Before getting to the gist of smart walking, I want to thank the farmers at From the Country Farm for the use of the photo demonstrating Farm Family Walking. While not really Smart Walking, it certainly is a novel way to get a little exercise on a snowy winter day. Pay them a visit; they have a lot going on.
Now, to the subject at hand. In my quest to save the Big Four (time, labor, money, energy), I happened upon an article about smart walking. It was directed at the dairy industry and was written from the perspective of applying manufacturing efficiency principles to large dairies with numerous employees. Will a scaled down version applied to the daily chores around a home and small farm save enough time and energy to be worth the planning and mapping involved?
In My Life and Work, Henry Ford used a farmer as an example of the concept of waste :
- I believe that the average farmer puts to a really useful purpose only about 5% of the energy he expends…. Not only is everything done by hand, but seldom is a thought given to a logical arrangement. A farmer doing his chores will walk up and down a rickety ladder a dozen times. He will carry water for years instead of putting in a few lengths of pipe. His whole idea, when there is extra work to do, is to hire extra men. He thinks of putting money into improvements as an expense…. It is waste motion— waste effort— that makes farm prices high and profits low.
Walking Smart or Walking in Circles?
How much unnecessary walking and backtracking do I do each day? Probably, a lot since I’m not, by nature, well organized. How to go about changing this? I looked at the illustration in the article that showed the walking patterns and wondered do I need to make a map? Or can I just conceptualize it and write instructions to myself? The image of myself walking around with a map in my hand as I go through my daily routine seems silly. Although, wasting time and energy with inefficient routines is equally silly if they can be rethought and streamlined. This weekend’s project is to come up with a Smart Walking Plan.
These are the points I’ll be examining to save energy while doing daily chores.
- Are my routines in the correct order?
- Do I do unnecessary backtracking?
- Can the walking patterns be simplified?
- Are the tools in the correct location?
- Would I be better served to have duplicates of some items so they remain in the destinations in which they are most often used rather than being returned to a central location?
Is there anything I’m missing as I try to streamline chores? Have you tried something like this and was it successful?
This post may be shared with some or all of the following blog hops: The Homesteaders Hop, Homestead Barn Hop, The Backyard Farming Connection, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, The HomeAcre Hop, From the Farm Blog Hop, Farmgirl Friday, The 104 Homestead Blog Hop, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Simple Saturdays, Simply Natural Saturdays. Thank you for generously hosting link-ups.