Kaizen is a buzz word that gets thrown around in companies, usually when part of an initiative to improve the way work is done.
At it’s core philosophy is something much simpler, much more personal, and far more powerful.
It’s that consistent tiny change amounts to enormous change. Every day if you do something tiny, but important, and part of something bigger, over time you start accomplishing big things. Think of it as a puzzle, each day you add a piece and eventually you’ve completed a piece of art. If each day you added a random piece from any set without purpose, you won’t have anything other than existence.
Kaizen can bring meaning. The days are all interconnected, tiny things have great meaning.
Bill Gates said that most people overestimate what they can do in a year but underestimate what they can do in 10 years. We can go much more micro than that. People overestimate what they can do in a day but underestimate what they can do in a month. But it must be intentional, deliberate and mindful.
If your goal is to be more organised (a critical capability), then pick one habit to change at a time. It should be so small it’s almost trivial, as simple as putting your keys in the same spot when you get home. The habit is then in place, reinforced. Then you move onto the next thing — doing your laundry on Tuesdays and Fridays. Again, trivial. The next thing, automate payments for your gas and electricity.
These things are all trivial, but you stack them up over 3 months and you’ve turned from someone super stressed in the mornings, trying to find their keys, dealing with messages about late bills, not having the right clothes available. To someone who is orderly.
This is the spirit of kaizen. One small drop at a time and eventually it’s an ocean.