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Better order and productivity with the 5S method

Tidiness doesn't have a big impact on your performance? You're wrong: Around 27 percent of daily working time is wasted due to poorly coordinated processes and a lack of workplace organization alone - according to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute.

One way to make your work environment tidier and thus more productive is the 5S method. It was developed in Japan in the mid-20th century as an innovative production system at the car manufacturer Toyota. After World War II, the Japanese company was forced to work in poor conditions and with limited resources. At that time, the 5S method enabled the entire production process to be optimized.

This philosophy can also be implemented at the desk. Once implemented, the 5S method will make your everyday work much easier. These are the steps of the 5S method:


Sort all materials at your desk into three areas: important (needed all the time), partly important (needed from time to time) and unimportant (never needed). Remove everything you don't need for work from your desk. Superfluous items will only create chaos and a cluttered workspace.


Put things in an order that makes sense: label drawers or compartments, for example, so that you always put items you no longer need in a fixed place and can easily find them the next time you need them. The more often you use an object, the better it should be visible and accessible to you.

Clean up

Clean up your workspace regularly - not just once a month, but preferably every day. Put away what you don't need. Spending a little time each day will help you avoid clutter in the long run, and clean up will be faster on the bottom line.


Once you have mastered the first three steps, this state should become the standard at your workplace. The advantage: Even colleagues on vacation or newcomers will immediately find their way around your workplace.


Integrate steps 1 - 4 into your daily routine and make them a habit. After a short familiarization phase, sorting, filing and tidying up will become automatic. Without this self-discipline, chaos will soon reign in your workplace.


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