For those of us who might be sitting in a world of clutter, where a million small tasks have become one daunting one – I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START! – the only way out of that jungle is through.
Since every journey begins with a single step – we can only begin by simply beginning. But that first step is usually the hardest.
Homes are especially plagued by little tasks that never seem to get done. They mount up and all seem to be equally important or equally unimportant. Prioritization is difficult, and procrastination ensues.
So, I propose the over-all New Year’s Resolution – This year, each month my house will be a little better.
To do this, you can create a Personal Kanban for this specific purpose – or a swimlane on your existing board. They would look something like this:
The steps here:
1. Come up with 12 small, but noticeable projects
2. Start with the smallest one
3. Do one a month.
That really wasn’t too difficult, was it?
You’ll find, as I have, that keeping a board like this compels you (in a good way) to want to do many more than 12 of these small projects.
Two things are important here:
First, start small and stay small. Make incremental improvements that you and others can see. Don’t rebuild the house or put in new floors right away. Again, like in the last post, we are forming habits here. For Gary, the first task he’s taking on is finishing one that has been sitting uncompleted. Before making it a set of tasks – it was part of that daunting sea of blue tickets. Now, that project is alone. It’s manageable. And better yet, the cards are atomic – meaning each car is actionable on its own and in relative short time. If Gary is sitting at his desk in his home office working and wants to take a short break – he can go line up the cans of paint, judge how old they are and what’s needed and move the card. Having moved that one card, he’s now one step closer to getting that bit of existential overhead removed from his life forever.
Second, keep that Personal Kanban visible! If you can’t see the Personal Kanban, it can’t remind you and it can’t reward you. If Gary doesn’t see that list of projects he won’t feel any more compelled to complete them than he did before the board. And if he completes tasks he can see that there is progress and will be more likely to continue that progress.
We humans are very good at procrastinating – use the board to undermine this natural behavior and get the work done. Completed projects mean a prettier home and a better life. (And yes, relaxing can also be a goal on the kanban – it’s not about work, it’s about life.)
- GTD & Kanban: Managing The Relationship Between Someday/Maybe & Active Projects In my previous post, “GTD & Kanban: Similarities, Differences &...
- The Kaizen Resolution If you are a typical New Year’s resolver, you’ve just...
- Kanban for Short Intense Projects: How We Used Kanban to Visualize Our Hiring Process Workflow and Make Our Lives Easier This is how we used Kanban techniques to visualize our...
- Multiple Projects & Threaded WIP: Using The Big Picture for Personal Kanban The two rules of Personal Kanban: Limit WIP and visualize...