I experiment with innovations that have worked in the business world at home with my family and vice versa. Here's one such project.
My mom and I have a common kitchen (well, I didn’t want to say that I still live with my mom, infact me, my husband and our one year old son all live with my mom) and she does the lion's share of work in the kitchen though we have help at home. Our breakfast and dinner are standardized and require little to no cooking and yet there are three people that spend at least 4-5 hours in the kitchen everyday. 15 man hours for one meal for a family of 4? Just to clarify, our lunch is NOT a buffet spread.
It baffled me to see such high effort footprint for making simple food. There must be an easier way to put food on our table, given the size of our family.
The efficiency of the kitchen has bothered me for the last six years, it's like one of those world problems people dole out a lot of advice and do absolutely nothing. I'm guilty of doing just that at home. Here's what I said over the last few years
I even got my mom to watch Marie Kondo.
Nothing worked and I finally decided to get my hands dirty and announced that I’ll single handedly manage the kitchen for a week and give everyone some time off. (I thought a week would be good enough for me to identify the current challenges in our kitchen and make quick changes to improve the efficiency of the kitchen.)
I started to hang out in the kitchen to make a mental note of where everything is stored so I can be quick with my cooking. Also I thought it would be a good way to get a feel of
I deconstructed the tasks of the kitchen at a high level to identify the effort-drainers and the time-drainers.
I wasn’t very surprised to see ‘Searching for stuff’ on the top right under the 'High Effort More Time' category .
Apparently an average employee in a given organization spends 20 days a year looking for files/folders, of course we have a version of that happening in our kitchen.
Considering the size of our kitchen, it shouldn't take us more than 30 seconds to retrieve any item after the thought to use it occurs. I was curious to find out the time that goes wasted in our kitchen. I wrote up a simple equation to estimate the wasted time
Wasted time = Time taken to search (if t>30 sec) + time taken to make a new decision in case we can’t find what we were searching for