Personal Kanban 101

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Despite our best intentions, life has a way of becoming complicated. People, tasks, responsibilities, deadlines, and even recreation all compete for our attention. The human brain however, simply does not respond well to the stress of juggling multiple priorities.

That’s where Personal Kanban can help. Adaptable to all ages and situations, and accessible to all learning styles, personal kanban allows us to visualize the amount of work we have, and the way that work is carried out.

Unlike other personal productivity tools, Personal Kanban is a pattern – it is not an edict. You can mold it into whatever shape or form works best for you at the time. Personal Kanban is also scalable – it can work with just you, or with your family, or even with work groups.

There are only two real rules with Personal Kanban:

1. Visualize your work

2. Limit your work-in-progress

It’s just that simple.  After you’ve used this “introductory’ kanban for a little while, your understanding of the nature of  your work will evolve. As it does, your kanban will likewise evolve.

143 Responses to Personal Kanban 101

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  40. Geraldine says:

    This is the first time I heard of kanban. I’ve had problem with getting things done and I have more work-in-progress. I have so many ideas but never managed to finish them. So let me just stick around, read, and learn.

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  48. Nick Hoh says:

    I’m a product owner using Kanban with my team and it never struck me to do this till now. I’m going to give this a shot myself.

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  108. Nick says:

    Applying Personal Kanban in a committee

    First off: a huge ‘thanks’ to you Jim and Tonianne. Since picking up your book, immersing myself in the site and trying PK- across multiple areas of my life (at work, home and social groups) the results and insights are nothing short of…transformational.
    AND- I am at an early stage. I have an initial stumbling bloc in trying to introduce PK into settings where there are multiple streams with their own swim lanes etc. E.g. A committee that has responsibilities to fundraise, communicate, hold events etc. One way would be to have an individual board for each project…but then the simplicity of the ‘one view’ is lost. Trying to combine on one board however can make it complex. Some streams have many parts, others are much simpler.
    I appreciate this may be an obvious early question and that you have solutions on the site already, but I’d appreciate any feedback.
    And thanks again for your work, site and book. It rocks. 🙂 Nick

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  139. Dione says:

    Hello. Just wondering when the next free webinar is planned. Thanks!

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