Personal kanban or how to learn not to miss deadlines

Work, work, go to Fedot… Remember the saying? Very often we do not get the work done in time, and then we suffer from it both morally and financially. The Japanese told us about a new method, which they called “Kanban”. It teaches us how to organize our activities.

What is the kanban?

By personal kanban, the Japanese mean a kind of interactive map of your work. The most accessible option, which you have definitely seen more than once in the movies, is sticking reminder stickers on the board. This way the work will be done in a specific time frame and there will be no disruptions.

In fact, Kanban in Japanese means “billboard. The first to apply the methodology were at the Toyota plant, and the results of such an organization system pleased the management.

How does kanban help keep a deadline on track?

The visualization method works here – you distribute stickers on the board in order of priority. In other words, on the most prominent place are those tasks for which there may be a deadline. Stickers with completed tasks are grouped separately – so you can see how much work has already been completed.

In addition, this approach will prevent you from getting bogged down in tasks that are not very important at the moment. You’ll also determine whether you’ve taken on too many commitments.

Is it difficult to do a kanban?

Not at all. The nice thing about this system is that there are only 2 main points:

  1. You need to visualize your work activity. So you can accurately determine your workload, understand for yourself whether you can handle it, and in general – whether you have enough time to perform the tasks you’ve undertaken.

  1. You will need to limit the number of tasks on which you work actively. The Japanese give the example of a juggler – the more balls he takes in one hand, the faster they will break.

What is “visualization” in kanban and how is it useful to you?

The visualization technique doesn’t just mean using a board on which you put the stickers. It can be anything from a refrigerator door to a special mobile app or a desktop on your computer.

The most important task for you is to divide this surface into three zones. Call the first one “what needs to be done,” the second one “already doing it,” and the third one “completed tasks.”

Each of these zones is filled with stickers with corresponding tasks. Just describe on the sticky notes what needs to be done. So at any moment you will be able to assess the working “battlefield”, compare what has not yet been done to your strengths and time.

If desired, you can add a “waiting” zone. In it, stick stickers with those tasks that are not urgent. In addition, you can also define a zone “for rest” and take into account in it going to a cafe, meeting with friends, doing sports, shopping, etc.

The working principle here is very simple – as soon as the task is done, you move it to the corresponding zone on the board.

This Japanese method is very useful for a person who wants to do everything in time and not to disrupt the work deadline. In addition, there is a great opportunity to get effective feedback. After all, as soon as you move the task sticker to the “completed tasks” zone, the brain gets a kind of encouragement – this task is done, a little rest and you can proceed to the next one.

How do you count the tasks you can do?

Well, it’s simple here – only through personal experience. You have to use a personal kanban to begin with. Only after some time will you determine your own capacity.

You should start with the minimum and gradually raise the bar, then you will be much more productive and efficient. First of all, the minimum number of tasks will not worsen your mood, do not lose heart at the most inopportune moment, and still there will be excitement. Your capabilities will definitely change in the direction of expansion.

The positive effect of kanban is an excellent protection against burnout in the workplace. You will be able to determine and distribute your own workload without damaging your career and your own health.

To-do list VS kanban: what is the difference?

The difference between a to-do list and a kanban is substantial. The first is simply writing down a list of tasks on paper or in a text file. It is very easy to get confused, you may forget to mark something, it is easy to lose sight of something. You don’t structure your working day with a list alone, which means you can break a deadline and earn at least some stress.

Kanban, on the other hand, is all about visualization. You get an excellent opportunity to see with your own eyes the results of activities for an hour, a day, a week, a month. In addition, you can analyze the performance of tasks, choose priorities by the type of inspiring you to work more actively. Those that are more difficult can be moved if you are not pressed for time. Or, on the contrary, complete them first and leave the easier ones “for sweets”.

Apps instead of a whiteboard – what are they?

Programmers have already developed special applications for Kanban. You just need to decide which one is suitable for your particular tasks, download and install it on your gadget.

Trello is a free application, which is great for managing small projects, building a schedule of your own activities. You can use it for studying, researching, planning trips and travel, visualizing wishbanks, goals and even renovations. Use your imagination – the app does not limit you at all.

KanbanFlow is another app that is somewhat similar to the previous one. More apply it with the classic boar. Exactly the same way you set tasks, allocate them into zones, redistribute them. A nice bonus from the developers is the ability to track the time spent on this or that task.

Kanbanote is a very common mobile application that also allows you to visualize your work, to-do list, goals, desires.

Apply the personal kanban method at home, and gradually transfer it to your work. This way you will never fail to meet deadlines and establish yourself as a committed and decent professional.