CAYG Anyone who has worked at McDonald’s knows what this acronym stands for: Clean As You Go. McDonald’s strict policy on keeping your work area and utensils clean and tidy at all times is drilled into employees. The policy enforces cleaning and straightening at the soonest possible moment. Cleaning isn’t an afterthought. It is an important step in the work instructions for food preparation. Once you master the concept, habit makes cleaning as you go feel natural. Many McDonald’s employees report using the idea successfully in their own homes or dorm rooms. CAYG is an excellent habit to cultivate to increase thoroughness. As a family, talk about how they can apply it to any household chore or task. Make a list of all of the chores that could benefit from a little CAYG. Start at the beginning of the day and apply it to everything you do. What does it look like when you get out of bed, brush your teeth, make breakfast, etc? How would it affect doing homework or changing your clothes? Then pick one thing and challenge everyone to do it for the next week. Keep doing it until it becomes a habit. Then pick another item from the list. You can alternately have each person pick the one thing they want to do. You may also add a challenge to it for older children and have them guess how many days they have to do it until it becomes a habit.
To process this activity, ask these or similar questions:
- Was it interesting to look at household chores through the eyes of Ronald McDonald?
- Did applying CAYG to things you do every day help you to understand more fully the concept of thoroughness?
- How long do you think it takes McDonald’s employees to learn to work this way?
- Can you appreciate building a habit so you can do it without having to think about it?
- Do you think you will feel good about yourself when you realize you start doing this all the time without whining?