Personal Kanban Time Management: Track Your Tasks and Never Get Lost

Accomplishing more in a given day often comes down to see what all needs to be done, what has yet to be accomplished, and where everything stands in the workflow process. We are visual creatures, and it is always easiest to show people where they stand in their day when they can see a visual representation of that day. It is always best to try to set up your daily tasks on a board where they can be clearly seen and reviewed.

 

What is personal kanban?

First created in Toyota factories, a Kanban board is a great way to measure productivity and visualize the flow of work through various processes.

kanban board with sticky notes

Toyota first used Kanban boards to determine how to work in the factory could be done as efficiently as possible. They wanted to cut down on waste and make the process cause as few burdens on the workers there as possible.

They also believed (rightfully) that this process would help increase profits for the company and make everything flow more smoothly.

Since that time, many managers across various industries have adopted Kanban time management systems. They see how those systems are clearly designed to create the most productive workforce possible, and they want to get in on the action. Therefore, it is pretty clear that the Kanban method is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Now, Kanban personal time management is all the rage as people see that it can be used in their personal lives as well.

Personal Kanban is nothing more than taking the concept of a Kanban board like what is used in business and applying it to your own life and goals.

People do what they can to apply this method toward the goals that they have in life because they have already seen the positive impact that it can have on business, so why wouldn’t it be able to do the same for them on a personal level?

 

Benefits of personal kanban time management

The reason why personal Kanban time management works so well is that it makes it a lot easier to see what targets one is supposed to aim for when they are working through the day.

Just knowing what they need to set their sights on and what they need to accomplish is enough for some people to understand how a Kanban board could help them in many challenging situations.

behind view of kanban board

It is much more challenging to ignore the tasks that you know need to get done when you can see them on the board and know for a fact that they aren’t going to get accomplished until you take the time to make them happen.

It also allows you to set parameters for yourself as far as which tasks will receive the most attention at this time and how you can make sure you get the kind of results that you need out of life.

 

How to use Kanban for time management?

Let us talk for a moment about how you can set up your weekly schedule (and beyond) using the Kanban method to achieve the best possible results. You already know without a doubt that your time is precious and valuable to you.

What you may not know is how to conserve as much of that time as possible to use for the things that you really care about.

Starting to use the Kanban method is simple. First of all, there are 4 columns:

  • “to-do”
  • “in-progress”
  • “needs review” or “testing”
  • “done”

Visualize your tasks in each of the columns and then move the tasks according to their phase.

So, if the task is still not picked up by anyone, it should be in the “to-do” column. Start doing it and move it to “in-progress” and so on.

Here are a few things that you can do to start using Kanban better:

  • Understand the basic principles of Kanban – Understand what the various cards mean and how they relate to your goals.
  • Don’t overcomplicate things – It is great that you want to take on the Kanban principles in your life, but don’t make things overly complicated for yourself. Try to get the basics down, and then go from there.
  • Set up parameters for various boards – If you are just going to use the Kanban board for yourself, then you shouldn’t have any issues at all. However, if there are teams that will be on your Kanban boards, you need to set up the parameters for how people can use them.
  • Double-check your Kanban board to ensure it is working optimally – Check over everything you have put on the Kanban board to make sure it is optimally suited for your needs.

 

Doing Less is Sometimes Better

Many people put themselves on an endless set of to-do lists that they can never seem to get away from or fully accomplish. It leaves them feeling defeated, and that is no way to move through life. When someone is not able to accomplish their to-do list for the day, it doesn’t mean that they are a failure.

It likely means that they are stretching themselves too thin and trying to accomplish too much. The Kanban board can help them solve this problem.

Instead of focusing on trying to get every single thing done all in a single day, the Kanban board helps people prioritize their time to focus it most directly on the tasks that they can see require the most time and effort.

Immediately, the person that uses a method like this will see better results as they start to put themselves in a position where they are using the limited resource of time in a more concentrated way.

