Saturday 13 November 2021

Book review - Being Lean by Michelle Leong

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review.

This week I've been reading Being Lean by Michelle Leong. This book aims to guide you towards a better quality of life in all areas - for example at home, with regard to your health, when travelling or at work. The book takes lean principles, which are usually used in a business environment, and shows how they can be applied to everyday living. This focus on the everyday means looking at specific areas of your life, for example food preparation, laundry or fitness, and working out ways to help things run more smoothly and avoid wasting time and effort. 

The book is divided into four parts - 1 = Lean Theory and Methodology, 2 = Complementary Thinking Tools, 3 = Lean Tools and Technique, 4 = Practical Application and Examples. It's a very dense book with a lot of information packed in. Some of the text sizes are very small and the pages are full, which can be a bit daunting at first glance. I found it best to look through the detailed Contents page to see which parts were covered where, so that I could concentrate first on the areas that most interested me. 

For me this was easily Part 4 - Practical Application and Examples. Here the author shares lots of different examples of ways in which you can change your existing systems around the home and set up new ones to save time and effort. For example she describes her laundry system - a three drawer unit with each drawer roughly the same size as a load, one each for black, white and coloured clothes. When a drawer is full it's time to do a wash. 

Although I found that I already so some of the things in this book it helped me to spot a few things that I could do to speed things up. For example most mornings for breakfast I eat a bowl of muesli and add in a teaspoon or two of chia seeds. This process involves taking out and putting away two separate containers - if I were to mix the two together in advance in one container then that would save me a process step. It might only be a minute or so, but by looking for opportunities to save time throughout the day it would really add up.

There is an emphasis on fitness and health which I could really relate to. The author puts across the idea that we have a duty to both ourselves and others to take care of our bodies by eating well and keeping fit. This is so important that if you don't have the time then you need to make the time. There are some great tips on how to get the most from a fitness regime, along with some suggested exercises, and lots of tips for meal planning and organisation. 

This is a really useful book and would definitely add value to the life of anyone that is interested in streamlining their processes across their whole life, not just at work. I can see that even just implementing a few new processes could easily make everyday things run more smoothly.

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