Monday, January 17, 2011

Random thoughts in the middle of the night

It is late.  I should be sleeping.  One or more of my children will likely wake up with some kind of need in about 4 hours.  But here I sit, unable to sleep.  My brain is working much too hard and I have been working on idea capture.

What am I thinking about?  My life.  Specifically, how do I best combine the two worlds I inhabit. 

If you haven't read my brief bio then let me summarize.  I have a background in Industrial Engineering.  I know, you are thinking Industrial Engineering.  I've heard of chemical and mechanical and even electrical.  But industrial?  It's not the most popular engineering discipline out there but it is the one that most people never knew they always needed.  Industrial engineers solve problems on how to make things work better.  They are always looking at their worlds - both in their jobs and the rest of their lives and trying to find the way that makes the most sense, takes the least effort, uses the fewest resources or takes the shortest amount of time.  You know your annoying friend who likes her dishwasher loaded "just so".  She could be an industrial engineer.

That's what I do at my day job.  Yep - I have a day job.  I enjoy it, mostly.  I help solve problems and improve processes in a very "industrial" environment. 

But then there's the rest of my time.  My family, my home, my LIFE.  You know what I do during those parts of my day.  I solve problems.  I make processes move more smoothly.  I am constantly trying to find a better way to get things done.  (and trust me, with a husband and three kids we need all the process improvements we can get)

What I find over and over is that these two worlds overlap in my brain.  When I am trying to work out a problem at work, I rely on principles of good home organization.  When I'm trying to make a functional closet space for my kids, I think about the techniques I learned in graduate school and use at my job.  For me, I cannot separate the two.  At least not in my head.  Good flow is good flow wherever you may find it.

What I realized tonight is that I've only been giving you, my dear readers, half of my brain.  I've been giving you the home half.  But you know what?  I think that's about to change.  There's a lot to be learned by teaching all of you some of the "tricks of the trade" among industrial engineers.  I hope you'll join me down this path.

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