Kaizen is a Japanese word that means improvement and is often used in business to describe making small changes regularly that add up to massive changes over time.
This is a fantastic practice that took Japan from a war-torn country to one of the most highly industrialized nations on the planet. Today, Japanese cars and electronics dominate the world stage.
So, the question now is "How can Kaizen help with time management?"
The answer is simple. By making small changes to your schedule, you'll be able to become more focused and productive.
One of the best points of kaizen is its emphasis on orderliness. A messy workspace is an indicator of a messy mind. While there may be some people who take pride that they're able to find organization amidst disorganization, in the long run, a tidy workspace leads to more productivity.
You want your workspace to be neat and orderly. Have "in" and "out" boxes or a filing system that helps you sort your tasks according to importance and urgency. Do what needs to be done at the appropriate time.
Just knowing where your things are can help save you aggravation when you're looking for a stapler or a document and you canít find it because of the messy heap you call a desk.
Batch your tasks
Study your working arrangements. Batch your tasks so that to some extent they become almost mindless. For example, if you need to call clients, batch all your calls for one session. During this hour or two, all you'll do is make sales calls.
This will help you stay focused and the entire task becomes more routine and youíll be more effective. If you make 4 calls and then go off to do some paperwork and return later to do more calls, your mind will need to keep adjusting to the new tasks.
You may not realize it, but it does take up time and makes you less effective. So, with this Kaizen technique, you'll batch your tasks and get the job done faster and more effectively.
Tweak your schedule
Look at your schedule and see where you can save time every single day. If you're spending an hour at lunch, try and pack food from home so that you can eat at the office instead of going out.
Instead of an hour, you may only need 20 minutes for lunch. The remaining 40 minutes can be spent clearing your outstanding work.
If you spend time cleaning your house, you may wish to hire someone who comes in twice or three times a week to clean your house for you. The extra few dollars you pay will help free up several hours for you to do more work.
This will help you become more productive and your energy can be saved for tasks that actually contribute to your bottom line.
Small changes regularly
The devil is in the details. Kaizen is about continuous improvement. It's a never-ending process. You're always trying to find ways and means to streamline your tasks so that you can do the most work with the least effort.
By employing Kaizen, you'll constantly be aware that you should make small changes to become more productive. It could be a simple change such as doing quick cubicle workouts in your office instead of driving 30 minutes to go to the gym or paying someone to walk your dog so that you can focus on other tasks.
Whatever the case may be, if the change helps you become more productive, you're doing good. Make Kaizen a part of your life and apply it to everything you do, and you'll find that life gets smoother and easier.