A journey of a thousand leagues begins with a single step." - Lao Tzu
Kaizen is all based upon this single principle. Begin with just one little step and then continue to improve. The definition of the word Kaizen, in Japanese, is "improvement."
There are five main points to the Kaizen framework:
A. Tidiness or Sieiri
B. Having things in order or Seiton
C. Being clean or seiso
D. A standard procedure for clean-up or seiketsu
E. Maintaining discipline or shitsuke
Stick with this frame work and you will be successful.
Anyone who has ever made a New Year's resolution and failed knows this: it's hard to make big changes. Those who succeed in achieving their goals will likely tell you that they did it because they made small changes over time. These small changes led to success because new habits were formed. Kaizen can help you with your personally and professionally
People who manage to reach objectives probably will say they did it by effecting minor changes over time. Little changes bring success because new habits are formed. Let's say, for instance, that your objective is to reduce the amount of clutter in your house. You might begin by using just five minutes each day to sort through mail and throw away anything that you do not need without hesitation.
Practice, with a focus, will bring results. Making one minor alteration will, over time, make a great deal of difference. Anybody that has ever made a New Year's Resolution but failed will know that it is difficult to effect major changes in one's life. Let's say, for instance, that your objective is to lessen the amount of clutter in your home. You might begin by sorting through your mail for just five minutes every day and instantly throwing out anything you do not need to keep.
Ponder the unsavory habits you might have: maybe you began eating a Danish every morning and currently you are 30 pounds overweight. Fad diets probably won't help you, but substituting an apple for a Danish, as time goes by, will help you.
In the workplace, Kaizen has practical applications. It can seem overwhelming to tell workers "be efficient." Kaizen shows how. For example, I saw a poster at a supermarket of tasks that workers can do with a spare five minutes: straighten the counters, wipe the counters, etc. It all adds up. Let's say you need to learn a new software package for your job. Spend just 10 minutes a day and you'll be on your way to learning it. The best way to learn a language is not to study 2 hours a week, but 20 minutes a day.
Challenge yourself with some problems:
In what way do you wish to become better? What goals do you wish to set for yourself? How will you know when you have completed what you aspired to do?
There is a riddle that goes: Which is the most ideal manner in which to consume a whole elephant? And the answer is very simple, just take one bite at a time. Make up your mind on what you take a bite on in order to reach your destination and achieve your objectives.