Incremental Change


I listened to an inspirational teleclass this week from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization.  In a general sense, it was about how to make change.  More specifically, it was about Using the Small Steps of Kaizen to Challenge Disorganization.”

One take-away from the hour long session was – trying to change too much at once activates a “Fight or Flight” response.  Hence, stress and/or fear.  This is valuable information to keep in mind when changing environments and patterns while organizing.  While I understand and discuss with clients that they feel overloaded, I had not equated it to stress and fear.

When making change, we often give ourselves an ultimatum, “Tomorrow, I will sign-up for the fitness center and start going to classes!”  According to the information presented, we should not expect to be able to make such drastic change and be successful.  In fact, we will probably feel nervous and stressed when it doesn’t work out.  Instead, for real success, we should attempt to make incremental changes that can actually happen.  For increasing exercise, a real life example the presenter gave was about a doctor who gave a patient  a suggestion to march in place for 1 minute before sitting down to watch a tv show.  That’s it.  Over time, the patient was to add another minute – or do it during commercials.  The result?  Over time, she developed a habit associated with the tv and actually exercised DURING her programs.

The presenter, Kathie England, challenged the teleclass listeners to think of a way to make an incremental change – something that we could do to be more successful – in our own lives.  I chose to figure out boundaries for my time spent working on Declare Order in my home office.  There are so many components to running a business and I think about them all the time.  By creating a boundary for the days I am working from home, I am giving myself permission to focus and then walk away.  Much more efficient.

Today was the first time trying my incremental change on a Home Office paperwork day.  Errands and family in the afternoon.  Home Office in the morning.  Success!  How do I know?  I got so much accomplished, I even wrote a blog entry 😉  Update 8/21:  3 weeks after this post, summer vacation hit.  Had to re-evaluate.  Look for blogs to begin again when the kiddos are back in school!Share this article!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *