Tuesday, 12 April 2011

More speed, less work! My time and motion study

I've signed up for Tilly's Sewing Productivity Project.  Basically we have to analyse how we spend our time and try and find ways to improve our sewing productivity. 

Doing a study on how I spend my time reminds me of this fab children’s TV show I watched as a child called Bertha.  It was about a factory machine called Bertha [hence the pic above], who (obviously) was alive and had her own personality.  She’d make different things every week, and was helped out by various other peeps in the factory and office.  Anyway in one episode the Foreman Mr Duncan decides to do a time and motion study on everyone, and struts around with a big clipboard observing everyone, and spent most of the episode shaking his head, tutting loudly then saying “too slow” or “more speed” and scribbling furiously on his clipboard. 

The moral of the episode was that sometimes it’s quality not quantity that counts when working, and that you have to enjoy the process, not just get things done as quickly as possible.  So although I want to measure how I spend my time, I’m also going to do a qualitative analysis (I know get me right, I used a big word!) on how well that time was spent. 

For example, maybe I spend a night watching a film with my fella, which initially may seem fairly unproductive.  But we both have a lot on work-wise and both have things on during the week, so sometimes relaxing together over a film and a bottle of wine now and again can be time well spent!  Equally if I spend 2 hours sewing one evening, but actually fuss about for 20 minutes because I can’t find my paper scissors or my water soluble fabric marker pen thingy or whatever, then that was time poorly spent.  Do you see?  I know one of my biggest issues is lack of a proper sewing space, and maybe if I see the time I actually spend faffing and setting up before / tidying up after sewing I will buck my ideas up and sort my sewing space plans out!!

Now for the boring bit; laying down some ground rules for the quantitative side of things:

Sleeping, working & time at college are all unavoidable time activities as in I have no choice in these activities.  However I will record those hours as I can control when I go to work (I’m on flexi time so can start as early as 8 or as late as 10, and can finish at any time between 4 and 6 as long as I get my 8 hours in it’s cool) and I can decide on the time I go to bed or get up in the morning.

Hooping (and travelling time to hoop class), cleaning, socialising, watching TV, sewing, embroidery, reading, cooking, project work, homework and so on fit in as free time activities as I do these through choice.  Homework and project work technically must be done, but once my course finishes this time will effectively become free again so I want to see how much more time it gives me.  Likewise I am starting to think I spend too much time cooking fancy meals during the week and need to start speeding things up and making simpler things on work nights so keeping a record of cooking time works for me (anything over half an hour is waaay to long I reckon).

I am breaking down my time into half hourly blocks, obviously total hours in a day are 24, so 48 blocks of time per day.  If I must I can always get picky and do 15 minutes on the odd occasion, but I want to avoid making myself actually include a “time and motion study” category in this thing, as recording every 15 minutes will just take too much time.

I will create a simple table to record time taken up by each activity in each day like below:
Exciting huh!  Then I can do a fancy pie chart to show how I spend my time each day.

Oh and in other news, I just received my custom labels in the post.


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