NYC Guitar School East in tip-top, 3S-ed form!
Cleaning Up Is Faster, More Fun And More Effective With This Simple Lens
At NYC Guitar School, we have lots of rooms, lots of equipment, lots of books, and lots of moving parts. Sometimes they get messy!
And it isn’t just physical rooms or file cabinets that get messy–so do processes and systems, like the way we book lessons or do our marketing.
Each of us don’t just have things at work that can get messy–we also all have closets and habits and rooms and backpacks and so on in our own personal lives that also get messy, inefficient, and demotivating.
But a few years ago I learned a really simple approach to tidying up that has made a real difference for our guitar school and in my own personal life. It’s called 3-Sing. For me, that means Sweeping (getting rid of EVERYTHING that doesn’t help), Shining (making sure everything is clean) and Sorting/Standardizing (putting things where they should go and stay.)
It Started With 2-Second Lean
A few years ago, our guitar school leadership team read a book called 2-Second Lean by Paul Akers, which is about how to make continuous improvements in life or business in simple, small and achievable steps. Wow–that sounded just like our philosophy for teaching guitar! We liked the book so much that we’ve featured it in our monthly book group three times, and we’ve implemented many of the concepts.
One of the many super simple approaches the book teaches is called the 3 S. I use it every time I clean a room or closet or car or anything else, whether at work, at home or volunteering. We’ve adapted the 3 S method for NYC Guitar School. Here’s how we do it:
1) SWEEP…this means GET ANYTHING OUT OF THE ROOM THAT DOESN’T BELONG THERE. Start with whatever is biggest or most numerous. Be vicious. If it is trash, chuck it. If it is lost and found, or a guitar book, or anything like that, get it out of the room and put it where it goes. This also includes if somebody left the room messy asking them nicely to pick up after themselves.
2) SHINE…(2-Second Lean and other books use “sort” as the second S, but because we wanted to emphasize that things should be CLEAN we used “shine” as our second S.) Make the room look nice. If the room needs vacuuming, vacuum it…if the carpet is frayed, cut the ends with a scissors…if there is a layer of dust on the windowsill wipe it off. As you make a room cleaner, two things happen:
- It becomes SUPER EASY to clean the room the next time.
- You notice less obvious improvements which are available. (After all, one of our values is relentless improvement…we believe that there is ALWAYS room for improvement, whether in human life or rooms.
3) SORT/STANDARDIZE…put things where they optimally will go. At NYC Guitar School we have a room plan on the inside of each door. Does the room match the plan? Does every guitar have a capo? Is there a marker for the white board? If it is the office, are handouts and books where they are supposed to go? Do new copies need to be made?
Can you use this approach on your bookbag? On your closet? On your room? On your lesson schedule? On your finances?
Founder, NYC Guitar School
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