We’ve all been there. Lethargic, scrolling on Netflix for 45 minutes and wasting few more hours of our life.
And the to-do list keeps on having more and more to-do’s while we sit there enjoying the freedom from obligation like there is no tomorrow.
Again, it’s cool to watch few episodes from time to time, but when most of the time we put important things on hold just to spend our time staring at a screen and not even watch the episodes because the phone is even more interesting during the episodes, then it’s time to do necessary change or stay in that state for years to come.
If you tell me you weren’t, or if I tell you I wasn’t doing it, we both know that we are just lying. The problem nowadays is the freedom we have. At least that’s what we tell ourselves. And yes, we can blame it on evolution, but still it’s not an excuse to say I’m lazy and justify the sloth. It’s one thing to be truly tired from excessive work, but it’s completely different to be just lazy.
We can easily fall in the never ending loop and dug out the rut even deeper.
Every morning I prime my brain by doing set of things I do every day: exercise, drinking half a litter of water, writing my to-do list and meditation or breathing technique. Even after all this, I still get the lazy shot every now and then.
So, even after all the discipline and dedication to achieve our dreams how can we battle this word that seems to be the number one public enemy to each and every one of us?
Kaizen: The lazy Japanese technique that cures lazy people
The word ‘kai’ means (change) and ‘zen’ (wisdom) and it was invented by Masaaki Imai, who believes this philosophy can be applied to businesses and personal growth. The interesting thing about this technique is that it cannot be done twice a day. Once you do it, you need to wait another day to continue.
Why does the Kaizen Technique Works?
The Kaizen technique is based on the one-minute principle for self-improvement on personal and professional level. It basically means that if you want to achieve something, you should practice it every day for a minute at the same time, and no more.
This is extremely important because anyone can do it for just one minute a day. You simply cannot find ANY excuse that exists in this world that will justify your lack of time or laziness to do a thing for JUST a minute every day.
In the western culture, the majority of people think that this technique is ineffective and many are sceptic to use it because they believe that people can only achieve change and success through pouring in enormous effort and time into something. This is only partially true because when you try to pour in tremendous effort and time into doing something, it will exhaust you and burn you out. To take a big project as a whole instead of chunking it into small pieces is already a road to the dark side…
The good part is that when you apply this technique you need to cut out your project into smaller chunks of actionable steps because when you first try this technique you shouldn’t do the assignment for more than 1 minute.
Kaizen technique turns your big audacious goals into smaller actionable steps that you can do each day without any lazy excuses. More importantly, this principle allows you to see your progress, no matter how small.
And for most people, doing a minute of work cannot be an issue. No matter what you are trying to accomplish, be it pull-ups, writing an essay or reading a book, start by doing it for just one minute.
When I first tried the Kaizen technique I was felt irritated by the stopwatch. I clicked the start button and before I finished a single page of the book, the time went off. I wanted to continue reading so badly but I promised myself that I would do it just for a minute, even though I wasn’t doing it at all for years before that. When we see progress, we get rewarded with a sense of victory and success because the thought of reading a book is not just a thought now. It’s small step of improvement and win. This will motivate us to wait for another minute tomorrow and the day after that.
But the technique is not all about doing something for a minute and then just tossing it away, because the whole point of this technique is to make ourselves add up more time to that minute not by force, but by desire to do the task. After a couple of days I kept on adding few more minutes day by day and today I read more than 30 minutes every single day (with the exception of Sundays).
It’s no secret why they say the Japanese people are very smart. Masaaki Imai knew that if we want to climb a mountain we have to start with a single step and no matter how many steps it takes us to climb to the top they are numbered. Nothing is infinite.
When you combine that feeling of reward on a daily basis you get dopamine rush by getting something small done. This technique also works to build habits, discipline and determination to achieve the grand goals.