 

Keep Your “Work In Progress” To A Minimum

There are a lot of people who put too many things on their plate all at the same time before they start to use the Kanban method. There are some entrepreneurs who are trying to manage their time. They feel the pressure to say “yes” to virtually every offer that comes their way. They believe that building up their backlog of work can help them secure as much business as possible and help them achieve their dreams as far as getting everything done.

woman multitasking

The thing about adding too much work to the “work in progress” category is that it often means that nothing truly gets accomplished.

There is always more work to be done, but there are not enough hours in the day to make it happen.

Thus, it is better to try to keep the “work in progress” to a minimum when possible. You do NOT want to overextend yourself and turn in sub-par work or miss deadlines.

That is why the Kanban board may help you visualize where your energy needs to go at this time in order to get things accomplished.

 

Finish A Task Before Adding Another One

It is best to finish a task before you add another one. The problem with continuing to add tasks to your Kanban board before you finish some is that there will quickly be a traffic jam on the “in progress” part of the board.

You keep adding more and more to your jobs to be completed without actually finishing some of the work that you had set out to finish in the first place.

This can put you in a very uncomfortable spot as you try to figure out what you need to do to get everything you had stacked up taken care of on time.

Make sure you always check on your tasks to ensure that you are getting a reasonable amount of them completed before you accept even more work.

You might think that accepting every piece of work that you can make you look accomplished, but it actually might take away from the quality of work that you are able to produce for your clients.

 

Importance of kanban time management

There isn’t a person alive who can keep everything in their life balanced all the time. That said, there are some who are doing a much better job at this balancing act than others.

Those people are the ones who clearly focus on using their Kanban board in a way that is effective for them and allows them to knock down task after task with ease.

They have decided to take the challenges that life has thrown at them by the horns and make something of the time that they have.

Using a Kanban board means that you will know when you have hit your capacity limits and what you need to do about it. You will finally have a good understanding of when it might be time to say “no” to new requests.

Similar to a time management matrix, the Kanban board can help you finally see in a visual way where your time is going and what you need to do to make the most of it.

You know in your gut that you have a lot to do on any given day, but the Kanban board can help you visualize that in ways that you would not have been able to before.

When you think about it like this, it is pretty obvious that you need to take steps today to make positive changes in how you use your Kanban board.

 

Apps that help with kanban

Do you want to take your Kanban board experience to the next level? You might want to use some apps that can help make a Kanban board even more powerful.

 

Trello

This is the fastest way to complete your Kanban board and get yourself off on the right footing. It is available on Android, IOS, and virtually any other system that you might want to use it. For just $9.99 per month, a user can subscribe to the full array of features available in the app. One can create unlimited boards in this app once they are a member, and that means that project management has never been easier than it is when using Trello.

 

KanbanFlow

For just $5 per month, one can use KanbanFlow to get unlimited boards right on their phone. This one is also available across all operating systems, and it is the cost-effective way to get your Kanban board experience moving.

You will want to keep this app handy so you can pull it up whenever you need it. There is a chance that you will rely on it more than you might think. Start giving it a try and you will see that your life has transformed in such a way that you cannot imagine not using it again in the future.

 

LeanKit

This app has some of the most detailed board options of any of the Kanban apps available on the market. You can write out numerous details on your Kanban board when using this app, and you will certainly be able to accomplish a lot that you had not imagined was possible before you had access to this particular app. You should check it out if you feel that you are not making the kind of progress that you would like to make on your goals right now. It is likely the case that you just need a little more detail when creating your lists.

“The outcomes in your life are a lagging measure of your habits – there are no high-performance people only high-performance habits.” –James Clear

Conclusion

There are countless ways to make yourself more productive, but the Kanban method is one that has some real backing to it. If you want to see results that really matter, then you need to start using something like the Kanban method. It can help you accomplish more than you ever would have imagined was possible. Take charge of your schedule and start making progress on your “work in progress” list.

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