2018 resolution: Start the weekend as early as possible. Frank Gilbreth's stopwatch might come in handy ⏱. In the early 1900s, Lillian Gilbreth and her husband Frank developed a system for analyzing human motion in time using custom stopwatches, specialized timers, and still and moving pictures. Their main clients were industrial managers, who sought to increase worker output while saving time and . Their study subjects were workers, whose job satisfaction the Gilbreths hoped to increase as they decreased wasted motions.
The Gilbreths did not invent stopwatch studies. In fact, watches were secondary in their system of motion study—a direct reaction to worker resistance to earlier stopwatch studies conducted in industrial workplaces by management reformer Frederick Winslow Taylor beginning in the 1880s. Taylor's approach came to be known as Taylorism or "scientific management" and included numerous measures to make industry more productive and cost-efficient.
Taylor's work inspired generations of industrial engineers, many of whom continued to use stopwatches in their research well into the 1960s—much to workers' dismay.
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