It’s easy to get overwhelmed when facing a new big task in life. It could be to start training for your first marathon, building your dream house from scratch or, as I am currently doing, starting up your own online business. There are a lot of new things to learn and many steps to take, it’s easy to get scared and stop even before you have started.
What you have to realize though is that most people that are in a position or have accomplished something you want has started at the same position, from scratch. Its only by continuously learning new things and putting them into action you can reach your goals, one step at a time.
Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning roughly “continual improvement” and symbolizes a mindset that has been used by Toyota for decades. The idea is to all the time refine and improve details and processes in the manufacturing of their cars which have led to a world-leading quality. This mentality has also been applied to a vast number of different industries over the years, as healthcare and banking.
Even the tiniest of details that you don’t think have any impact at all will have a huge impact in the end when combined over time. Say for example that you want to improve your business and take it to a whole new level over the next year.
One way could be to spend a week where you only focus on this, closing down your business and do some really radical changes. Perhaps everything you aimed for is achieved and your business improves 10 times, great! However since it was such a big change you had to plan for it a year in advance taking a lot of focus and energy in the same time as you might lose some income during the week where your business was closed.
Just 1 %
Lets look at another approach instead which I find much better. Say that you decide to focus on just one very small detail each day that you think can be improved. Your goal is to improve one detail each day so that it will be 1 % better compared to the previous day. By doing this consistently without skipping a single day the compound effect will be enormous!
One percent improvement each day over the next 365 days will lead to a combined improvement of 3778 %! And it won’t even be hard when spreading it out over so many days.
On the other hand, say that you become lazy and do everything 1 % worse that the previous day over the next year. This will lead to that you end up at just 3 % of the performance of the previous year.
End up at 3778 % or 3 % of your previous performance after one year, this is the enormous difference 1 % improvement or decline each day will have!
Try to apply this method on all parts of your life. At first the progress will seem small but after a while it will more or less explode. Just remember to be consistent, skipping a few days once in a while can greatly reduce the end result. If you for example just improve 1 % every second day instead of each day you will end up at around 6.14 times better compared to 37.78 after a year. That’s the power of exponential improvements!
In the daily life
It can of course be applied to many other parts of life than improving a business. Say that you want to be better at doing pushups. Start by doing just one immediately after you get up from bed tomorrow and then add an extra each coming day. After two months you will be doing around 60 in a row. I’ve tried this and it works!
Please comment your thoughts and feel free to share this article if you like it.