How can you become even more productive? Kanban system explaining + helpful apps

What is this incomprehensible word – “kanban”?

Personal Kanban is an interactive map of your employment. One of the most common and affordable options is a sticky board that helps you get the job done on time.

The word “kanban” itself is translated from Japanese as “billboard”. It came to us from the Toyota plant, where the production organisation system is called so.

How can a sticky board help you meet deadlines?

It allows you to see the main thing: what are your priorities and what you have already achieved. It also teaches you not to be scattered on secondary, unimportant activities at the moment and not to take on too many obligations.

Probably all this is very difficult?

Not at all. There are only two main rules in the kanban system:

1. You need to visualize your workflow. This helps you see your actual load and, if necessary, change it.

2. It is necessary to limit the number of tasks on which you are actively working. Often, to illustrate this rule, they cite the example of a juggler: the more objects he picks up, the higher the chance of breaking something.

How can you become even more productive? Kanban system explaning + helpful apps

Visualising means putting up a board with stickers?

Not necessary. You can use any option that is convenient for you: a whiteboard, a refrigerator with magnets, a notebook, special applications, and so on. The main thing is that you draw at least three columns: “To do”, “Doing” (Doing), “Done” (Done). They need to be filled with stickers or inscriptions in order to see at any time what kind of workload you have at the moment.

You can also add a Pending column for non-urgent tasks. Or any other columns, for example, “Rest” (with the tasks “order pizza”, “go skiing” and so on).

It works simply: you move stickers (or notes) from one column to another as you complete tasks.

What will it give me?

Get effective feedback. When you move the sticker to the “Done” column, the brain receives a sweet: the task is completed, you can rest or start a new one.

Over time, you will develop the habit of starting a new task only after the previous one has been completed. This means, ideally, there will be no unfinished business.

How do I determine how many tasks I can complete?

Empirically. Start using your personal kanban, and over time you will find out what your “bandwidth” is. It can change depending on the complexity of the tasks, your condition, and mood. Pick a minimum and then raise the bar.

By the way, this is good protection against burnout at work. You will learn to manage your workload without compromising your career.

How is a personal kanban different from a regular to-do list?

Visualisation, the ability to see the final result (how much you did in a day) make it possible to conduct an analysis, determine which tasks inspire you, and which ones are performed with difficulty (it is better to perform them first).

A regular to-do list is not interactive, does not provide feedback, does not relieve stress, since it does not structure the working day.

What apps are replacing the sticker board?

Trello is a free app that is great as a tool for building your own work and managing small projects. It can also be used for training, visualisation of a list of goals and desires, repairs, travel planning, research, and so on.

KanbanFlow is similar in appearance to Trello, but in fact, it, even more, fits the classic concept of “kanban”. The application, in addition to creating boards and tasks, allows you to track the time spent on their execution (the Pomodoro method is used).

Kanbanote is an augmented and popular Evernote app that visualizes to-do lists.

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