A Place For Everything

Summary – Seiton : A place for everything

You are late for work, and to make things worse, you forget where you left your key. You spent about 5 minutes just trying to figure the whereabout. Now that’s 5 minutes a day, in a year you lose about 30 hours just trying to figure out where exactly that damn key.

now imagine you forget other things :)

There is one tool established by the Japanese that has been used all over the world. People pay hundreds just to learn about it. Seriously, I’ve seen seminars highlighting the tools as their key points. But fear not my friends, I’m going to spill it here for you guys FOC

The tool is called 5S. I’m very sure most of you are already familiar with it. Basically the 5S consists of Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke. Google them for more info.

But I’m more interested to illustrate how Seiton works. Seiton is roughly translated to Orderliness which basically means “Everything must have its own place”

Look on your table now. There should be a pencil in left side of the table, several pens on the other side. If there is also a cup of evaporated coffee there, you are beyond help :) (kidding). Anyway, abiding to the principle of Seiton means that you should have a proper place for the pencils and pen. All pens must be put in there, no exception. If you have finished your work, put the pen back there. This way, when you’re looking for a pen, you know exactly where to find it. No other place. That’s Seiton.

Apply that to the important things in your life. You can’t categorize everything, if not, your home will be changed immediately to a warehouse. Just the important things like documents, clothes, small change. and maybe remote control.

Remember there are only two rules to Seiton

  • One place for it.. No other place
  • Put it back there when you’re done

– I wonder –
Do you have a specific place for your things?

———– Personal Note ————
The reason I come up with this topic is because yesterday, I asked the clerk to find me a document. And guess what they took almost 30 minutes just to locate it.

Previously I had advised them on how to be organized particularly document wise, but I think old habit is very hard to die :)

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This post has 13 comments.


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  1. 30 Jan 08 6:32 am

    oh dang!!
    now in my table, the pen is there…
    n there are actually evaporated coffee cup there in the right side of the table!!
    wah wah wah!! how do u know?
    hehehe…
    anyway 5S is a good practice.
    am tryin to implement it in me house also but
    not working 😀

  2. filantera`
    30 Jan 08 8:48 am

    heheheh masalahnyer, my subordinate tak follow. letak pen merata rata:D

    ada lagi 2 s

    Sukahati

    Salahkan org lain hahahha

  3. 30 Jan 08 10:57 am

    Agagagaga…i suka that 2S..agagagaga..I sometime like that tapi not selalu la..My pen ade tempat khas…Ade la brg2 yg ade tmptnya and ade tak tau nak letak mana so letak la mana2…2 yg kadang missplace..Agagagaga…cari sedunia..
    My dad mmg dr dulu suka benda tersusun ni..Pernah kena ceramah masa kecik2 dulu just bcoz kitaorg tak letak brg to it’s place..agagagaga…

  4. 30 Jan 08 12:27 pm

    salam uncle..hehehe..
    everyin shud be where it shud be, huh? yeah, i agree..coz i’m practicing the same theory everyday of my life. (but still, i always forget things)

    i hang my thumbdrive on the board in front of my study desk

    i hang my roomkeys and other keys besides my study chair

    i put all my projects documents in a file named ‘BEDSA’–>largely written on it

    i put all the books that i borrowed from the library at the same place and paste the borrowing receipt with the due date on the board

    but still, i sometimes forget where i put those things and always end up with going back to my room to get the things back. huhu..

    and in the end, i always use the 2s like filantera said…salahkan orang lain n sukahati..huhuhu…

  5. 30 Jan 08 5:08 pm

    well, the rule applies to just important things only, right??
    for me, I don’t really follow that Seiton rules, because for me, as long as you know where you put it, and as long as you don’t forget, it’s ok to put it anywhere you like.
    I don’t like to be real systematic, follow such robotic life. rasa rimas semacam. so I chose to be free to put things anywhere I want, as long as I don’t forget :)

