Laziness is surely one of the things we like to change in ourselves, at least for those who do have this not-so-popular characteristic. It can cost you in many ways, as well as those around you, including your employer.
Although you might not be lazy all the time but being super productive when motivated, laziness can come when you need to do simpler tasks from your everyday life that no one is really motivated about them. And here’s the answer of your problem with laziness. You can overcome it if you find motivation to get even the smallest work done.
How to Up Your Motivation
A very simple and effective way to up your motivation is through the principles of Kaizen. This Japanese philosophy was developed by Masaaki Imai who described it in his 1986 book “Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success”. This philosophy is so simple that you will find it hard to believe. The idea is to accomplish a certain task through a serious of small steps. This is quite contrary to the popular belief that big tasks require big steps and hard work.
Although you do need to work to get things done, you shouldn’t make big changes to accomplish your goal. In fact, one of the most notable principles of Kaizen is that small changes accumulated over time will give you the big result you desire. If you think about it, taking big steps to make bid changes have often led people to get burnt out and overwhelmed. So, with Kaizen, you will find motivation in the instant and tangible results by performing the task in small steps.
You are looking at a huge pile of laundry and the first thing that comes in your mind is “sorting washing, drying, and folding will take me a whole day”. But, this isn’t the right approach you should take when having a more demanding task in front of you. It’s actually counterproductive. Instead, set your timer on the phone for 1 minute, which to your brain is miniscule, and at the end you can see your tangible, actual result. You will think “look what I did in one minute! This won’t be so hard, after all.”
Then you do another minute, and then you set your timer for 3-4 minutes. You see results from the baby steps you make towards getting the job done. You can try Kaizen with any task. At the beginning, set the timer for smaller chunks of time, do the task and step back to see the result. In this way you will get new motivation every 3-4 minutes. The key to this philosophy is to be constantly conscious of the things you have accomplished.
Kaizen and Companies throughout the World
Many long-term competitive strategies of some of the largest companies in the world are based on the so called ‘continuous improvement’ philosophy. With the help of Kaizen, they run their businesses more successfully and efficiently. These principles have been used for more than 30 years in improving the workflow of many large corporations. So, imagine what they will do for you as an individual, and for that pile of laundry.
1. Don’t Be Focused on the Problem All the Time
This can be very refreshing when we have a somewhat demanding task to do. Sometimes, you just need to set your mind aside at least for 5 minutes, because you might find your inspiration right then. When you are not focused on the problem. This short ‘brain rest’ will increase your ‘net’.
2.Teach Others How to Do Things You’re Good At
Another way to expand your ‘inspiration net’ is to help others do something you’re good at. You’ll be surprised how someone who’s new to something has all new way of doing things, which can help improve your understanding of the topic.
3. First, Focus on Yourself
Only when you try Kaizen on yourself, you can then teach others about the great results of this Japanese principle. Most importantly, the dedication of your improvement effort should come within.