Basic Practical Application of 5S On Different Occasions (Home & Work)

In the workplace, it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees, especially if you have a stressful role. People are throwing tasks at you left, right and centre and you might struggle to keep your head above water.

What you need is a way to structure and organise your workload so that you can put a plan in place to reduce your stress levels, whilst still remaining productive.

Introducing the 5S’!

So, What is a 5S Process?

The 5s process helps you to take a disorganised or messy process and make it LEAN. Lean living throughout your work life and home life is extremely important to ensure you remain productive and you feel accomplished, but you also have the time to spend on the things that you enjoy and to focus on self-improvement, without constantly firefighting to keep on top of your billion tasks for the day.


The sorting stage is a chance to get rid of your clutter. This could be physically (do you have a ton of papers and empty coffee cups on your desk?) or in regard to process management.

If you look at your task list, what’s on there that you don’t need to do? Is there anything that you can delegate to others that might be better placed to complete it? Is there anything that is just a ‘nice to have’ even though you know you’ll never get around to it? Get rid of anything you don’t NEED for your working day.


You’ll now have a pile of things that didn’t belong on your desk and you need somewhere to put them. Find permanent homes for everything that you removed.

In regard to your tasks – if they’re tasks that you’ve been doing that belong in a different department or with a different member of staff because of their skill set, have a discussion with that department. Accept that you can’t do everything and that others might have different skills to you. If someone else has elevated skills in that area, it makes sense that they should do the task as they’ll most likely provide better quality results.


So, you’ve tidied everything into its proper place, and you have a clean workstation and a doable task list. Now all you need to do is keep it that way. As soon as something new comes onto your desk, find a home for it. Don’t let it sit there. If you get some emails into your inbox, file them into the right places, don’t let them sit stressing you out.

The best way to manage your tasks if they come to you by email is to leave your immediate inbox as a ‘task list.’ Keep the emails where they are until you’ve completed the task. Then create files for each type of email and file them away. Then all you’ll have in your inbox are the tasks that are outstanding. No clutter.


Make your new process a habit. As soon as you’ve drunk your coffee, go and wash your cup and place it back in the cupboard.

Respond to emails as soon as they come in, then file them away, maintaining that empty task list.


Your behaviours will influence those around you. By implementing a clear desk policy within your office, you’ll maintain a better working environment across the board. As this is a cultural change, you’re less likely to fall back into bad habits.

When it comes to task productivity, training others in your processes of delegation and maintaining personal task lists will improve productivity overall. If your department looks good, you look good.

The Benefits of Workplace Organisation

Being organised in the workplace is a necessity for all of us, even if we don’t realise it.

  • Higher Productivity

When there’s less around to distract us and we have a clear plan of our journey we feel more accomplished and can achieve more during our working day.

  • Less Waste

Having that structure can help us to remove wasted time from any of the processes we’ve set out. Typically, 80% of our workload comes from 20% of our tasks, so being able to identify those tasks and cut them off at the source can drastically reduce the time we spend working.

A less cluttered workstation also helps us to physically reduce the time we spend looking for things.

  • Improved Morale

Organisation increases morale. People love to come to a working environment where they know exactly what they have to do that day and are confident in doing it. Overly stressed workers lead to decreased morale and workplace disagreements – which never end well.

  • Encourages Correct Behaviour

Becoming organised yourself will help to set an example for the other people around you. Once they see how fulfilled, calm and confident you seem at work, they’ll want to try and replicate that in their own work lives. That leads to the strengthening of the whole operation and not just your own workday.


Using a 5S Home Structure

There’s no reason that you’d need to limit your new fantastic 5S structure to your office either. Implementing certain aspects at home can help you to reduce your chores time and increase your ‘you time’.

Take your kitchen, for example, by keeping it clean continuously, you could save yourself a ton of time doing the Saturday deep clean.

  1. What’s on your kitchen side that doesn’t need to be there? I bet there’s a lot of equipment that you haven’t used for ages. SORT through it and remove anything that you don’t need daily. It’ll give you a clean workspace to be able to cook properly.
  2. All of those sandwich toasters and smoothy makers that you barely use need to go. Find some SET cupboard space for them.
  3. Make sure you keep everything in its place. Sure, you’ll pull your toaster out occasionally, but make sure you always put it back where it belongs to make your counter space SHINE.
  4. You’ll immediately love your newly clean space and all the time it’s earned you, so hold on to it. Don’t procrastinate when it comes to putting your appliances away. Wash up and tidy away your cooking utensils immediately after you’ve used them and STANDARDISE this on a continuous cycle. Make tidying a habit.
  5. Now it’s the trickiest step – teaching your kids to understand the new kitchen rules. Drilling into them that tidying is good and can benefit them will make your job much easier as it means that you won’t be constantly picking up after everyone to SUSTAIN the new clean living, it’ll happen by itself – removing all of the waste from that process and giving you more time for you.