Overcoming Laziness

Deeya Poudel


March 12, 2023


8:00 AM


“The following article provides a quick overview of several Japanese methods for combating procrastination and laziness, including Kaizen, the Pomodoro Technique, Ikigai, and shoshin.”

We often find reels, YouTube shorts and videos where we can assess the contents with the headlines such as “Japan is living in 2050”, “Japan is from the future”, ”10 things we can only find in Japan” etc. How do you think they are ahead of any other countries? What do you think sets them apart from other nations? They are renowned as the modernized nation without the influence of westernization and as the nation that never abandoned any of its culture behind. How do you suppose they accomplished that?

Although some areas of Japan operate around-the-clock, they also value people, their time, spending quality time with their loved ones, and also never forget to celebrate their annual festivities. Their academic programs are designed in a way that requires them to learn about their cultural concepts as well as how to put them into practice. They learn about manners, how to respond in specific circumstances, and how to handle real-world events. They incorporate practical life skills into their cultures, pass those skills down to their subsequent generations, and make them part of their traditions. This explains why their workplaces comprise several cultural concepts. Their strategies for dealing with indolence and procrastination is what makes them so efficient, which they also call “Japanese traditional ways of dealing with laziness”. They have a set of terminologies to define certain methods such as; Ikigai, Kaizen, Pomodoro Technique, Hara Hachi Bu, Shoshin, Wabi-sabi, Forest Bathing, Kakeibo.

  • KAIZEN : Kaizen technique is also renowned as one-minute technique. It is regarded as one of the most effective strategies adopted by Japanese corporate leaders. The word “Kaizen” in Japanese is composed of two single words: “Kai,” which signifies change, and “Zen,” which denotes wisdom. In this regard, the Kaizen technique encourages gradual and thoughtful change adaptation. The idea behind it is that in order to become proficient, a person must practice something for at least one minute each day at the same time. It emphasizes the worth that each minute carries and how just one minute may completely alter a learning process. Anyone can accomplish it if they only commit to do it for one minute each day. It won't drain you of any energy, won't require much of your enthusiasm, and only takes a minute. Additionally, you will be able to see your progress and begin to experience minor successes. Your motivation will be increased as a result, inspiring you to move ahead even more. Your brain begins to put the skill as the default procedure as a result of the habit and schedule of performing something each day at the same time. Anyone can fulfill their lifelong ambitions, live out their dreams, and attain what they want to accomplish. You must first comprehend what you hope to accomplish. After that, just do it once a day for one minute. Start small and set sub-goals (break your goals into small steps) and put the Kaizen idea into practice.

  • POMODORO TECHNIQUE : The Pomodoro Technique undoubtedly ranks among the most well-known methods in existence. This strategy is designed to boost efficiency even on the limited concentrating span because it has been scientifically demonstrated that humans cannot concentrate for longer than 20 to 25 minutes at a time. It is a strategy that uses 25 minutes of intense concentration interspersed with five minutes of rest. It involves the longer break (known as Pomodoro) which lasts between 15-30 minutes only after the four consecutive cycles of work or focusing. How to use this technique?

    • Step 1 : Pick an activity that you need to work on.

    • Step 2 : Set the timer of 25 minutes.

    • Step 3 : Do the rigorous work till the timer runs off.

    • Step 4 : Take a break of 5 minutes.
      (Relax for 5 minutes, do the activities especially those which don't require the use of any electronic devices.)

    • Step 5 : After four consecutive cycles of the above process, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.

    This method is thought to be particularly effective since it facilitates getting started, reduces distractions, helps you keep track of time, and makes production fun which allows you to ponder on your future and how far you've come.

  • IKIGAI : Ikigai is the Japanese philosophy that makes you understand your purpose of living, to figure out what gives you ecstasy and motivates you to arise every morning and get to your feet. In Japanese words “iki” and “gai” imply “life” and “worth,” respectively. Your ikigai is your true calling in life, or your pleasure and says that the most fulfilling and most enduring type of joy comes from a life well lived. Ikigai additionally adheres to the cognitive-behavioral therapy's objective of engaging in pleasant and fulfilling activities as a means of treating depressive disorders. It seeks to communicate the idea that if you work on something you enjoy and find fulfilling, you won't need much mental effort to complete it. You'll be sufficiently inspired to pursue that field by your enthusiasm.Identifying your ikigai involves several processes.

    • Step 1 : Determine your passions by responding to the questions below.

      1. a) Are you completely focused on your work?

      2. b) Upon leaving work, are you more eager than upon arriving?

      3. c) Are you emotionally attached to the outcomes of your work?

      4. d) What do you excel in or receive acclaim for?What do you consider your area of expertise?

      5. e) What is required by the world?/Is there a significant market demand for what you have to offer?

    • Step 2 : After figuring out the answers to the aforementioned questions, think things through to identify your ikigai and conduct research on it.

    • Step 3 :

      1. a) Create minor goals in step three.

      2. b) Plan beforehand.

      3. c) List the difficulties you might encounter.

      4. d) Set up a safety net

      5. e) Examine it out.

  • SHOSHIN : Shoshin is an idea that encourages people to cultivate an attitude of openness, curiosity, and clearing the mind of any pre-information—even at an expert level—in order to acquire new and refined forms of knowledge. The term is particularly relevant to the study of Japanese martial arts and Zen Buddhism as an approach to life with a beginner's mentality and viewpoint to excel at anything. A person needs to be motivated and enthusiastic enough to pursue learning in order to have the willingness to successfully accomplish so. Someone who is eager will start working right away. When you don't want to do something or don't have enough interest in it, laziness embraces you. However, if you approach the same subject with a baby mindset and begin exploring from the beginning, you'll come across new things regarding the same topic that will interest you sufficiently to start working for it.

There are other ideas as well, such as Wabi-sabi, which advocates accepting things as they are and finding beauty in their flaws. To make a person's body more effective, active, and to live a long life, they also have eating strategies like Hara hachi bu (eat only till you're 80% full). Make the most of techniques like forest bathing to release your mind from the stress of daily life and work and to come out healthier, more productive and more efficient. These are the variety of methods to combat laziness and procrastination Japanese people use, and as a result, they are far more advanced than those in other nations.