You’ve got a mountain of work in front of you, but no energy to tackle it. You’ve already slept well and eaten energy-producing food, so exhaustion’s not the problem. You’re just feeling lethargic, avoidant, and lazy. We’ve all been there. Some of our kids seem to live there. Want change? A simple Japanese principle can help anyone overcome laziness in just one minute.
The Japanese principle of Kaizen is built on making progress through a series of very small steps.
If you take just one very tiny step on a large project, Kaizen says, you will automatically shift mental gears, see and feel some degree of immediate progress, and find yourself motivated to continue.
It’s one of the fastest, most effective ways to overcome laziness.
A 2015 article by IHeartIntelligence.com provides this example.
“Let’s say you have a huge pile of laundry to do. You look at the pile of laundry and think, ‘Oh no. This will take a whole day to sort, wash, dry, and fold.’ On the surface, the task seems huge. The solution? Set a timer on your phone for one minute, and start sorting. The idea is that in your brain, a minute seems minuscule. You do the task for one minute, and at the end you have an actual, tangible, recordable result.
‘Wow, this might not be so tough after all. Look at what I did in just one minute,’ you think. So you do another minute. More results. Gradually, if you move your timer up to 3 to 4-minute bursts, you are creating a quantitative value for your work, and making baby steps towards getting the task done. Try it out with any task you have to do.”
The Japanese principle of Kaizen will work for both adults and students of all ages.
When laziness sets in (despite having recently slept and eaten well), students can set a 1-minute timer on a phone, and just simply set up a work area for study. Clear the desk of clutter. Set out a pen and blank paper. Remove the assignment from the folder. Get out the calculator. Open the necessary document on the computer. The result? An immediate good feeling that comes from small, incremental progress, and the flash of a spark of drive to keep going.
Students who overcome laziness take a giant step on the road to successful college and career life.
Rocket them ahead of all of their peers by strategizing early on to get them through college debt-free, and into jobs they love afterward.
For clear, step-by-step help with this, get your copy of my book:
It’s a reference book, so nobody reads the whole thing cover to cover. Pick out what you need to read in it using the fast-paced, 10-minute video instructions here.
You can see more than 100 reviews of it on Amazon at:
(Tell your friends.)
You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCH, here.
You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCH, here.
Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.
And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it—especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.
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Does a child you love need a little help overcoming laziness? Do you have friends who are parenting kids ages 12–22?
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What about you? What strategies have you found for overcoming laziness and getting an energized start on large projects?
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What is the Kaizen Institute?
The principles of Kaizen were developed by Masaaki Imai in his book Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success in 1986. Since the introduction of that book, the Kaizen Institute has become recognized worldwide as a powerful contributor to improving workflows and outcomes at some of the largest corporations in the world.
Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26, their parents, and the professionals who serve them. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free, ready to move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, Parents Magazine, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.