How I Apply The Systematic Improvement Cycle To My Dream Writing Business

Discover the power of the PDCA cycle!

Peter's Dreams
4 min readApr 10, 2022
Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Can it please continue as it is right now?

My life is perfect.

Okay, not quite perfect.

Not that everything is super peachy in the world. But for me, everything fits right now. Especially when I look at it in conjunction with the last two years.

Recognize your progress!

I have reached another important development step for me:

  1. I’m writing 1,000 words a day for my fantasy novels.
  2. I blog about it and around the topic of self-realization and financial independence on Medium.
  3. I make a living from my stock strategy. For this stock strategy, I have a newsletter (and an investment certificate for it in Germany)

In my previous career in plant engineering, I worked as a process manager, among other things.

One concept for continuous improvement used in much of the industry is the PDCA cycle:

PDCA stands for Plan-Do-Check-Act.

  1. Plan: Establish goals and the processes necessary to achieve the desired results.
  2. Do: Carry out what you planned in phase 1.
  3. Check: In this phase, analyze the results collected from the Do phase and compare them to the desired result from the Plan phase.
  4. Act (or Adjust): In this phase, the process is improved. Problems are eliminated, risks of error are reduced, or wasted time and resources are identified.

With the newly gained knowledge, skills, and experience, the Plan phase begins again and the cycle starts anew.

You Need Reliable Productivity!

I see several psychological benefits to viewing whatever project through these PDCA glasses.

  1. a shortage of the goal set in the planning phase is not seen as a failing, but as a normal step in the development of the process. Rather, it is assumed that not achieving the goals must be the case for the time being.
  2. Failure to achieve the goal is not a big deal, because the PDCA concept immediately comes up with a plan to systematically improve the process. The aim is to achieve the goal at the next attempt. Or the next, or the next, or the next.
  3. the PDCA cycle trains the user to set realistic goals and to soberly analyze the results of the activities.
  4. the conception as a cycle provides perseverance and discipline. Insufficient results provide for improvements until a breakthrough is achieved.

That new and changed processes do not run so smoothly the first time is to be expected.

With each new round of PDCA, the activities already practiced are repeated, and the process consolidates with fewer errors and more stable results. Thus, it becomes an established standard process that does not deteriorate again (see triangles in the figure).

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDCA#/media/File:PDCA_Process.png

Rationalize your passion!

For example, related to my goal of having one million words published by 2024, I went through the PDCA cycle several times for my main activities.
After standing at five published fantasy novels in December 2020, I could say,

“Okay, I now know how to write and publish a book of about 40K to 50K words — standard process established.”

Then I worked hard for a couple of months to improve and stabilize my stock strategy. In April I could say:

“Ok, the process delivers the desired result so that I can pay my living expenses from the performance — standard process set.”

From summer 2021 until the end of the year, I have been working a lot on blogging on Medium. Again, I now know what fundamentally matters — standard process established.

Now I’ve gotten to the point where I’m combining the three standard processes into one process (a.k.a. daily routine) that makes sense to me and integrates all three streams of business.

The advantage to this combination is that in each of the routines, I focus on the truly value-added productive activities and waste less time.

And as far as novels and medium are concerned, the most important activity is writing!
(And not looking at statistics all the time).

Apply What You Have Learned Before!

This systematic approach from my former professional life contributes to discipline and perseverance, in addition to my passion for writing.

Passion is great and necessary for you to enjoy your work. But for me, adding a rational way of looking at my path to success and self-actualization to emotional motivation helps a lot.

The Yang to the Ying, so that everything stays balanced.

A bit, the PDCA cycle reminds me of the movie Click with Adam Sandler. In it, as an aspiring employee, he is given a devilish remote control that allows him to fast-forward his life to the desired point in time.

When you’re impatient and frustrated because you haven’t reached your desired goals, a rational perspective like the PDCA cycle can help you get motivated again. Analyze everything soberly once again, focus on the really important activities and go through another round.

Very important: Recognize and appreciate what you have improved!
This is how you realize that you are developing further.

The film Click! contains an important warning:

On your way to success, don’t forget the things that bring fun and happiness!

As always, it takes a healthy balance.

I wish you much success!

Peter

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Peter's Dreams

Top Writer on Finance, Investing and Bitcoin | Also writing about personal development, financial independence and business.