Remember when you were a kid and your dad used the same sayings or lectures or aphorisms over and over again? One phrase my dad used was, “Always improve your foxhole.” He is a former Marine and that was a phrase they used to remind themselves to continue to improve their defensive fighting position. Things fall apart, entropy happens, the best laid plans, etc. This is also a useful reminder to not get upset when things inevitably break and that is just part of life.
When I have nothing scheduled (or when I am feeling frustrated…), I will walk around my house or office to find things to clean, fix, or throw away (not necessarily in that order). I’ve taken courses that cover a version of CPI, such as Six Sigma Green Belt, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and even toured a manufacturing plant to see how they implement their lean practices. Oh and I almost forgot about the quality manufacturing course from Virginia Tech.
If you want to dive deep into these improvement principles, here are some links to help you get started:
Ok, that list is mostly related to industry or software. Something much more personal: have you used that thing in a while?