Today, I woke up to a protracted breakdown on a machine.

When I got there to support, I immediately noticed significant housekeeping issues caused by the team doing troubleshooting. I could tell they were embarrassed to have me meet the machine in that state.

Without putting down anyone, I asked that we stop all restoration, and clean up the area to ensure that we were working in a space that promoted right thinking.

I have read quite a lot about the positive correlation between orderliness of space and effective problem solving. I have noticed it in my life too. Less clutter in my physical space reduces clutter in my mind.

After cleaning, we restarted troubleshooting, and the issue was resolved in less than 15 minutes. There was a lot of work done before I got there, and the housekeeping might not have directly solved the problem, but I believe it gave people time-off to think about their approach, and also see what was deviating from the norm more clearly.

I could see the relief and excitement in the team as we got back into production. No voices raised, no blame game, just a clean work area to get things done.

I am thankful for the clarity decluttering brings.

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