Maybe it’s time to add another waste to lean’s big seven (or eight depending on your perspective).

We already have a WORM PIT waste digs us into. That little mnemonic device will help you recall the categories of waste as Waiting, Overproduction, Rejects, Motion, Processing, Inventory, and Transportation. And we can remember that the only way to get out of the wormpit is by using our collective Intellect.

But is our intellect being overtaxed by noise? Are we now overproductive as a result of advances in our ability to communicate with each other? Gil Friend sent a tweet that cited Car & Driver reporting that 18% of cell phone users, and 48% of young drivers (16-25) text while driving. This is NOT safe multi-tasking.

But the question is Why? I have to admit that I too am guilty of sending an occasional short text from the drivers seat. But much more frequently, I’m certain a much higher percentage of cell phone users read email, check google maps, look up restaurants, or do other tasks that are just as distracting as texting, but don’t report it as texting.

Are we making it clear to our people that we, as employers or as family and friends, expect them to respond immediately when we want to ask them something? Are we forsaking any reasonable hope for quiet time or personal time? Do we really want to exert that kind of control over others?

With everyone connected, and most people addicted to checking emails and texting, we have truly drfted from the digital age into an age of overproductivity. How long can we continue if we start burning people out or killing each other in our cars?

— Posted from my iPhone