understand your process and remove waste, allow the process to flow.
I have all my training and project delivery information visualised so that it is out in the open and can be discussed by all; there is only one truth and everyone can see it.
And I could go on…
So next time you feel that your work is getting too much for you, think about using some of the Lean principles to help you with your work life balance.