Finding Life Balance While Using Kaizen
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Stress Management Coach
This is the final article in the series I have offered in recent weeks on kaizen.
As I have pointed out before, "kaizen" is a concept of continuous improvement. It is all about making tiny improvements in different areas that make big differences over time. It has been used, perhaps, most often in business. But it can also be used in our personal lives.
After all, kaizen is about improving efficiency and optimizing your work and life to achieve more than you ever thought possible.
in previous posts, I offered that kaizen can be used in improving your health, wellness, fitness, finances, and productivity at work. The truth is that kaizen is a great way to approach your life in general. But like anything which has many benefits, it can also have its drawbacks.
I mean if all you ever do is work to make yourself more and more efficient, you'll miss out on the simple things in life. (How do you apply kaizen to times when you just want to hang out with your partner on the couch binge-watching your favorite show?)
The fact is that for kaizen to work, you also need to find or create balance.
If your only focus is your work or you are continually working on personal growth and self-improvement, you'll eventually burn out. You will lose your inspiration.
Try to think of yourself as a kind of "input/output" machine. Watching films and playing games isn't a waste of time. It's a source of inspiration, a time to recharge, and time out can help your creativity. If you only engage in constant "output," then you'll eventually run out of steam.
And your creative juices will dry up.
This is why you often do your best work after returning from having a few days off and away from your work. Time away gives you a chance to relax and recharge. This is why resting over the weekend and taking regular vacations are such important activities. Your mind needs a rest from work to recharge itself.
The same goes for spending time with other people and relaxing. Of course, right now, amid COVID-19, getting with other people is more virtual than in-person. But even with the restrictions we face in getting together with friends, you can still stay in touch. You can reach out by phone, Zoom, Facetime, or any of the other available platforms.
Success today is determined in large part by "soft skills" and your ability to get along with people. No one loves chronic workaholics. We all need to relax and let our hair down once in a while.
Some of the most valuable attributes of an entrepreneur, an athlete, or anyone else working toward a far-off vision are positivity, persistence, and self-confidence. You need to be able
to take your lumps when things don't turn out the way you hope.
And you need to be ready to jump straight back on that proverbial horse when things have gone sideways.
If you have friends and family that you love and trust, hobbies that you enjoy, and the ability to sometimes just relax, then staying positive becomes much easier.
Staying positive gives you the optimism and courage to try all over again. How much better do you feel after you have done something relaxing?
Perhaps working in the garden helps recharge you. For me, my favorite pastime is reading. These experiences are the stuff that life is made of, and it's nourishing for the soul.
If your business, your training, or your art are all you have, then a setback can be devastating. You might just give up entirely.
But if you have a more well-rounded life that includes a balance of your business, work, or art, you will be able to persist even when one area creates trouble for you.
Make the Most of Now
While it might sound a little morbid, it's important to remember that you never know what's just around the corner. You might not make it to the age where you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. If COVID-19 has taught us nothing else it surely has taught us that we aren't always in control and sometimes things happen that throw us off course.
Most people work with the idea that they'll take time to enjoy themselves "later." But for some people, "later" comes sooner than they expect. They never get to enjoy the rewards of having worked hard.
We're all happiest when we find balance.
Working toward a goal gives you a sense of purpose. But the truth is the journey is often more exciting than the destination. Spending time with friends and family, or taking a moment to read a good book, will keep you grounded.
As any stoic might point out, many of us will strive hard toward an obscure notion of "success." In fact, it is possible to strive so hard that you miss out on the opportunity to be happy right now. Traditional success often just makes it harder to spend time with friends or pursue pet projects.
Stop and take a look around you. You've probably got a lot to be proud of in your life already.
If you never take the time to enjoy the life you've already built, you'll probably never be satisfied.
Any success that does come your way will have far less meaning.
Don't feel guilty the next time you take the evening off to be with your family. And enjoy the next time you pig out on a piece of birthday cake.
Enjoy the moments when you are with your family. Savor the relationships you have in your life. COVID-19 has demonstrated just how we can't take a single day for granted.
I think I have demonstrated with this series that the concept of kaizen is powerful and can be used in a variety of ways in your life both at work and at home.
When used correctly, it can completely transform your life. You can use the concept to help you stop wasting time and energy on small things that don't add value to your life.
You can improve your budget, your health, your wellness, your work-out routine, and your productivity at work using kaizen.
But remember to take time off now and then too! You need to live your life with a balance of work and play to be truly happy.
Until next time.
Just a note to let you know that I am offering a webinar workshop on Thursday, July 30, 2020, at 1:00 PM EST (11:00 AM PST) on the topic of "3 Secrets of EVERY Job Successful Job Search Revealed."
In this presentation, I will offer what every job seeker or career changer needs to know to be successful in their endeavor and how to avoid making costly mistakes.
By heeding the advice offered in this presentation, you can shave time off your job search while also saving money by finding your new job or making that career change sooner rather than later.
Thursday, July 30, 2020, 1:00 PM EST (11:00 AM PST)