Per a recent article, I’ve been focusing on the theme of community. Many of the topics I address are centered on Six Sigma exam logistics, and preparation. There are already hundreds of technical articles on the website so the obvious topic missing are all the things that you actually do as a Lean Six Sigma practitioner.

And in true Six Sigma fashion, I designed an experiment. Enter the Friday Sigma Bulletin where I talk about some of the random / not-so-random concepts and tools I use in a week.
As always, I want to know about your experience. Write back, comment, or otherwise let me know what you’re doing, finding valuable or fun out there!

Thinking

I heard the following quote in a podcast the other week and it’s been an ear worm. This quote keeps on coming back and back again to the front of my consciousness, so I’ve been exploring it and trying to discover what my subconscious is telling me.

“How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour and that one is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living. Each day is the same, so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern.” -Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

The quote inspires me to be more intentional with my days, schedule, and routines. It begs the question of what I want my narrative to be, so it’s appropriate for year end’s reflection. This of course goes well with the Six Sigma narrative of Plan-Do-Check-Act.

What’s some of the quotes you’ve been pondering at year end?

What are some of the best practices for living intentionally that you’ve discovered?

Reading / Watching

This time of year Twas the Night Before Christmas gets a lot of play in my household. Reading it to my kids. Listening to my parents and in-laws reading it to the kids. Hearing it in the pre-recorded books the children have.

Exploring

 

My family and I love exploring outdoors. A few years ago South Carolina opened a program called Ultimate Outsider designed to get people to visit all of their 47 State parks. It was a great entry-level outdoor experience for my (at the time) 1.5 year old daughter, and has continued to be well past the addition of my (now 1.5 year old) son.

Talk about quality! Many of these parks were made in the Depression era in the US (roughly the 1930s) under the Works Projects Administration. And these buildings and structures are still going strong while serving to enhance some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet. Without this program we never would have explored as much of all corners of South Carolina as we have.

And of course there is a huge family benefit; once you are out in the woods exploring there are no phones or emails or deadlines or cartoons or other toys – just you and your loved ones exploring and enjoying one-another time together.

Playing

Some time off has allowed me to resume my meditation practice. I’m not very good at it so I’m happy there are a lot of resources and apps. I find that using noise cancelling headphones (invested in these years ago when I was traveling for work 1-2 weeks per month) and an app called HeadSpace allow me to get a session in each day. In turn those sessions help me be more present and live with greater intentionality.

Community Challenge

What are you doing these days to close out the year? What are you looking forward to in 2018?

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