The Sequestering Approach and Personal Kanban

Personal tasks are often repetitive or open-ended. Daily phone calls with your kids, an on-going email thread with your college roommate, or follow-up with potential clients are tasks that need to be carried out, but that don’t fit neatly into a kanban. If you have a CMS and need to check in with 3 customers on a daily basis, putting a card on your kanban every day that says “check in with 3 customers” is foolish. Repetitive tasks like this – while they may create value – can also be seen as overhead.

What you can do with these types of tasks is sequester them in a “repeating tasks” category.  On the white board you can list these in a sequestered box, simply checking them off when complete. Then, erase the checkbox when they need to be done again.

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Why bother having the sequestered elements on your board at all?  Because the kanban helps visualize your overhead, which your brain will use as input when you are prioritizing and scheduling. Like it or not, the recurring elements are part of your personal work and they do provide value. One of the main goals of kanban is to kill off out-of-sight-out-of-mind management. It behooves you to visualize as much as you can on your personal kanban.

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