What is Continuous Improvement?
Firstly define continuous improvement. Continuous improvement is a dedication to making small changes and improvements every day, every hour, every minute with the expectation that those small improvements will add up to something significant and increase your success rate rapidly. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us become better too.
The classic path to self-improvement is to set a large goal, then try to take big surge in order to conclude the goal in as ln short time as possible. While this may sound good in theory, it often ends in emotional collapse, annoyance, and failure. Instead, we should focus on continuous improvement by slowly and some what accommodate our normal everyday habits and behaviors.
It is so easy to dismiss the value of making slightly better decisions on a daily basis. Attach with the elemental is not impressive. falling in love with disgust is not sexy. Getting 1% better isn’t going to make headlines.
How Does Continuous Improvement Work?
So often we convince ourselves that change is only meaningful if there is some large, visible outcome associated with it. Whether it is losing weight, building a business, traveling the world or any other aim, we are going to talk to everyone about some awesome improvement often put pressure on ourselves.
Meanwhile, improving by just 1 percent isn’t notable (and sometimes it isn’t even noticeable). But it can be just as meaningful, especially in the long run. Means our efforts never waste sometime their is no instant result but after 1week, 1 month, 1 year we can see the result or benefit.
Continuous Improvement Tools
Now, let’s talk about a few quick steps you can take right now to start focusing on continuous improvement.
Step 1: Do more of what already works
We often waste the resources and ideas at our fingertips because they don’t seem new and exciting.
There are many examples of behaviors, big and small, that have the opportunity to drive progress in our lives if we just did them with more consistency. Flossing every day. Never missing workouts. Performing fundamental business tasks each day, not just when you have time. Apologizing more often.
Progress often hides behind boring solutions and underused insights. You don’t need more information. You don’t need a better strategy. You just need to do more of what already works.
Step 2: Avoid tiny losses
In many cases, improvement is not about doing more things right, but about doing little things wrong.
This is a concept called improvement by subtraction, which is focused on doing less of what doesn’t work: eliminating mistakes, reducing convolution, and dispossess away the unimportant things.
Here are some examples:
- Education: Avoid stupid mistakes, make fewer mental errors.
- Investing: Never lose money, limit your risk.
- Web Design: Remove the on-page elements that distract visitors.
- Exercise: Miss fewer workouts.
- Nutrition: Eat fewer unhealthy foods.
In the real world, it is often easier to improve your performance by cutting the downside rather than capturing the upside. Subtraction is more practical than addition.
One of the best ways to make great gains is to avoid little losses.
Step 3: Measure backward
We often measure our progress by looking forward. We set goals. We plan milestones for our progress. Basically, we try to predict the future to some degree.
There is an opposite and, I think, more useful path: measure backward, not onward.
Measuring backward means you make decisions based on what has already happened, not on what you want to happen.
Here are a few examples:
- Weight Loss: Measure your calorie intake. Did you eat 3,500 calories per day last week? Focus on averaging 3,400 per day this week.
- Strength Training: Oh, you squatted 250 pounds for last week? Give 255 pounds a try this week.