Kaizen is a Japanese business model which promotes continual improvement. The philosophy is that companies and individuals should always be looking for areas they can improve in. Whether it is finding a problem that needs solving or a potential opportunity, the idea is that businesses can brainstorm ways to fit these holes and meet big goals by taking tiny daily steps.
This is an endless cycle of improvement, and while it is meant to empower individuals and help them develop, it can also lead to burnout if individuals are not careful. If you find yourself in this pattern of improvement, here are some ways to prevent burnout.
Let Go of Perfectionism
Kaizen is meant to follow a cycle of identifying problems, brainstorming solutions, implementing those solutions and then starting the process all over again. However, some people put too high pressure on themselves during this exercise. While Kaizen promotes making small daily changes on low-risk goals, many individuals try to make large, risky changes and then grow upset with themselves if they meet failure.
Thankfully, the Kaizen principle realizes there may be some trial and error in your cycle. You should give yourself room for this rather than trying to pursue perfectionism. Nothing will help you pursue personal development as much as experiencing failure will. Relieving some of this pressure will indeed prevent you from becoming burnt out.
Remember Your Motivation
Why did you begin following the Kaizen cycle? Where do you see yourself or your company in the next five years? You most likely started Kaizen because you have a big vision for the future. Kaizen can help you discover micro-goals and improvements that can be made on the journey to your larger goal.
It would help if you kept this eventual goal in mind while going through the process. If you lose sight of what you want to achieve, you could risk becoming burnt out. Remember what motivates you so you can continue applying yourself during this process.
Don’t Deprive Yourself of Things You Enjoy
When individuals have goals, they can often feel as if they cannot rest until they have met them. However, in an endless cycle of improvement, it can be easy to be working on meeting goals 24/7, working yourself to the bone.
It is undoubtedly important to have these goals in mind every day, but you must take time to rest as well. You should not be depriving yourself of your hobbies and interests during your journey towards personal development. It is crucial to take time for yourself to pursue your other enjoyments and spend time with loved ones. These are the activities that will re-energize you and put you back on track to meet your goals. Instead of depriving yourself of things you enjoy during the Kaizen process, you can use them to enhance the cycle and contribute to your growth.