Life Hacks & Improving Process Efficiency the Human Way

One doesn’t need to be looking at Social Media feeds for long nowadays before the inevitable set of ‘Life Hacks’ appears. I have to say I enjoy looking at them although I am rarely tempted to chop the ends off my carrots and soak them in water, or split my potted herbs and replant them in other pots (which I don’t have) and place them into a greenhouse (which I also don’t have!)

The point I am making here is that although Life Hacks are great in principle, they can be effort or expensive to implement, and therefore we as humans don’t. Is this right? Should we make more effort to improve these efficiencies and save time or money, or indeed both.

Is efficiency always “efficient”?

Why don’t we buy Christmas Cards in the last week of December whilst heavily discounted ready for the following year? They could go into the loft with the other decorations, surely a “no-brainer”. On a straw-poll of friends, no one does this.

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Another one which I thought of myself was around travel insurance. When my children were young we took one family holiday a year, during the summer holidays. By starting our annual insurance on Aug 1 we could go twice in that 12 month period, at the very start and the very end. Then have a whole 12 months with no travel, then start again. Potentially reducing the amount spent on travel insurance by half. Was this ever a consideration then when booking our holidays… absolutely not! Another trick missed.

One hack which I did implement was from my mother in law who suggested that when clothes had finished their cycle in the washing machine, we should fold them neatly and let them sit for half an hour before putting them out to dry. The benefit of this would be that the clothes would not need ironing. Her daughter scoffed at this idea saying that “life was too short to do that Mum”.

When I thought about it, I had never seen her ironing, and her clothes always looked immaculate. This was a free hack! Only time invested for the promise of more time saved later in the process. So  whenever I did the washing, I did implement the idea and those minutes spent folding the clothes before drying them, certainly saved a lot more time in ironing afterwards.

Driving operational efficiency into organisations. Easy right?

So if we do make the effort to drive efficiency into our daily routines and our home lives, how does this translate into the work place?

Operational Directors who are under pressure to cut waste and increase effectiveness will be familiar with translating “hacks” into bigger measurable savings. Waste of any kind: money, time, space, product, process – is an opportunity for bottom line growth. Digital transformation is surely the greatest efficiency driver for organisations, reducing time spent on laborious manual processes. So why do 75% of businesses struggle with digital adoption? The benefits are clear so why is it tricky and risky?

Sometimes organisations throw new technology at their teams, forgetting the human implications. People aren’t robots and introducing new processes requires change management if you want to see the real efficiency gains. After all, if a jobs worth doing then it’s worth doing properly.

What is the best “life hack” you have come across to save time in your life? Has this inspired any efficiency savings for your organisation? … Contact: or come and chat with us on LinkedIn. You can find out more about our Operational Efficiency Service here.

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