How To Apply Kaizen In Daily Life: 19 Tips For Success

This new article will show you everything you need to know about how to apply kaizen in daily life.

Kaizen has its roots in Japan. Conceptually, the term refers to a process of continuous development, both on a personal and professional level. The term “kaizen” is often used in management and business to describe the process of leading teams to create and implement plans for long-term improvement and development.

Regardless of the situation, the main goals of kaizen are to reduce “muda,” or waste, and to make a process or activity more transparent to ensure the best possible results.

How To Apply Kaizen In Daily Life:

1. Make tentative progress.

The basis of the kaizen concept is to implement incremental improvements over time. This requires a continuous, collaborative process of incremental improvements to maximize production, efficiency, and/or quality.

This means respecting the process and making a long-term commitment to it. Kaizen works best when it takes root in a society or culture.

2. Focus on specific, actionable procedures.

The overall picture and size of the improvements you want to make may be too much for you to handle. Kaizen simplifies the overall situation by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable fixes. In this way, you increase the chances of long- and short-term success, as well as your ability to assess progress along the way.

For example, instead of trying to completely redesign your sales approach, you might focus on improving one aspect at a time using a specific technique, such as increasing sales to a specific demographic using retargeting programs or special offers.

Change can seem uncertain and cause opposition. Since the changes are neither scary nor abrupt, everyone can be on board with them.

Those who adhere to this ideology need to focus on procedures rather than results. Although improving results is the ultimate goal, focusing on how to do it will increase the chances of success.

3. Get rid of excess and junk.

Finding ways to reduce any waste of time or resources associated with a process is one of the biggest ways to improve it, according to Kaizen.

For example, if you’re trying to improve your own time management, you can identify the activities that take up most of your time and assess the value each brings to your life and/or work. It may take some effort to ensure that you spend less time in your inbox if you discover that handling emails consumes too much time compared to the value they provide.

4. Make a move.

According to kaizen principles, you should focus your mental effort on considering how to do something rather than coming up with justifications for why it can’t be done. The principles encourage you to take action in the here and now and to think of fresh approaches to problems that have historically been seen as insurmountable.

Kaizen urges individuals to ignore the limitations of traditional or status quo thinking while they act to make good improvements. Instead, address each problem or goal on its own terms.

5. Use your mental capacity.

The kaizen concept says that knowledge, not money, should be your most valuable resource when making positive improvements. As a tactic, it emphasizes using group intelligence as opposed to spending a lot of money to fix something.

The simplest method is to gather peers or co-workers to come up with quick solutions to specific problems.

For example, if you want to improve internal communications, you can work together to develop internal rules and regulations, filters, tagging systems, and/or protocols that will solve many problems without investing in new software or hiring a consultant.

In the long run, you may have to make some financial investments, but kaizen gives you the chance to make the most of the resources you currently have.

6. Choose a personal area that needs work.

It could be a bad habit you want to break, a positive behavior you want to develop, a talent you want to learn or a goal you want to achieve. Once you have a goal in mind, you can start using kaizen to achieve it.

For example, you may want to become more active, quit smoking, improve your social life, or make better use of your leisure time.

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7. Identify small, precise actions that will help you achieve your goal.

Once again, you should approach your goal in small steps, so start by organizing the first one. Instead of trying to change everything at once, focus on breaking down your goal into specific, quantifiable actions you can take to become better.

8. Prioritize your work.

Now is the time to choose the order in which you will explore your options once you’ve outlined each feasible course of action. It’s up to you how you decide to prioritize your tasks.

Start with the activity that will be easiest to do if you feel overwhelmed and work your way up from there. Start with the activity that will have the greatest impact if you feel motivated.

9. Make a schedule for each task.

Each activity should be one that you gradually turn into a habit. Therefore, when preparing, you should choose a schedule that outlines your gradual progress for each step or activity.

For example, if you’re trying to quit smoking, create a strategy for how much you’ll cut back each week.

If you want to be more physically fit, start by using the stairs instead of the elevator on your way to work each day. Once you’ve established this program, you can start exercising for 20 minutes twice a week, and then gradually increase the length, frequency, and/or intensity of your exercise.

