Work Place Efficiency

Whether at our jobs, or in our garage or shed, having your own systems and organization is key to succeeding.

What good is a shop filled with tools if you can’t find that 9/16″ box wrench?

Today, I’m going to go over a few ways to get things organized in your work place.

Actual Work Area!

In a field where you deal primarily with metal fabrication, it’s important to have the required tools laid out in a way that benefits your work style.

While the list of equipment and tools can vary considerably. Everyone should be able to recognize their most used tools and equipment for their personal preference, and organize it in a fashion that aids speed and accuracy.

When setting up your workspace, it’s important to understand what flow is. Dictionary.com defines flow as “a steady, continuous stream of something”. It’s exactly right for the point I am trying to make.

Design your space for the most efficiency. If you weld for a living, break out the items you are guaranteed to use every single day. Such as:

  1. Welding Machine and helmet
  2. Consumables for torch
  3. Clamps

Be sure to take time to literally stop and think of how you’ll use your tools for 90% of the work you do, and set up the flow to make the most sense of your space and to increase your speed/efficiency.

It’s easy to leave tools out saying you’ll clean up the next day, but the extra 25 seconds it takes to put a tool away when you’re finished using it will save you 10 minutes of searching the next day when you need that specific tool, so just put it back in the toolbox draw or hang it back up!

Mindset

Another important area that’s often overlooked is the importance of your mindset.

When we recognize that our time has value, we’re able to dial in our focus. If I know I’m working at 9 hour day, I break my time into 33 minute segments.

First thing I have to do is identify the tasks in front of me for the day. Once I have an idea of those, I’ll jump right into the first task (usually the most easily completed to build confidence). If that task takes me more than 33 minutes, I’ll leave it for a minute or two, take a step back and come back to it.

It’s most effective in situations where I am having a problem with the project I’m on. Taking a minute to step back allows me a different perspective, and when I get back to it, I’m prepared with another strategy, instead of dumping 3 hours into a difficult project, I can actually cut the time down by identifying other solutions.

Other mindset tools are to be diligent in the work we’re doing. By pressing on and doing the tasks that are not exciting, we build a “mental toughness” to do the tasks required, not just the tasks we WANT to do.

This technique comes in handy when you’re looking to tidy up the shop or workspace. If you’ve made a habit of doing this every day before you clock out, or hang up your apron, then a deep cleanup will take so much less time. But if you’ve slacked off because cleaning up your workspace daily doesn’t interest you, then you’ll pour way more time into a serious cleaning.

Make “rules” for your area

I know I don’t like when two personalities collide in my workspace. If a co-worker does things differently than I do, I won’t be welcoming if they start messing with my workspace.

Luckily, most of the folks I work with are quite respectful of my work space.

If a tool of mine, or equipment of mine is borrowed, I always find it returned in the same condition it left in [Clean and organized].

Some of you might not be as lucky, and you work with “Goobers” who think nobody cares about their things (tools included). For dealing with these people, you’ll need to make some rules known to keep your sanity.

Unfortunately, there are people out here who can’t borrow anything, and the only way to protect your space is to lock all of your tools in a box.

The point being, setting up a workstation is not just randomly placing items, it’s being methodical about the setup to have an efficient experience at work.

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