Time is worth more than money. There are so many things we need to do and yet we foolishly opt-in to bullshit every single time. And while you can get more money eventually, you can’t get more time. That time wasted on tasks that don’t add anything to your life can never be recovered.
Time management seems to be an issue for almost everybody. But there’s one little trick that can change your personal and professional life. It goes by the name of kanban.
What is Kanban?
Kanban (看板) is a Japanese word that means signboard or billboard. It’s also a method to manage your time that’s easy to use, keeps ideas organized, and prevents you from procrastinating and multitasking too much.
How to Get Started
You start with a board consisting of a few columns. Three are enough to begin with. Let’s name them To Do, Doing, and Done. Tasks move from the leftmost column to the right. You can write them down on sticky notes or use an app.
Making a working plan actually begins by identifying specific tasks. “Adopting a healthy lifestyle” is too broad of a goal to make it work. Think kaizen. Small thoughts and small actions are the most effective way to create lasting changes in your life. Break down your activities: first steps to a healthy lifestyle can be starting meditating 5 minutes a day, reducing your food intake by 100 calories, etc.
Procrastination and multitasking are standing in your way to success. To beat procrastination, don’t leave tasks for more than 1-2 days on your To-Do column. Having a shared, public kanban board at home or in the workplace can help you feel more accountable. Public ownership of a task is a great incentive to finish it. Reducing big assignments into small, actionable steps can also make you feel less overwhelmed. And seeing those tasks move quickly to the right on the board improves your motivation and provides visual gratification.
Limit Your “Doing” List
One benefit of using kanban boards is that you can limit the tasks you’re dealing with at the same moment. Ideally, you’d take only one activity at a time. You may be okay with 2-3 tasks if they stretch over a few days and you can’t break them down.
Researchers at Stanford University not that surprisedly found that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. There are several reasons to stop multitasking right now. A kanban board can be an effective tool to act on it and learn to better focus.
Once you understand and implement this approach successfully on a personal level, you can share it with your colleagues and your friends. Kanban boards provide greater transparency and efficiency in teams and organizations.
Start taking back your time right now with kanban.