Thursday, April 5, 2012

How to apply the KAIZEN approach to Reading?

Kaizen (改善) in Japanese is the fusion of two words, “Kai” and “Zen” which mean respectively “Change” and “Good”, the whole word means then "improvement" or "change for the better".

This approach focuses on little continuous improvements to reach a big goal, and it has been used in different fields such us manufacturing, engineering, management, healthcare, etc.

Kaizen is not a methodology, it’s a state of mind based on the following principles:
-         Do it better, make it best, improve it
-         Better than yesterday, less good than tomorrow

Thus, if you have a goal, you’d better break it down into small daily steps, this will help you be always in touch with your goal and not give it up.

So, how can we use this approach in reading?

Let’s suppose that you want to acquire the habit of reading, in this case, you can use the Kaizen approach by starting reading for 10 minutes a day, which is very easy I guess, and then increase the reading time progressively.

Now, if you have already the habit of reading, but you think that you don’t read enough or you want to increase your reading speed, in this case, you can set an annual challenge by defining the number of books you want to read, and then divide this goal into monthly and daily goals. For example, to finish 12 books within a year, one book is required every month, and the number of pages per day can be defined depending on the book size.

I hope that you’ll find this tip useful and I look forward to reading your comments.



  1. Hi amal
    Kaizen is actually interesting if you want to have a new habit or if you want to make a great project.
    In the first case, you focus on the time devoted daily to the habit and in the second case you divide the project into daily goals.
    The example often given when talking about Kaizen is a movement of a boat: If you deflects the movement of the boat with a very small angle at a time "t", at time "t + n" the angle of deflection becomes large.
    I am a member of a facebook group called "Kaizeners" whose the goal is to help each other to acquire new habits through Kaizen.

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