One of the best productivity hacks is to always keep a to-do list handy. This helps you keep a track of what needs to be done and what is accomplished. As it may sound very simple, almost all of us have struggled while trying to keep a to-do list updated and keeping ourselves on track to follow the list. We either get too busy and forget to update the list itself or take it too casually to stay on course and finish the tasks on the list. Either way, this is a failure. So, what is the solution? The biggest factor to actually gain productivity by using to-do lists is following discipline. We did a blog post on this, sometime back. So, let's say you have developed some amount of self discipline and you are now able to handle the lists and update them regularly. What should be the next step?
This brings us to the topic of this post - personal Kanban. We already know how organizations are using Kanban to gain productivity, let us now learn how to use it for your personal requirements.
Personal Kanban has only two basic rules - visualizing your tasks and limit the number of activities you are working on at the same time. The first one makes complete sense, it is good to visualize things but the second one, limiting tasks. How does that make you productive? The secret lies in the famous quote from Steve Jobs - “Focusing is about saying no!”. The less tasks you take up in your bucket, the more likely you are to finish those tasks.
How do you get started? Personal Kanban approach is simple and flexible. You can use a patch of wall, download an app, or scribble in a notebook—and that's the key to making it work for the long haul. Just choose the one that works for you. The key is to find a method that compliments your workflow instead of breaking it, and uses tools you'll return to instead of struggle with. If you have access to a whiteboard in your office, being able to quickly look up and see what's on your agenda can be extremely helpful. But if you travel a lot, a web app like Taiga that is available everywhere via the Internet is your best bet.
To get started with Kanban in Taiga, just go to the Taiga website, create an account and then create a new project. While creating the project, choose the template as Kanban template. That’s it. You have your own Kanban board ready. You can now add items to the board. Wait, are you thinking, there are no lists with the usual “to-do”, “doing” and “done” headings, rather the lists look like some kind of software statuses. You can change the values, just go to
Admin >> Attributes >> Status. Here on the left half of the screen you can see all the default statuses for Taiga Kanban boards. Just change the value of whatever you wish them to be. Go back to the Kanban board, you will now see the lists you added! It is that simple.
To track the priority of items on the list, it is a good practice to simply stack the items from top to bottom in the order of decreasing priority. This way you don’t have to look/maintain an extra field, rather you intuitively know what are the tasks that are of highest priority.
This video explains the steps to create a Kanban project in Taiga: