6 Steps For Practicing Japanese Kaizen To Overcome Procrastination And Be Productive

Ever felt a sudden inspiration to do certain things? And because of feeling so motivated, you enthusiastically plan or list for all the stuff you want to do, achieve, or learn?

But what happens after is, that initial zeal suddenly evaporates, and you start to procrastinate it to the next week, next month, or even make it one of the many New Year resolutions, that never get done.


And why?

That’s because we eventually become too lazy or busy for it, only to console ourselves later, by saying, ‘Oh, it was not meant to be’ or ‘I’m not getting time yet’, etc.?



Most of us can probably relate to this because, for some reason that excitement we first have fuses out before manifesting into any major action or even completion. We become satisfied with ‘trying’ and then give up on it.


However, it takes more than just a little effort to make a change and not succumb to postponing or being lazy. The main issue is because we become overambitious and try to do too much, too fast and expect quick results but once it fails to show that, we get bored of it, start to see it as a chore and then quickly give up on it.

Thanks to a one-minute self-improvement principle practiced in Japanese culture, called Kaizen, it may be possible to say goodbye to this laziness and habitual behavior. Kaizen fuses the two meanings in Japanese: ‘kai’ meaning change, and, ‘zen’, which means, wisdom. This trick was created by Masaaki Imai, who invented it with the belief that it can applied to different parts of life, be it personal, relationships, career and more.



Here is how Kaizen works:


The idea of this principle is to do something that you want or need to, for at least one minute every day at the same time.

Considering that it is such a short time, it shouldn’t seem impossible for even the laziest person out there. The longer time it takes to do something, such as half an hour to an hour, the higher the chances you will find some excuse to NOT do it right there and then.


This can be applied to doing anything, such as, push-ups, reading a book, learning a new language. Since it doesn’t take too long, it will seem like an anticipated or fun activity and not a chore.

-Procrastination is a usually result of complacency, laziness, bad time management, the pressure or stress of having to meet it like some deadline, and a lack of confidence in our capabilities. So, this method helps us overcome those feelings and keep us from feeling guilty about not following up on that plan.



As you practice this for a minute each day, you start seeing it with that positive attitude, and feel naturally encouraged to increase the amount of time to even 5 minutes then half an hour and more, especially when seeing your progress in FINALLY getting it done.

By turning it into a sense of accomplishment with a future line of action for it, you also get to see your progress in little increments as you go along, and you will not be too hard on yourself for getting nothing done.

Upon reading this, you may doubt its effectiveness and it may seem like nothing more than taking baby steps to do something. But as opposed to putting a lot of energy in a task all in one go and then draining out the reserve fuel to keep it going, this method helps evenly spread that enthusiasm and effort with a chance to see tangible results each day.


This trick would work well with those busy bees who find it hard to make time to do the things they want, and even those who are not planners but like to make impulsive decisions with the hope of sticking to them. In Japan, however, it is applied to better management methods.

Try Kaizen and see for yourself, all you got to do is keep in mind what you want to accomplish or get done and then you’re set to go, by sparing a minute for it, per day.