Adding Value to Your Personal Life with Six Sigma and Time Management

Six Sigma has been applied to many organizations to enhance systems and processes. Continuous application of these principles has resulted in continued improvements. Some incremental and some major. 

Few ever think though that this methodology can also be used to greatly improve our personal lives. Many of the principles of Six Sigma can actually be applied to the individual as they are to the business, reaping successes on both fronts. Read how some of the principles can aid quality of life.

Use the DMAIC template for personal improvements

When applied to time management, Peter Peterka confirms the use of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (DMAIC) to improve personal time controls. By using a simple but powerful acronym, everyone can reap the benefits of this methodology.

This example will focus on the management of time, which is where many people have a weakness. Some tend to always arrive 30 minutes before an appointment and get annoyed because they end up waiting for those who tend to always arrive 30 minutes late. Here’s how you can better manage your time for personal benefit.

Step 1: Define the problem

You want to tackle a large project like penning an award-winning novel, but you don’t have the time. Now, you need to look at areas in your life where you are wasting time. 

Part of the definition step is to record why writing a novel is important to you. Write down all the reasons you want to tackle this project and what you hope to achieve in the process. What is your goal in writing a novel?

Step 2: Measurement of tasks and time 

Once you’ve completed step 1, it is time to examine everything you do on a daily basis. Look at this step in a thorough manner and treat your tasks as if they were processes in a work environment.

Use your watch or productivity apps to record the time taken to complete your tasks. Make a record of duties at work and in your private life to gather data. You will need this later to complete the DMAIC process.

Step 3: Analyze the data

Take a closer look at the data and question what tasks are really necessary and which are filling in time. Is what you do every day going to help achieve your writing goal, or hinder it? 

What activities can be eliminated? Sure, you like to watch television for 3 hours a day and need to relax, but cutting this time down to 30 minutes (or zero), is more likely to help achieve your goal. 

Step 4: Improve your time management

Once you’ve analyzed the data, see where viable changes can be made. The purpose of the analysis is to draw up a new workable routine that will favor you having the time to write your novel.

This step is also the testing stage, where you get to try out your new routine. See how the time-saving steps on your process sheet work for you, and your writing endeavors.

Step 5: Control your schedule

Step 4 is a time of trial and mistakes to arrive a workable schedule. Once accomplished, you need to stick to your schedule and monitor your activities. Perhaps you don’t have the discipline needed to make it work. 

This is precisely the time when DMAIC is to be applied to your mental world. Learn to control your thoughts and emotions to develop a new discipline that will empower you to write that bestseller.

Learn how to apply this Lean Six Sigma methodology to your organization and personal life by checking the class schedule now. Enroll for a new personal you, right now.

Adam Richards

About Adam Richards

Adam Richards is a semi-retired business professional originally from Bangor, Maine. He spent the majority of his career in sales and marketing where he rose to the marketing lead of a Fortune 1000 company. He then moved on to helping people as a career counselor that specifically helped bring families to self-sufficiency through finding them rewarding careers. He has now returned to Bangor for his retirement and spends his free time writing. This blog will be about everything he learned throughout his career. He'll write on career, workplace, education and technology issues as well as on trends, changes, and advice for the Maine job market and its employers.