Kaizen for mom, pop & kid

Last year? Back then? Last year? I announced you that I was about to dedicate this year to the grand experiment of personal Kaizen, and what it could do for me. I also promised to tell you about, but with this Kaizen stuff, the strategies are so small, so easy that seems nothing to call home about.

You know things like having a duster in my desk to clean my workspace. It may seem like nothing -or neurotic to some- but a cleaning as dirt happens ensures an orderly workplace, which in turn leads to a clean mind and much more productivity. Another thing I have done is to carry a small notebook wherever I go, especially running. I don’t know why but it is then that running has become a wild brainstorming session for me. So yes, I might spend almost an hour running, but it more than pay-off in energy, health, and creativity.

Running, where have you been all my life? Hiding, the little fat kid in me was too afraid of the fun people could make at me (absurd, I know, but don’t ask a fear to be rational or they will die).

But, my little improvement, my kaizen, if you like, is my kaizen, after all. I mean why should you care at all? I fell time is due for a new, more comprehensive level. This is how you do it.

Get your little things done first.

David Allen, where are you? In his book, Getting Things Done, which I will never cease to recommend, oh you oligopistoi, he tells that the easiest way to start organizing your life is by getting the little stuff controlled first.

Do you know why?

Because then, your mind will be clearer, less stressed, less worried about the little nuances. Honest, can you really ponder about your role in the universe, when your mind keeps reminding you: “go do your abs, go do your abs” (and then, when doing your abs, “go end paper, go end paper)?

I feel I have the little nuances of my life already in control

No, it’s not that I’m perfect or anything, but the systems are going as I like them to be. It feels so great that I want you to do that too. Let me be minimalist:

  1. What’s your mind nagging you about? (Yes, that internal mom of yours: “go do your abs“). List them all.
  2. Decide a small improvement, a very easy and immediate improvement for each one. Write those next to your list.
  3. Go do it. Get your list with you at all times, don’t get obsessed, don’t try to be perfect. If you only achieve one of those, your life will have improved.

It’s that simple, small improvements, little steps you will think you can fail. Can you run 1 minute? Great. Tomorrow you’ll run 2. No? Then walk 1 minute. Yeah, I do mean that. Remember perfection is just be true to an ideal; if your ideal now it’s 1 minute running, you will be perfect running 1 minute. I’m deep serious. Tomorrow, it might be two, because both your body and, more importantly, your resolve will have improved.

Your little things will improve and improve and improve until the horizon of your life will be clear enough.

Big thing: The meaning of life

Then it’s time to reflect about what David Allen calls the 40,000 feet level. In Kaizen it’s critical. You know, a company has a mission statement even if it’s just to make money for their shareholders. Once you know what you want to go, you can choose and implement your method to arrive there. In life we can easily do that with areas of our life: job, family, relations, but, ultimately, the big question is what kind of person we want to be.

Yet that part, no productivity method can address. I will, quite soon, but I must tell you that I will give a very personal answer. I will use words like Jesus, God, and Bible. I will draw some ideas from a couple of Jewish philosophers. I might even quote Karl Marx if I feel that brave.

I’m always concerned I could offend somebody or that someone could feel excluded. That would be a pain because that’s not how my team works. In my team, there’s room for all those who want to work and try to be kind with each other. Yet, still, I’m Christian, with socialist tendencies in the economic and conservative in moral -yeah, really-.

So, now you know what my next post will be about, and if it’s not your cup of tea, then you can always read a better blogger, of which there are thousands, and be as merry 🙂

Just let me be honest, and feel free to disagree with me. We could learn something together, don’t you think so?