Mom's Morning Rush


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Mom's Morning Rush

  1. 1. mindset morning rush MANAGING THE ‘LEAN’ WAY BY RANGASHREE SRINIVAS PICTURE THIS. A much hassled mother of two children - a foot- dragging 13-year-old and a mischievous 6-year-old. Mother has had a bad night, has slept through the 5:00 am alarm and wakes up at 6:00 am instead. The school bus arrives at 7:30 am, and she has to prepare breakfast, pack a snack and lunch, and help the younger child get ready for school. The older child has to prepare for the class test in the morning. Horrors! Both the children are still sleeping. The tension builds up. If the husband had been in town, he might have woken them up and helped with the snack-packing. All hell breaks loose, as the stressed-out mother loses her cool and transfers her tensions on to the children. The younger one has wet her bed again! The older one is not coming out of the bathroom! The younger one does not go to school as it is too late; the older one has stormed out of the house in tears, with a semi-packed school bag and the previous day’s leftovers for lunch. Mother is left with a migraine and a cranky child to manage during the day. M any households experience emotions and demonstrating similar morning madness, good practices. ranging from the mild to utter chaos, setting the tone for the rest of How does Lean work? the day. This takes a toll on everybody’s Introduced by Toyota Motor Company, productivity and peace of mind. Parents the key elements of Lean are: and children alike lead stressful lives. • Well-defined Value (workflow) Children experience trauma, and do not Stream learn life-skills with a positive attitude. • Value (work) flowing without Parents have health-related issues; they interruption go through feelings of inadequacy, guilt • Production to requirement only and self-doubt. • Synchronizing all the processes, to the delivery process. There is a way out of this vicious circle through Lean Management, which is a Durairajan explains, ”Corporate Japanese style of managing resources organisations and families need to be efficiently. Though commonly used by managed well, to run without hiccups. corporates Lean can also be practised Delayed starts, under-preparedness at home by families, says Kaizen and unexpected events interrupting the consultant and Lean management manufacturing processes result in short expert S Durairajan. This can be delivery to some customers (mother done through better management of oversleeping and child bedwetting, in24 Parent Circle / January 2012
  2. 2. SYSTEMATICALLY ARRANGE SORTour family example). Delivery failuresleave dissatisfied customers and create What is 5S?a negative image of the company (theentire family). To add to this, labourissues (no help from children) can 5S is a key factor in practising Lean. They are illustrated here with tips on SHINEcause additional headaches for the how this applies inside the (mother). This is furtheraggravated by the untimely absence of Sort out: Remove unwanted things SELFa key manager (the husband) and the and retain only the items that DISCIPLINE STANDARDIZElack of alternate processes to make up are needed.for the lost time. Complexity actually In the kitchen: Store only the vesselsincreases in the households due to the and food items needed for weekdayintense emotions evoked between use in easily accessible shelves. Put away reserve supplies on the shelvesthe members.” above; rarely used items in the harder-to-reach areas. Definitely do a monthly spring-cleaning, and throw away things not used for at least six months.What this mothercould have done Systematically arrange: In the sequence of use.Ideally, she could have had a back- In the bathroom: Run a weekly check for essentials such as toothpaste,up plan for breakfast and lunch – toothbrush, soap, shampoo etc. Likewise lay out your clothes and thesomething easy to prepare, in case she children’s uniforms the night before. Encourage your children to takewoke up late. Instead of losing her responsibility for towels, ironed clothes, underwear, clean socks and shoes.temper, she could have asked the older Introduce the concept of checklists to them when they are young, as a game.child to eat at the canteen or deliver Teach them to keep their things in an easy-to-reach orderly way.lunch at school if that was possible. Shecould have ‘empowered’ the children Shine: Keep the place and items sparklingly take on greater responsibility in In the kitchen: Half-an-hour of extra effort cleaning the kitchen the nightthe absence of her husband – like before, will save you from a day’s worth of tension. If you have a maid toencouraging them to wake up at wash utensils, rinse out the used vessels. Stack them neatly in a pre-assignedthe first call; pack their own lunches; area so that they don’t come in the way of your morning kitchen work. Washcomplete school work the previous what is needed and set them aside in an accessible place. Enlist the helpnight. In short, planning and organizing of your children and spouse in taking on different cleaning and arrangingfor the next day should be the last assignments.activity of the day to ensure success ineveryday activities. It is very important Standardize: The practice of regularly sorting, of systematic arrangementto prepare oneself and the children and cleaning.mentally about the activities of the next In the house: Plan and fine tune the sort, sequence and shine processes inday and plan out a sequence for every area of your home. Involve your family one Saturday night on a pretenddoing them. play of board-room strategy where each family member is an important board member contributing key ideas and strategies. Evolve a game plan on a whiteLean requires consensus and bonding, board with different coloured markers for each family member. Develop ato be practised well. The entire family strategy that works for your family with ideas pooled in by everybody, withshould eat dinner together; talk about individuals taking on specific responsibilities.the day’s events, discuss interpersonalissues that arise during the day (without Self-Discipline: Demonstrated by you as an adult, and involving theblaming one another); and follow it up children in sorting, systematically arranging and standardizing processes.with ideas for a better and smoother At home: If your children see you sorting out your wardrobe at regulartomorrow. This way, a culture of intervals, they will do the same. Resist the temptations of impulsive shopping;continually improving the processes and this will de-clutter the house and help you gain contentment withthe self, will be ushered. fewer possessions. 25