living lean

Living Lean – It’s About Creating Momentum

How to Improve Productivity to Create More Free Time – Part 2

Hi Friends its Doug Howorko and George Tsougrianis from ZAGGTIME Lifestyle Design.  It’s time for another edition of our Freedom Friday’s blog. This week we share some insight on living lean.


Do you feel stuck in your personal life, work place-career, and in developing real business opportunities?


Do you have a full time job with full time family commitments resulting in no free time, being stressed out; busy zigging around, spinning your wheels hard and fast but going nowhere?


Do you wish you could learn how create more free time to start a business of your dreams?


If YES…then get ready for the solution to designing the life and business you love.  It all started for me by Living LEAN – Improving Productivity at Work to Create More Free Time to Work on My Passion Business.


My journey with Living LEAN at work actually began out of necessity more than anything. I was busy, spinning my wheels fast with zero free time to think and take action on designing the life and business I loved.


I had limited resources and a geographically spread team, so I knew we needed to change how we worked to be a higher performing organization – to be more productive, to add more value and to ultimately create more free time in the day.


I decided it was time to adopt Living LEAN into our culture and bring a Continuous Improvement attitude to life. When we were deciding how to incorporate the LEAN tools into our work, what grabbed us the most was that LEAN opened up a space for everyone’s ideas and input, and had the potential to engage everyone in the process. We began by defining the ‘why’ in hopes that if everyone understood the benefits of Living LEAN, it would bea lot easier to get everyone engaged in the ‘how’.  At the end of the day, everyone will always be on board for doing less and achieving more, it’s just a matter of how you get there.


The 4 Principles of Living LEAN


Together, the team came up with a Living LEAN approach they knew would work for them, redefining LEAN to mean: Liberate staff, Eliminate waste, Automate processes, and Navigate direction.


  1. Liberate: Each team member is empowered to take the lead in processes, changes and direction, and to freely explore creative ways to add value for their stakeholders.


  1. Eliminate: The team does not do work for work’s sake, but instead focuses on efficient processes and activities that generate the most results.


  1. Automate: The team seeks opportunities to automate processes and create more efficient operations.


  1. Navigate: You need to draw a clear line of sight from each person’s work to the larger organizational goals so team members can easily navigate through their role and have greater impact on their clients.


Knowing that value would need to be demonstrated as soon as possible to maintain momentum and interest,we started identifying and implementing some small changes, and reporting the results right away.  As new ideas continued to be implemented, and more progress was made, it became easier to engage the entire team.


LEAN has become more than just a tool, it’s become a part of our culture, and continuous improvement is now a mindset rather than a goal. We hugely increased our free time and energy levels which ultimately improved our overall work/life balance.


My Tips for Living LEAN:


  • Start small, small victories are key in the beginning to creating momentum.


  • Give everyone an equal voice and opportunity to contribute their ideas.


  • Use the resources that are available to you whether it’s a LEAN leader or LEAN training.


  • Have an open mind; the process really can have a positive impact on your work environment.


  • Have a core group of people dedicated to LEAN and continuous improvement; so that when challenges come up, that group can keep everyone engaged and on-track.


  • Celebrate the wins, big or small.


  • Never stop thinking LEAN. There is no end goal, it’s a continuous journey.



For other great life tips and business advice don’t forget to join our community.


With gratitude,

Doug Howorko and George Tsougrianis



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