Lean lifestyles -- Live Smart on No More Than Is Necessary

Having a good life can mean many things. Such as being in good health and having a positive attitude, or living in a perfect family with the freedom to live your life, or even just having a good job yielding satisfactory results.  A good workplace with efficient processes and smart resource consumption can help improve the quality of your life by allowing you to enjoy a better work/life balance.  To achieve a good balance you can apply the “lean” concept that you may have heard about either from sports or through business circles.  In business, this term is related to the appropriate use of resources to achieve optimal results, but the same concept can be applied to your personal life as well to better your life.    

In business, “Lean” is a holistic management concept, focusing on sustainability by using less in order to obtain optimal results meeting customer requirements or company goals. The “lean” concept seeks to change waste into value, leading to infinite development, improvement, and change. Lean is not about working harder or faster.  Instead, it is a search to turn waste into desirable value.  Lean companies are those which can operate without unnecessary losses in every process.  

To lean yourself, you can start by identifying and getting rid of unproductive activities such as junk foods or unnecessary items. If you have a lean body, it generally means your body has less unhealthy fat and leaner muscles.  Those with lean bodies tend to be more active and energetic.   We may cling to some things that we think are useful, but they may actually be a burden, costing our freedom and requiring work to maintain them. To live a healthy life, one must always maintain a healthy body and not just lose weight occasionally. It is necessary to define the right attitude with a committed goal to continuously maintain your good health.  Once you determine the right goals, you can plan your actions in detail, such as eating, exercising, working, your daily routine, recreation and leisure, and entertainment. 

Another aspect to consider concerns wasteful life habits and doing unnecessary things that do not improve your life, such as addiction to social media, games, movies, and other similar activities that will not improve your knowledge, competence, ideas, or attitude.  These can also have long-term negative effects on your physical or mental health, leading to uncontrollable spending behavior, or indulgence in excessive luxury or consumption. A rigorous and sincere self-assessment can help us solve our problems. Improving your unhealthy habits to achieve a lean lifestyle is not that hard.  However, it's not an easy task.  Some people may need a helper or something to force or encourage them to change their behavior.  

With the current pandemic, many companies are under pressure and forced to cut their workforce in an effort to reduce overhead.  At the same time, these companies must continue to maintain the same level of production in order to survive. This kind of stressful situation forces companies to examine themselves to identify what is necessary and not.  By cutting what is unnecessary, a business can continue to run smoothly. The same concept applies to our lifestyles.  Most people enjoy their comfort zones and are not interested in adjusting their mindset.  However, when faced with a crisis, such as the fear of losing a job, salary cuts, illness, or death, the survival instinct kicks in, prompting automatic changes in behavior, such as spending less and saving more, or working more efficiently to keep a job, or changing eating habits for better health and preventing illness.

Apart from physical improvement, a leaning lifestyle also helps to develop intelligence and ideas.  Like muscles, we also need to flex our brains to concentrate more on critical thinking, planning, solving and analyzing problems, and resist the urge to do unnecessary things.  Regular brain training will keep your brain sharp and agile, just like any other part of your body.


Adapting the lean concept to our personal life allows us to be more reasonable and moderate in doing things. We can wisely choose the right tools to improve our quality of life. For example, families with children or the elderly that need to hire helpers to take care of them may instead adopt modern technology, such as installing cameras or sensors to monitor them when the family cannot be in the room with them or adopting other technologies to minimize their dependence on others as much as possible.  

Anyone who wants to adopt a holistic leaning approach to improve their work life/balance can start by further studying the concept to understand and adjust their mindset while setting realistic plans and goals with discipline.  Doing that will allow you to successfully lean your lifestyle. The lean approach is not just useful for ordinary people but also brings many achievements for those working for world-class firms.