In the modern era of Netflix bingeing and UberEats, it’s easy to slip into lazy habits.
We all crave convenience, ease, and simplicity in our lives, especially since we’re all so busy with careers, family life and a myriad of other things. However, no one wants to get a reputation as being lazy.
So what can Kaizen teach us?
The word derives from the words kai (change) and zen (wisdom). Practicing it may take only a single minute of your time. The Kaizen philosophy primarily makes us commit ourselves to doing a minute of any task every day at the same time.
In turn, you can become more productive.
Since it’s only a minute of your time, it’s impossible to feel daunted by the task at hand. Even the busiest person can spare a moment of time to complete a task. You can put a timer on your phone and the time will fly by.
By the end of that minute, you’ll have achieved something, even if it’s just something small.
For Kaizen to work correctly, there are several essential steps to take.
First off, schedule the minute at a time which you can always commit to. For example, if you work nine until five and then go to the gym at six every day, schedule your kaizen practice for first thing in the morning, or just before you go to bed. Both these times are right – in the morning, completing a task early will make you feel prepared for the day ahead.
If you do the task just before bed, you’ll feel like you’ve had a productive day, even if it’s not been your best day altogether. Don’t ever back out! Never allow yourself to fall back into lazy habits. You have no excuse – it’s only a minute of your time!
Whenever you feel like you might abandon ship, hold the thought and think about what you’re doing to yourself. If you can’t commit to a single minute out of one thousand, four hundred and forty each day, then that could be a problem you need to tackle.
The task must also be something that you can handle in small chunks.
An enormous task to choose is sorting through your bedroom to clear out some things. You can tackle a shelf each day, or a handbag that needs clearing out.
If you don’t want to limit yourself to a minute, that’s fine! As long as you do at least a moment, you’re still making progress every day, no matter how small it is. However, try not to extend the minute into hours. Fifteen minutes on a task could be an excellent place to stop so that the kaizen practice doesn’t obsessively take over your time. You’re still a busy person and should allow yourself time off.
The practice of kaizen is excellent because it encourages you to be productive, but it also stops you from dreading taking on a task. When you become aware of how short a minute is, you won’t feel bad when the time approaches for your kaizen minute.
You could even have a few kaizen minutes per day at different times – imagine how productive you’ll feel then! It’s a simple change to your life, but it makes the world of difference.
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About the Author: Hayley Anderton is a Creative Writing graduate from Liverpool. She’s a freelance writer and the self-published novelist of the LGBT YA book, Double Bluff. She doesn’t go anywhere without a notepad and has been writing ever since she can remember. Her other interests include baking, talking about politics and feminism, and snuggling up with her cat. She has dreams of traveling the world with her best friends, and of being a well-known author someday.
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