How Kaizen Can Help You Be More Productive
by Rachael Vandendool
Kaizen, according to the Oxford dictionary, is “A Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc.”
Simply put, it means to always look for ways to improve the different areas of your life through small adjustments and change.
Over time, those small continual improvements will add up to substantial change. That change will help you become more efficient and productive in the different areas of your life.
Kaizen is about being mindful of the ways we accomplish the tasks in the different areas of our life, and looking for ways to accomplish those tasks quicker or more efficiently through small improvements.
How Kaizen Helps You Improve
Kaizen can help you improve the way you complete the tasks in the different areas of your life.
I am going to share with you the method I would use to apply the Kaizen concept to the way i accomplish a task.
One big part of my business is to post to social media regularly.
Applying the Kaizen philosophy, I would start by looking at what my current process is for posting to social media is.
I would get clear and systematize that method. That is, instead of posting to specific platforms when I felt like it, I would systematize the process by posting to specific platforms certain times of the day and certain days a week.
I would measure how this approach is working for me based on the outcome I want to achieve. For example, If I want to achieve more traffic from Pinterest, I would look and track through Google Analytics, what results my current process is accomplishing for me.
Next, I would think of small ways that I can improve on this method and start implementing it. For example, maybe I should be posting at a different time of the day.
I would implement this approach by adjusting a small part of my schedule to do that.
Then I would measure the results to determine if this change was effective or not.
If the results were good, I would keep that method. If not, I would change back to the original.
Finally, I would not just stop there, but think of ways I can improve the process even more.
How Kaizen Helps With Problems
When you run into a problem in your business, applying the Kaizen principle can help you focus on small changes to improve the situation.
The benefit of small improvement vs. just throwing the whole plan out the window is that some of the processes might be good, and you could be throwing out the good with the bad.
A problem I faced in my home business was that I was writing the same address on envelopes regularly to send correspondence to our vendors.
Writing addresses on the envelopes is time-consuming, and since it is the same information all the time, I found a way to standardize this process with a small improvement.
I solved the problem by using printable address labels. I printed the companies address on an address label sheet. Now whenever I have to send them something, I save time by not having to write out their address.
If you want to learn more about small changes you can make in the different areas of your life to do things more efficiently, then check out this small e-book 100+ ways to do things faster, that you get for FREE when you sign up for my mailing list.
The Big Picture Approach To Kaizen
The Kaizen philosophy is excellent to apply to the individual tasks and processes we do regularly.
However, we can also apply the Kaizen philosophy to the way we schedule our tasks and manage our time to be more efficient at the way we get things done.
Modifying a Kaizen approach called 5S, we can schedule our tasks and time better, by making small continual improvements.
The 5S’s are sort, straighten, shine, standardize, and sustain.
Below is how we can apply these 5’s to the way we approach and schedule the tasks we need to accomplish.
Sort – Sort out your task list of what needs to be done and what doesn’t. Eliminate those things that don’t maintain or improve the different areas of your life.
Straighten – Analyze the tasks you have left and ask yourself, what is important, what can others do for you, what energy level do you need to accomplish a task, and how much time do you need to dedicate to accomplish the task?
Shine – Use a schedule of your choice that shows a clear and maintained version of what you are going to do and when you are going to do it.
Standardize – Schedule regular sessions, usually weekly, to sort through your task list, straighten and analyze the task you have to do, and shine and schedule when you are going to do them.
Sustain – Always look for ways you can improve this process. So that you can do it quicker, easier, and more efficiently.
Kaizen is a great way to make small improvements to the things we do so that, over time, we can make substantial changes.
Apply the principle to our daily task list will help us become more efficient at the way we get things done.
Using the Kaizen 5S method to our scheduling can help us become more efficient at the way we approach our tasks and schedule them to get them done.
Use the Kaizen principle today to make small improvements to the way you get things done in the different areas of your life.