How to Use Kaizen to Get What You Want In Life


Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning “improvement.” However, it is also often used in a more specific concept, as an approach to project management and efficiency. The term was born in manufacturing, where it described the way in which making a small change to a process in an assembly line could result in HUGE increases in efficiency and net profit thanks to automation and force multiplication. This concept quickly caught on in the worlds of business and self-development respectively. In both contexts, small changes can add up to big impact. Often kaizen is taken to mean that you should engage in “micro workouts” and the like. That you should try to form new habits by doing something extremely small and easy. While this can be useful advice in the right context, it is not true kaizen. An example of a kaizen approach would be to look at everything you do in a typical workflow: that means every step you take from booting up the computer, to making coffee, to answering emails, to uploading articles. You’d then see which of these steps was taking the longest, and see if there was any way to make them each more efficient–to thereby gain more time and freedom. For instance, if you fix your computer’s booting up speed by five minutes, that could result in 25minutes of extra time per week. What if you stopped taking so many coffee breaks? Or what if you slightly altered the order of your main tasks, such that you didn’t need to switch between programs so much? A few changes like this and you could save hours every week to become significantly more productive. What does this have to do with getting what you want from life? Simple: you can take this exact approach to your current lifestyle in order to make time and energy for the things you want to do. That might mean investing in a dishwasher so that you can spend less time washing up in the evening–even getting a cleaner if you can afford one! It might also mean doing some kind of chore on the commute home, such that you don’t need to do it when you get back in the evening. Either way, this kind of thinking makes your daily grind more efficient. Therefore, you suddenly can fit in a few hours to workout and you have the energy to do so to boot! And the same goes for whatever else it is that you would like to achieve.

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