Did you know Kaizen (改善) means “improvement” — “kai” (改) means change/make better, and “zen” (善) means good? In business terms, it translates into “continuous improvement”. The beauty of the concept is the fact that it can be easily adapted to any line of work. No wonder it is the key to the steady improvement and innovation found at successful companies.
To boost your productivity and optimize your work-space, a simple 5 S framework will do the trick:
- Sort (Seiri)—Separate out all the things that are unnecessary and eliminate them.
- Straighten (Seiton)—Arrange the essential things in order so they can be easily accessed while maintaining a clear 180º at your desk to increase your concentration and to decrease unnecessary distractions.
- Scrub (Seiso)—Keep machines and working environments clean.
- Systematize (Seiketsu)—Make cleaning and checking a routine practice. Employ self-discipline to be organized daily.
- Standardize (Shitsuke)—Standardize the previous four steps to make the process one that never ends and that can be improved upon. Take time to reflect on how you use your work-space and make changes as needed.
This is the first step towards Kaizen implementation, remember, it’s a journey not a destination.