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6 Japanese Techniques to Overcome Laziness

Laziness, procrastination, achieving less, getting stuck—do any of those words sound familiar to you? If your answer is yes, you might have come to the right article. Here we cover the major 6 Japanese techniques that help you overcpme lazinesss. In our recent analysis of what really happens with people between the period of goal setting to actually achieving them, we figured that there are some major steps that high achievers are taking, leading to the fundamental root cause of their success.

Alarmingly, about 92 percent of people who set a goal fail to achieve it in one way or another. Research by Edwin Locke and Gary Latham found that when people followed these two principles—setting specific and challenging goals—it led to higher performance 90 percent of the time. Along with that, there are other specific differences in the mindset of those remaining 8 per cent of people (also called high achievers further on)  as compared to the majority of unsuccessful people. They tend to have an internal compass that keeps them locked in until they reach the top of the mountain. It’s a belief system of “do whatever it takes” that is intrinsically motivated at its core.

Japanese Techniques Used by High Achievers To Overcome The Lazy

Let’s see what they’re doing differently.

Number 1: Ikigai

Ever heard of Ikigai? It’s the Japanese concept of finding your “reason for being.” Studies suggest that people who have a clear sense of purpose are 64% more productive than their purpose-searching counterparts. Uncover your Ikigai, and watch laziness fade away as you stride confidently towards your goals.

Find your purpose and what fuels you. Your purpose needs to be to wake you up every single day. Once you’re sure of what you need to do in your life, you will always be curious to find newer ways to reach there faster, and trust me, you will.

Number 2: Kaizen

Did you know that the philosophy of Kaizen, meaning “continuous improvement,” has been the driving force behind Japan’s industrial success? This mindset advocates taking small, consistent steps towards improvement, making it an absolute game-changer in the battle against laziness. Research shows that implementing Kaizen in your daily routine can lead to a whopping 47% increase in overall productivity!

Focus on small improvements each day instead of trying to do everything at once. This way, you’ll be able to increase your productivity multiplefold.

Number 3: Pomodoro

In the fast-paced world we live in, time is like money. The Pomodoro Technique, developed by Francesco Cirillo, is your secret weapon against the time-sucking black hole of procrastination. By breaking your work into focused 25-minute intervals (Pomodoros) followed by short breaks, studies reveal a staggering 25% boost in concentration and productivity. It’s like having a productivity ninja at your beck and call!

Number 4: Hara Hachi Bu

“Hara Hachi Bu” is a Confucian-inspired Japanese saying that roughly translates to “Eat until you are 80% full.” Originating from the Okinawan culture, renowned for its longevity and low rates of chronic diseases, this practice encourages a mindful and balanced approach to eating.

Don’t stuff yourself with food 100%. Eat up to 80%; stop eating at your full capacity. Hara Hachi Bu isn’t just about the quantity of food; it’s a call to savor each bite with mindfulness. By slowing down and paying attention to the flavors, textures, and satisfaction derived from every mouthful, you cultivate a deeper connection with your food. Research indicates that mindful eating reduces overeating, enhances digestion, and promotes a healthier relationship with food.

Number 5: Shoshin

Approach every task like a beginner, as if you are doing it for the first time.

“Shoshin” can be translated as “Beginner’s Mind” and finds its roots in Zen Buddhism. It refers to the state of having an open, eager, and receptive mind, free from preconceptions and judgments. In the beginner’s mind, possibilities are limitless, and the journey of discovery is perpetual.

Think back to childhood—the time when every experience was a new adventure, and curiosity knew no bounds. Shoshin encourages us to recapture that childlike wonder, approaching life with fresh eyes and an open heart. Research suggests that individuals with a beginner’s mind experience increased creativity, improved problem-solving skills, and a heightened sense of joy in the learning process.

So, how can you cultivate the spirit of Shoshin in your daily life?

  1. Let Go of Labels: Release the need to label yourself or others. Embrace the idea that everyone is continually evolving, and each moment is an opportunity for growth.
  2. Embrace the Unknown: Instead of fearing the unknown, approach it with excitement. Shoshin invites you to see challenges as opportunities to learn and expand your understanding.
  3. Seek Variety: Introduce variety into your routines. Whether it’s trying a new hobby, taking a different route to work, or exploring a new cuisine, exposing yourself to novelty fosters a beginner’s mindset.
  4. Cultivate Mindfulness: Practice mindfulness to stay present in the moment. When your mind is fully engaged in the here and now, you open yourself to the richness of each experience.

Number 6: Wabi Sabi

Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic and worldview that celebrates the beauty of imperfection, transience, and the natural cycle of growth and decay. Rooted in Zen Buddhism, this philosophy encourages us to appreciate the beauty found in simplicity, asymmetry, and the patina that time bestows upon objects and experiences. Taking action is better than waiting for perfection.

How can you bring the essence of Wabi-Sabi into your daily existence?

  1. Appreciate the Unpolished: Wabi-Sabi teaches us to find beauty in the rough edges, the worn-out, and the weathered. Embrace the authenticity of things as they are.
  2. Celebrate Transience: Recognize the transient nature of life. By accepting that nothing lasts forever, we can savor and appreciate each moment, fostering a deeper connection to the present.
  3. Simplicity in Complexity: In a world of excess, seek simplicity. Wabi-Sabi invites us to appreciate the beauty in the uncluttered, the understated, and the modest.
  4. Cultivate Gratitude: Find joy in the ordinary. Expressing gratitude for the simple pleasures in life is a key tenet of Wabi-Sabi, enhancing overall well-being.

As you stand at the crossroads of your own aspirations, armed with the tools of Kaizen’s incremental progress, the focus of Pomodoro’s time mastery, the purpose-seeking compass of Ikigai, the craftsmanship ethos of Shokunin Spirit, the mindful nourishment of Hara Hachi Bu, the ever-curious spirit of Shoshin, and the serene acceptance of Wabi-Sabi, you need toremember this: Your path is uniquely yours, woven with the threads of your experiences, aspirations, and the wisdom you choose to embrace.

Read about how to change your mindset to achieve more here.

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