"Dad took moving pictures of us children washing dishes, so that he could
figure out how we could reduce our motions and thus hurry through the task."
Dr Frank Gilbreth, Cheaper By the Dozen
Once as a child, wandering through the legs of coffee drinking and chatting ladies my mother was entertaining, I was asked if I had any chores. I beamed and proudly proclaimed that I had many, including cleaning my own bathroom.
I was eager to share my new bathtub cleaning discover with my apparently eager audience. It was quite a while later before I understood just why the watching faces began to grimace when I explained that my short arms made tub-scrubbing difficult but that by scrubbing the toilet first, and thereby getting the toilet brush nice and wet, I could use the toilet brush to scrub the far corners of the tub, thus entirely circumventing my short-arm problem.
Brilliance runs in my family.
"Find the laziest worker and study his approach."
also by Dr Frank Gilbreth
My 5 year old is responsible for drying and putting away the silverware. Let's just say that the shine has worn off the responsibility. He often dawdles. So the other morning, as I doing paperwork in the kitchen, a part of my brain registered that said 5 year old was working on his huge stack of silverware with unusual uniform motion and efficiency.
He would grab a utensil standing tall,
and in ballet terms he'd,
do something I couldn't see,
return to first position and pop the utensil in the drawer.
Hmmmm, I investigated.
He was sticking each utensil between his pliéd legs, closing his legs and then pulling out the now jean-dried silverware and popping it away.
Who needs those pesky, annoying dishtowels?