We have a popular habit of putting things off first, and when a deadline comes, urgently cleaning them up at night. And for many, especially in college, this approach contributes to a very high capacity for work. But you can do things quite differently, and it is likely to be easier and more productive.
Principles of the kaizen system
Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy whose name translates to “continuous improvement.” It suggests not hoarding problems and solving them at the last minute but making at least small changes every day. This makes it possible not to miss deadlines and constantly improve your comfort level.
There are five core values in the Kaizen system:
This system is useful in absolutely all spheres:
- in studies: doing homework or looking for chemistry homework help, preparing for exams, organizing the workplace, attending classes and additional courses, preparing a graduation paper;
- at home: setting and maintaining order, organizing space, the reasonable economy of funds, and housekeeping;
- At work: organization of the work process and space, interaction with colleagues and superiors, planning tasks, working with subordinates, saving the budget.
Kaizen planning is especially useful for managers who set up the work processes of the whole team. And it will help students and schoolchildren in organizing their free time and study time, timely preparation and execution of tasks, and proper prioritization.
The kaizen method of learning and life
Thanks to the method of “small steps” this philosophy will work even for people who are not ready to dramatically and thoroughly put in order in their business. Kaizen teaches that if you do a little bit each day, one day you will come to a point where all things will be done. This also applies to study (for example, to study one ticket a day, not all 30 at once), and work (break important projects into small tasks), and self-development (read one page a day), and home life (take apart one shelf, not the whole closet).
Improvement in the organization
Set aside specific time for repetitive tasks: checking mail and news, eating meals, repeating homework. That way you won’t put them off if you just don’t feel like doing them now, and you won’t get distracted by them if there are other important tasks.
Learn to prioritize. Some people are more comfortable with small tasks first, and then take on big ones. Some people, on the contrary, like to solve complex tasks first and leave small ones for later. Observe how much energy you have left by the end of the day, and how much you are motivated to solve a problem.
Determine when you are most productive. If you are a “night owl,” trying to do your homework in the morning is pointless. And, vice versa, if by the evening you are already off your feet, it is worth having time to do all the important things in the daytime.
Improvement in your studies
Spend time on a thorough cleaning of your desk. It has long been proven that all distracting elements (notebooks, photos, wires, electronics) are bad for performance. After you put things in order, you will notice how much easier it is to study. And after class is sure to tidy up your desk. So tomorrow you will begin the day with productive work, not with cleaning.
Do not ignore general studies, including group preparation for exams and seminars. Several people can produce better results in a shorter time than one.
If you have a big job to do (prepare for a session; write a final paper, an essay, an internship report; do a serious project, etc.), break it up into smaller tasks. This can be preparing a plan, consulting with the teacher, searching for literature, drawing up the cover page, finding answers for each ticket, and others. If you do a little bit each day, then:
- you won’t get tired of preparation,
- you’ll get the job done,
- you won’t miss the deadline.
- Improvement in self-development
Do not try to follow the “all or nothing” principle. In this case, there is a great risk of simply not starting the case. However, if every day you move a little bit toward the goal, someday you will achieve it. And it doesn’t matter what that goal will be: learning a new language, performing at sports, or writing a book.
Small kaizen goals can be set in any area:
- Walking the stairs instead of taking the elevator;
- to read the notes of the lectures written down in class today every day;
- reading one page of fiction a day;
- do light exercise in the morning;
- remove one thing a day from a cluttered balcony;
- meditate for 5 minutes before going to bed;
- learn 3 words from a new language.
Doing them isn’t hard, and in just a couple of weeks, you’ll notice how they’ve changed your life. When you find these goals easy, you can make them more difficult (learn 5 words, read 2 pages, etc.).
For the kaizen method to help you improve your life rather than be a burden, use the right wording. It’s not “I have to pass the session with flying colors,” but “What can I do to be a better student? Not “I have to learn this paragraph,” but “What can I do that’s useful for studying in the next five minutes?” Try to maintain a positive attitude toward life, correct mistakes you’ve made in time, and look for effective and simple solutions.
The kaizen philosophy is infinite, and even if now you think that your development has some final goal when you achieve it, you will see where you can move on.