Through the process of becoming engulfed in lean culture, there is a lot to be thankful for. For myself, becoming more organized has helped me better focus on school and achieve success in my everyday life. Others who embrace a lean lifestyle may be happy with how they have more time to spend with loved ones through the improvement of processes within their lives.
Although each instance of discovering lean is different for everyone, it’s always interesting to hear the aha moments of people who have realized the positive effects of what lean and continuous improvement has done for their lives. Starting my first semester at Michigan Tech, I found myself becoming overwhelmed in school, work, clubs, family, etc. The list could go on, and for many other people I have come to know, they have felt similar experiences. To be able to come out of this downward spiral of never ending tasks can be difficult and sometimes feel impossible. For myself, the day that I started at Michigan Tech was also the day I started to transition into a lean lifestyle. By the end of the first week, I had already made my first personal Kanban, which is explained as a visual management tool to keep track and manage the tasks that needed to be completed. After getting a firm grasp on this tool, I started to then adapt other lean tools into my life such as affinity diagrams and also the 5S organizational tool. By the time I was able to get a grasp of these tools, I was already seeing improvements with the increased time for other activities, as well as a sense of calmness knowing that I am staying on track to successfully complete my first semester as Michigan Tech.
Seeing as though we are nearing the end of the school year, I have taken a couple minutes to reflect on my time at Michigan Tech and also in the Office of Continuous Improvement. I have come leaps and bounds in my organizational skills, which has ultimately alleviated unneeded stress in my life. Without this buildup of stress, I am able to focus my efforts towards what is most important in my life. As I said earlier, everyone has a different aha moment when embracing a lean lifestyle. Being able to celebrate my successes in school and work was the moment that I realized that lean was for me, and that I had truly found a path to move forward on.