It’s two weeks into the New Year and some people are already telling me that they feel that they’ve had the stuffing knocked out of them.

During the Christmas break there were lots of good intentions on their return to work. Improvement plans were either drawn up before the break, or as soon as they got back. Some people used their downtime over the break to concoct their improvement strategies.

But, getting back to work and back into the busyness… where is the time for the improvement plans?

There are some very simple strategies to get improvement plans moving, but it takes some resolve to make it happen. Let me share one with you here.

  1. Prioritise your plans and pick a number one.
  2. Direct your first five to ten minutes of your working day focusing on your number one priority.

Super simple isn’t it?

This means that you need to ignore your team, the crises and anything else that is lurking waiting for you when you arrive at your place of work.

Of course, if it is a genuine emergency then please don’t be negligent. For most of us, the ‘crises’ can wait a few minutes. These few minutes can then be invested into doing the things you know you should be doing but just don’t get around to.

It is making a decision between what appears to be right in the moment and what’s right for the longer term. Unless you have an oppressive boss, this choice is largely down to you.

The five to ten minutes you ‘lose’ at the start of your day usually won’t be missed. You’ll catch them up and the time you spend on doing the right things will start to benefit you. Crises will lessen and you may find that you can have more time to do the things you need to do.

This is a Kaizen strategy. Small steps can do remarkable things. And, if you feel able to do a little more on your improvement projects (once you are in full swing) then take advantage of getting your oomph back!


Giles Johnston

Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who consults with businesses to improve their productivity and on time delivery performance. Giles is also the author of What Does Good Look Like? and the co-creator of the StreamLiner business improvement software program.