  6. 30 Jan 08 5:10 pm

    and my lecturer said ‘org yg sistematik bukan org yg kreatif, dan org yg kreatif bukan org yg sistematik’.
    and also he said, ‘kalo ada orang yg punya kedua-dua ability, dia genius’.
    how’s that??? :)

  7. banji
    30 Jan 08 5:42 pm

    DaPocket – Well, you actually forget to switch off that webcam of yours :) no lah, totally coincidental :) Well, the most important part is that we did implement. Whether it is successful or not, is for us to review it later. Congratulation

    I really don’t think anyone had ever stick to a principle religiously. There’s bound to be some compromise here and there. Still, practising 2S out of 5S is always better than 0S

  8. banji
    30 Jan 08 5:45 pm

    DaFilantera – that 2S of yours if made public, may be the next best thing heheh

    Anyway, ubah culture tak pernah mudah. so jgn terus ubah culture office (mcm yg sy buat kat office sy tu) instead try ubah diri sendiri dulu. sikit2 :) (provided you really believe in the system of course)

  9. banji
    30 Jan 08 5:48 pm

    aRa – Jangan diencourage sgt filantera tu, hehe nanti dia trademark kan :) bertambah ceria sistem organisasi dunia

    Rasanya ceramah tentang letak barang ditempatnya tu, semua parent mesti akan dendangkan pada anak2 dia, termasuk dlm ceramah wajib tu hehe.

  10. banji
    30 Jan 08 5:55 pm

    fairuzniza – Forgetting things is human. But forgetting where you put the thing can be solved with Seiton :)

    But one thing for sure, not every system is suitable for everyone. You may have another system, and it is no surprise your system is much more efficient than the established ones. So study about it, how can you further improve YOUR system.

    A rough idea maybe like having a special habit. An example like myself, when I all ready to go out, I will make it a habit to pat my 2 side pocket and the rear pocket. This way, I know exactly if I left my handphone (should be in the right pocket) or my keys (should be in my left pocket) or my wallet (should be in my rear pocket) :) Just an example of establishing personal habits

  11. banji
    30 Jan 08 6:19 pm

    azuwachan – thanx azuwachan for helping me illustrate the Seiton concept better :)

    Seiton is really just a name. What more important is really the idea behind the name. Establishing special place with labels etc is just a method proposed by Seiton. The whole idea is just for us to know where our belongings are and thus can increase the productivity by eliminating the time spent searching for it.

    Alhamdulillah, you’ve been blessed with very good memory. (I still remember you were saying that you have photographic memory :) ). So for you, such tools will be redundant as you have already had a working system in mind.

    You must share with the rest of us, on how to nurture such good memory kay? :)

    I can’t resist giving another example hehe. It is well established that rich people own a car. If we are super rich, and we worked from home, and we actually dislike going out. There is no reason to buy a car 😉

    About that saying from your lecturer, if what I understand is correct for it… I will have to disagree. I believe everyone is both systematic and creative. The problem is on how to balance the two.

    You are the perfect example of such balance. How do you remember where you put your things, irregardless of where you put it? There must be a system. You maybe tracing back your action through time, or maybe when you place that pen of yours, you stress in your heart that you want to remember this (A bookmark). It might not be box with label kind of systematic, but these are all systematic. Yet can you say that these action demonstrate any less in your creativity :)

    Just my 2 cents

  12. 31 Jan 08 11:29 am

    ntahla bang banji, quote tu lecturer saye yg buat, but I do think bout it.
    anyway, it depends on the individual in the end. to be systematic does not need to be taught, it comes from one own mind.
    how to nurture good memory?? hmm.. perhaps it’ll be my topic next in this webpage, who knows?? but before that I have to analyze myself firstla kan?? hehe..

  13. banji
    31 Jan 08 3:06 pm

    azuwachan – like I previously mentioned, there is no ultimate truth in the world. Any opinion is subjected to being true or false, especially when looked in different perspective. All we can do, is hear all the fact and make our stand on the matter

    Hm can’t wait to read your tips on that… :)

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