My friend Andrea recently introduced me to the idea of Kaizen through the book One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way by Robert Maurer. The book lists two different definitions (page 3) for Kaizen:
"Using very small steps to improve a habit, a process, or a product.
Using very small moments to inspire new products and inventions."
The famous quote by Lao Tzu, also exemplifies the spirit of Kaizen:
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
I am loving this book so far. But, I approached it in my typical voracious-reader, information-addict, never-enough-time fashion. I read and read and read. As fast as I could. And I thought all along "Yes! These are wonderful ideas! This is awesome!".
Guess what happened... I got totally overwhelmed and couldn't actually apply the principles to my life. Because I'd rushed through (for no reason, it's not a library book, I don't have to return it) and tried to absorb all the information at once. Which never works.
So, yesterday I decided to re-read, and take a new approach. I started back at the beginning and read through the intro sections again. When I got to the first chapter describing the first technique, I read until I got to the first task, and then stopped. I'm going to re-read the task every day for a week and reflect on it in my journal. Then I'll move onto the next technique or task.
Hopefully, this new plan will actually help me apply the theories of Kaizen to my life. Because it is literally the same ideas I've been spouting and trying to figure out for months now. Only I could figure out how to break things down far enough to be doable.
So here's to doing things differently, trying something new.
Have you ever heard have Kaizen? Have you tried it? What do you think of it?