I think Henry Ford was on to something. Ford, as history has taught us, was the inventor of the Model T, the first mass produced automobile. Mass production, and the T's low price tag, wouldn't have been possible without Ford's use of the assembly line. The truth is, the assembly line predated Ford, but he was the first person to apply it to a massive production scale for automobiles. Traditionally, workers moved down a production line to complete a task. Ford, on the other hand, had the workers remain in place, and the parts move down the line.
This seemingly insignificant alteration yielded large increases in productivity. It allowed Ford Motor Company to make 15 million Model-T’s in the span of 14 years, also, at half the cost. With many more middle and lower income people being able to afford a car, the world got a whole lot bigger. Highway transportation systems were established, commerce flourished, and society was changed forever.
History lesson aside, I've thought a lot about assembly lines lately, as it relates to how I complete various tasks in my home and office. I first noticed in a passive way that when I did tasks in an assembly line manner that I was able to accomplish them with more accuracy and speed. Saving time and yielding a better result? What is not to like about that? The only downside to assembly line style task work is tedium. When a large project requires repeat actions in a stage of work, things can get boring! The temptation is to want to switch gears and do something else, or skip ahead. Do anything to break up the monotony.