Ergonomics of life
I was speaking with my wife, who is an extremely organised person both mentally and in her physical location. I asked her a few questions about being efficient and well organised and what she does to do it. She advised she does it naturally and hasn't really thought about it. So, I studied her for a bit.
At home she lumps all her tasks into one area. For example if she is in the kitchen doing dishes or something, she will do something else that has to be done in the kitchen like cleaning the cupboards, or clearing out the drawers. Now when I do these tasks I usually dart from one room to another and am running about like a headless chicken until it's all done. I like to create a bit stress in my tasks to motivate me to get it done. My wife likes to live ergonomically and is stress free and relaxed when doing household work.
I started noticing other people at work and even myself naturally living life ergonomically. When I am visiting clients I visit all the ones who live in one area before moving onto a group who live in another area. My day is planned ergonomically and I didn't realise it.
Ergonomics: The applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort
We can apply the principles of ergonomics in our daily lives to improve our productivity and save some time during the day and the week.
5 tips to live by ergonomic principles
Lump all tasks that are similar and do them until they are finished. For example if you have to write notes up at work every morning, you could try checking your e-mails at the same time, and then making all the return phone calls you have to make.
Lump all tasks together by area. For example if you are cleaning the dishes and know that later you have to clean the cupboards, or dry the dishes then do it all until the task have finished. This way you don't lose focus by leaving the kitchen and getting distracted by something else.
Make all your phone calls at the one time. I constantly forget to call my family and friends. And feel guilty when they call me first every time. Make sure you call them first and call them one after the other in the middle of the week.
Only check your e-mails twice per day. In the past I have tended to check my e-mails as soon as they came in. You can get caught up so much with e-mails and become easily distracted by their content.
Get the money you need for the week at the beginning of each week. We tend to get money out of the cash machine whenever we need it. For example we need some bread and other shopping so we go to the cash machine and get some money. The next day we need money for the kid's school meals, so we go to the cash machine. The next day we need to pay the milk man, so we go to the cash machine, you get the picture. We could save a whole lot of time by estimating how much we will need for the beginning of the week and take it all out at once. We usually spend about £120 per week, so we take out £120 on a Sunday night which should do us for the week. We have saved so many miles travelling doing this and so much time. You might not think a five minute journey up to the cash machine will add up to a lot of time. However when you think its 5 minutes there, 5 minutes back, time spent waiting in queues, time spent talking; time spent asking everybody if they would like anything from the shop etc. Each trip can amount to 30 minutes, that's a possible 3.5 hours per week.
A hundred ways
Do you have some tips for living life ergonomically if not why don't you share them here.
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