LEAN on Me: Using the 5 Whys to Eliminate Stress from Your Day-to-Day

Published Wednesday, September 29, 2010 1:45 PM

Eliminate the unnecessary. This could be a bumper sticker for the "stress less" ethos we advocate in the Beyond Folders Blog. From purging unused paperwork, computer files or jettisoning low-priority, time wasting tasks, the Beyond Folders bloggers advocate organizing your work and home life to achieve balance, efficiency and maximum productivity.

Regular readers of the Beyond Folders blog know that I am an enthusiastic advocate of the 5 Whys, a problem solving method used by proponents of LEAN manufacturing, a business practice focused on reducing waste and improving quality. The 5 Whys is a question-and-answer process that reveals the root cause of a problem and in turn, a solution. Try applying the 5 Whys to what is causing you stress. As you work through the 5 Whys, does an opportunity to ameliorate the situation present itself?

I would also direct readers to an eye-opening article by Peter Bregman for the Harvard Business Review. A Practical Plan for When You Feel Overwhelmed brings a certain rigor to the task of eliminating stress. The article suggests incremental, measurable ways to tackle tasks that appear insurmountable. Bregman demonstrates that all assignments, all situations, can be tamed a task at a time.

Finally, you may have heard the buzz about Google's new Priority Inbox; it's worth a look to see if it can help tame e-mail overload. Check out Google Priority Inbox Soothes Email-Overload Stress. 

Do you have a method for handling stress? Share your thoughts here and on the Beyond Folders Community's Facebook and Twitter pages.

by Bradley Eggers

 

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