how many therbligs in a putter?

I'm not talking about a golf instrument used for getting the ball into the hole. I'm talking about my/your daily activity when you're not really working but puttering at things that have to be done. Like this morning, I put Drano in the kitchen drain, rinsed out my Icelandic coffee bag, and made fresh coffee, pouring old coffee in the geraniums , watered  a new primrose brought to me as a gift yesterday (lovely!), filled my humidifier tank, and I forget what else.  Not important, but inevitably time-consuming, just puttering, but it has to be done. It's still only 8:15, and I've had my swim, so I have time.

That has made me think of Lillian Gilbreth and Management in the Home.  The older among you may remember "Cheaper by the Dozen," the Gilbreths' personal story, made into a movie a couple of times (the first one was with Clifton Webb, not sure who was in the remake, might have been Steve Martin?).  The Gilbreths were a husband and wife team, industrial engineers who analyzed time-motion studies  to develop more efficient, time-saving methods of production.  They applied what they did to their personal management of a large family. They coined the word "therblig" (Gilbreth spelled backwards) to identify a time-motion gesture.  How many therbligs does it take to make a pot of coffee?  And then - how can you reduce the number of therbligs required? The best solution is to keep your essential tools at the point of first use.  Obviously this approach applies very well to household management. 

The Gilbreths' domestic book, Management in the Home, is still in print, in a revised and enlarged edition.  It was first published in 1954, the year my first child was born.  Six years later I had four children, the last one brain-damaged and requiring a lot of extra care, and I still wanted to write - in my so-called spare time. So I bought the book, still have it, still consult it, and set up my work habits, particularly in the kitchen so that I could find enough time and energy left over from housewifery to be able to write.

All the efficiency and techie tools and therbligs in the world won't make me a better writer, but they give me a fighting chance, with enough energy and time to try to improve. 

Use your therbligs well!