Better, Worse or Same: It’s Your Choice

Unless you are on the front lines as a medical provider, your practice is in bad shape when compared to February. Your finances and personal condition may also be in bad shape.

However, it does not matter what things were like before the crisis. The past is the past and it’s gone. What matters now is what you now do with your practice, your finances and the other aspects of your life.

You can get worse by laying around, complaining, watching the bad news, drinking and gaining weight.

You can stay the same by handling practice communications and collections, cleaning and waiting.

You can make improvements to all aspects of your life, career or practice. The choice is yours.

Using Kaizen During the Coronavirus Crisis

You may remember from our 2017 Kaizen article, the Japanese words “Kai” means change and “Zen” means good. Kaizen means gradual, orderly and continuous improvement, no matter what else is happening.

Of course, you waste time and build stress when you try to change things outside of your zone of control. For example, you cannot control the virus, our government, your reopening date or the stock market. But you can control and improve very important parts of your life, like your courage, principles and views.

The secret to improvement is Kaizen. You make regular tiny improvements. Significant changes, major improvements and bold innovations are great, but difficult. Small improvements are easy and permanent.

Six Kaizen Steps to Making Major Improvements

1. What do you want to improve? Make a list of goals. Ensure the improvements are within your zone of control. For example, your knowledge, skills, habits, health, house, yard, family, relationships, joy and so on.

2. Pick an important improvement goal.

3. Next, make a list of tiny improvements you can make for that goal.

4. Pick one tiny improvement and make it today.

5. Next day, make another tiny improvement . . . or two or three.

6. Continue making tiny improvements until you achieve the improvement goal.

Like water dripping on a solid mountain of rock, you eventually create a canyon.

Four Examples of Applying Kaizen During the Crisis

1. Improvement Goal: Get in better physical shape than in recent years.
Tiny Improvements: Research exercise options. Exercise for two minutes. Exercise for five minutes.

2. Improvement Goal: Master your office software.
Tiny Improvements: Find the software’s training material. Watch one video. Try one new function.

3. Improvement Goal: Take Control of Your Finances.
Tiny Improvements: Set your financial goals. Review your expenses. Create personal financial policy.

4. Improvement Goal: Upgrade your online PR.
Tiny Improvements: Google yourself to see what you think. Make one change to your website. Write a better description for your Yelp page.

At the end of each day, reflect on the improvements you made and plan for tomorrow’s Kaizen.

At the end of the crisis, take pride in your numerous improvements and continue to use Kaizen.