KAIZEN… a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc.
Many people believe that to do great things they need to take BIG steps. This has proven NOT to be true. The idea that small changes lead to big changes has been practiced in the East for centuries.
Our brain is divided into 3 parts:
- the reptilian (fight or flight)
- the midbrain (regulates our temperature and emotions)
- and the cortex (civilized brain: science, art …).
What most of us do is try and take on large projects which then signals “fear” to our brain. This ends up shutting down the cortex region, and lighting up our reptilian nature to take flight… This often results in us abandoning our goals because they become overwhelming.
What I’m about to propose is that we take our goals and break them down into small steps that will eventually lead to big things! Yes, I know, we traders tend to like instant gratification, but the more time I spend with CYT, the more I am learning that patience (and consistency) is key!
Let’s get started! There are only 3 things you need to do and they are as follows:
3 Daily Activities to Help You Hit Your Goals
1. DAILY JOURNALING
If you haven’t read Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way,” I will break it down for you —-
Put simply, she advises writing “the morning pages.” Basically, these are 3 pages of longhand writing, a stream of consciousness. A “brain drain,” if you will ~
This will enable you to get all of your thoughts out on to the page so your mind won’t be cluttered as you go about completing the next step. I also find this practice to be very much enlightening. You never know what is going to present itself.
2. DAILY PLANNING
On the planning page, list everything you need to get done that day.
Prioritize each task and set the time-space and allotment for each one.
Then, as you’re going about your day, you can alter your plan as necessary (but ONLY if it’s necessary —- try and stick with your plan as best as you can).
3. DAILY DOCUMENTATION
At the end of the day, you can look back and make notes as to what you did and did not accomplish and WHY. This “WHY” seems to show up a lot in my work and well, life in general.
Whatever did not get done that day, be sure to either re-schedule or remove the item from your plan if you have either delegated it or determined it was not important.
This prioritizing will help keep your stress level to a minimum. Also, take time as you review to reinforce that each of the items completed has contributed to your greater goal and how so.
Kaizen in Action…
This may seem like a lot, but you have the time. Let me restate that: IF you want to see results (achieve your big goal), you will make the time. …It’s really that simple!
In writing this post I am hoping that your take away is all-encompassing — how you manage your “life.” But to dial down on how to apply Kaizen directly to trading, there have been 3 areas in my experience that qualify:
*number of holdings
The last one I believe has helped me most. I have learned to consume far less information and focus only on that which I have (over the years) singled out as my “go to” sources. This has significantly cut down on my “information-overload.” CYT is tops on my list!
Let me know if you’re going to try this and if so, how it’s working for you! Now, GO!