10. Track your development.

You need to establish a method for tracking your progress if you want to be able to put it into perspective.

Kaizen is a daily activity, so tracking your progress with a calendar is a great idea. Simply record your daily efforts toward your goal. Charts or checklists are additional alternatives you can use to evaluate your progress toward your goal.

Additionally, tracking your progress will allow you to make any necessary adjustments. You must continue to plan, act, and change over time, as kaizen is an ongoing process. It is time to change your approach if you are not seeing the desired results.

11. Add more steps until you reach your goal.

Once the process has been refined or the practice has been successfully integrated into your life, it’s time to move on to the next step, which will support the entire process.

12. In the work environment, identify what needs to be improved.

You may want to focus on quality, efficiency, or productivity in certain departments, goods, or services, as well as customer or employee happiness. Make a list of all the areas where you would like to make improvements, and then choose one you would like to focus on initially.

If you’re not sure where to start, try to find a technique for prioritizing your goals (1). For example, you may want to start with the area that has the most potential for rapid growth or one that has the greatest impact on your consumers.

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13. Analyze processes in their current state.

You need to take the time to evaluate and record your current work procedures to focus on applying kaizen concepts. This should include documenting the steps that are currently being undertaken, the time and resources needed for each step, as well as the final results of the process.

For example, if you were evaluating a design process, you would need to record each step in the process, along with the people, time, tools, and prices involved in each step. Additionally, you need to know how much is produced and how much is earned using the existing method.

Value stream mapping, in which each step in a process is mapped and evaluated in terms of the value and/or waste created by that step, is a common method used by corporations for this purpose. It is easier to pinpoint areas for improvement if you have an understanding of how each step is performed.

You will be in a better position to improve the process if you have more knowledge, suggestions, and data on how it currently works and what results it generates.

14. Define the desired future state.

It’s helpful to have a direction in mind for where you want to go when trying to make improvements in an area. By doing this, you may notice gaps between where you are now and where you want to go. These are the places where you should apply kaizen concepts.

If you are working on improving customer service, for example, you may see that the current state requires a typical response time of 72 hours, but a future state requires a response time of less than 24 hours.

15. Create a list of potential responses.

Once you have outlined the details and desired outcome for the target process, it’s time to consult with everyone involved to identify possible improvements. The chances of getting a wide range of ideas will increase if you include multiple people with different points of view in the brainstorming session.

16. Plan quantifiable, concrete steps that will lead to change.

Your ideas for improvement should be broken down into a series of small changes or steps. Establish a reliable timeline for implementing each incremental adjustment.

For example, if you want to improve the quality of a certain product, you might start with better processing of raw materials, then focus on improving production equipment, and finally improve quality control methods.

17. Start using the “5S technique.”

The “5S technique” (seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, shisuke) (2) is a typical kaizen action plan for improving workplace procedures. The steps are: sort, straighten, polish, standardize, and maintain. This means eliminating what is unnecessary, sorting out what is left, keeping the process free of waste, standardizing the way things are done, and continuing to maintain and improve the standards you have set.

If you’re applying this to a manufacturing process, for example, you can start by getting rid of any equipment that isn’t actually needed, making sure the equipment that is still there is arranged logically for employees, and making sure there is a maintenance plan in place to keep the newly organized space neat and functioning well. Then, using your progress, you can create a new production procedure that you constantly review for potential changes to make it more efficient.

18. Make sure everyone is included in the planning process.

Regardless of the level, everyone involved in the process should be included in kaizen planning and decision-making. This ensures that those with the most knowledge of the process are available to suggest potential changes. Additionally, it suggests that everyone is already “on board” with putting small improvements into practice.

19. Apply the action plan and then observe the results.

Keep the process flowing by making sure everyone has an up-to-date work plan or list of necessary tasks and deadlines for each phase. To make sure the approach is effective, track progress as you go along.

For example, if you are using kaizen to improve the productivity of a manufacturing process, you should track how much time has been saved and how many more units are produced each hour. In this way, you can see if the changes you are making are actually making the expected progress.

Kaizen advocates routine process evaluation. After completing the first round of improvements, it is important to review your progress and make any necessary adjustments or improvements.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to apply kaizen in daily life. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here