We are creatures of habit; it has been said that 60% of people at any given time eat the same dishes week after week. In another survey, the typical adult has had the same dish already scheduled in for the last 4 years.What was the most telling was that 13% have eaten the same dish on the same day of the week for the last 10 years.
This doesn’t just apply to food. Many of us park in the same spot at work if it is available; we wear a certain style of clothing for most of our lives (given a slight change to keep up with the times), and even the songs we like are the same ones we liked as a child.
With that said, all of us humans have a core Six Sigma quality built into us — the desire to reduce variation. It seems to have been built into our DNA so that we didn’t even notice. In the Six Sigma methodology, variation is undesirable because it creates ambivalence and does not allow for consistent results or outcomes.
Routines and Habits
We spend a lifetime creating those routines and habits because they work for us. It makes us more efficient because we remember what we have to do next. For people who keep misplacing their keys, one of the first solutions that the experts tell you is to always keep your keys in the same place. That way you know where your keys are.
Routine keeps us efficient so everything gets done at the same time, in the best way possible. If mac & cheese is a favorite food and it makes you happy, then by all means it would be a good practice to make sure you have it. Your inner child will thank you.
What this indicates is having a routine makes us efficient. Being a creature of habit seems to make us happy on some level, otherwise we wouldn’t keep doing it, and being happy improves the quality of our life.
Reducing variation and constantly improving quality — Six Sigma is in our DNA! Who knew.
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