Most of us know about Kanban as a material/components supply requisition system for lean manufacturing and just-in-time manufacturing. Kanban is also increasingly becoming popular for project management in office environments. But a new Kanban approach is making waves these days through which anyone can make sure he is not following the traditional multitasking for completing the tasks assigned to him. You’ll be surprised to know how easy it is to implement and get the positive results.
Our attention is divided all the time between various tasks, responsibilities and deadlines. But our brain plays games like no other machine in the world and doesn’t respond well to the stress of juggling multiple priorities at the same time. That’s why people give multitasking a bad name. Latest research gives enough evidence to neuroscientists so that they can conclude that multitasking drains the energy out of our brain.
According to Daniel Levitin, professor of behavioral neuroscience at McGill University, “That switching comes with a biological cost that ends up making us feel tired much more quickly than if we sustain attention on one thing.” You can read the articles on the websites of Forbes and Health to find out more about this. Now I want to introduce personal Kanban that can do wonders to enhance your capability to manage multiple tasks both in your personal and professional lives.
Imagine a productivity enhancement tool that actually works for you. Something that’s easy to learn, implement. And at the same time saving you from the chaos of multitasking and assisting you in achieving your goals faster. That’s the power of personal Kanban. Just like Kanban applied at work, you can start by writing information on cards and a board on which you arrange your cards. It is a highly visual process in which a mere glance can give you an idea what needs to be done, what are your working on and the things you have accomplished so far.
Personal Kanban is a simple system for managing your to-dos. It’s a philosophy of self-management of tasks and time. Its core principles are:
- Visualize your work
- Limit your work in progress
In his book, Personal Kanban: Mapping Work – Navigating Life, Jim Benson says, “Work unseen is work uncontrolled”. He further explores the topic by giving us some valuable insights. “Visualizing work reduces the distractions of existential overhead by transforming fuzzy concepts into tangible objects that your brain can easily grasp and prioritize.”
“Personal Kanban is based on the principles and techniques of a management concept known as “Lean.” Lean is both a philosophy and a discipline which, at its core, increases access to information to ensure responsible decision making in the service of creating value.”
How Kanban can Transform your Personal & Professional Life?
Jim Benson is a visionary when it comes to explaining the many aspects of personal Kanban in a very easy to understand lingo. Read in your own words so that you can comprehend without any difficulty. “Personal Kanban is an information radiator for your work. With it, you understand the impacts and context of your work in real-time. This is where linear to-do lists fall short. Static and devoid of context, they remind us to do a certain number of tasks, but don’t show us valuable real-time information necessary for effective decision making.”
Personal Kanban gives you mental clarity about what you want to do. It enables you to visualize the big picture and limits multitasking because if you don’t want to juggle multiple items simultaneously, a forced decision in this regard will only result in chaos.
The Simple Way to Use Personal Kanban for Work
Setup your Kanban board (To visualize your work, use sticky notes to record all your high priority tasks; you can use different colored sticky notes to visually show different tasks)
Write down your tasks on sticky notes – one note for each task (try to limit this to a few tasks)
Move your sticky notes along the board as you work on and complete each task.
When you are in control of what to do, what is being done and what has been accomplished, you will be in total control of your day. In this way, you can be certain that your work will be meaningful and fulfilling.
To Sum It All
Personal Kanban is a novel productivity enhancement technique for individuals that’s gaining popularity as I write this post. If you are also not fond of multitasking and want to try a different approach to your work, then a personal Kanban is the right tool for you. All you need is a whiteboard and a stack of sticky notes and there you go. Or if you’re extremely lazy to make one for yourself then you can always try TaskQue’s Kanban tool. If you think you have anything valuable to add to this monologue and convert it into an interesting conversation then please hit the comments section below.