Newsletter – Week 03, 2019

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Newsletter – Week 02, 2019

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Newsletter – Week 01, 2019

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Newsletter – Week 52, 2018

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Newsletter – Week 51, 2018

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Time Management

Time management is the process of control and planning your daily tasks on the way to be sure that all was done efficiently.

There are different kinds of tools and technics created to help you use your time efficiently.   My current time management approach works well for me, so I decided to share some details about. Maybe this will help somebody else who is trying to improve daily efficiency.

I follow a personal Kanban approach using Trello as a tool for managing my personal board. The main goal of this approach is to reuse Kanban principles in real life. In general, the whole approach is quite straightforward:

  • create a board for your daily tasks
  • define columns for the tasks
  • define flow rules for the tasks
  • follow the defined rules

I’m not going to share detailed screenshots from the Trello below, but rather want to show conceptually how this all organized in my case.

Personal board

board

The board follows one of the core Kanban principles is visualize all scope of your tasks.

Also, following another core principle of continuous improvement I identified a couple of additional rules:

  • morning rule: quickly review the board, maybe something on the board has to be adjusted, so just get a new look. A new day – new emotions and thoughts. This review shouldn’t take more than 15 mins of your time.
  • evening rule: correct board if required and make sure that the board is ready for the next day. This review shouldn’t take more than 30 mins of your time.
  • clean and review rule: at the end of the week clean up completed tasks and do analysis how efficiently they were completed and what can be improved.

In general, if any new task will take me less than 10 mins to complete I prefer to get it completed without putting this task to the board.

Let’s look on the board in details, all tasks there are organized in 6 columns. Let’s review all of them.

“Queue” column

queue_board

Description: this column includes and visualizes all tasks which are not included for completion in the current week.

Column limit: no limit.

“Focus: this week” column

this_week_board

Description: this column includes and visualizes all tasks should be completed during the current week, excluding tasks for today.

Column limit: no limit.

“Today: low priority” column

low_priority_board

Description: this column contains and visualizes all low priority tasks should be completed today.

Column limit: 10 tasks max in this column. If there are more than 10 possible tasks for this column, select 10 the most important and critical, put others in focus for this week column on the top place.

“Today: high priority” column

high_priority_board

Description: this column contains and visualizes all high priority tasks should be completed today.

Column limit: 5 tasks max in this column. If there are more than 5 possible tasks for this column, select 5 most important and critical, put others in a low priority task column for today on the top place.

“Wait” column

wait_board

Description: this column contains tasks with external dependencies which should be resolved before a task can be moved to the done column or any other columns on the board.

Example: I have a task to replay to some work-related email.  Before sending my replay I need to request some additional information from another person. So, I’m not sure when exactly the requested information will come to me. I can put this task in wait column and setup deadline date as follow up for this task.

Column limit: no limit.

“Done” column

done_board

Description: this column contains and visualizes all completed tasks.

Column limit: no limit.

Task flow on the board:

board_flow

One of the core principles of Kanban is focus on the flow, so the main goal of the board is to organize columns for the tasks and the flow between them, so you shouldn’t waste your time considering what task pick next. The tasks flow from left column to right one and from bottom to up in the column.

Based on columns defined there can be identified a couple of tasks scopes:

Today scope

today_scope

Scope: this scope visualizes all active tasks for today.

Week scope

week_scope

Scope: this scope visualizes all active tasks for the current week.

Total active scope

total_active

Scope: this scope visualizes all active tasks on the board.

In-hold scope

inhold_scope

Scope: this scope visualizes all tasks in the hold-on state.

Total scope

total_scope

Scope: this scope visualizes the all not completed tasks on the board.

Completed scope

completed_scope

Scope: this scope visualizes all completed tasks. Usually, I clean up this column at the end of every week so  I can see performance for the week.

Let’s discuss a task itself now. Every task on my board has such attributes defined:

Task attributes

Task

Title – is the short name for the task includes short and useful information regarding what is required to be done in a range of the task.

Label – is a marker assigned to task shows that task related to some group. Example of labels: family, work, sport and etc.

Description – is section includes all details regarding the goal of the task. Usually has much more details than the title.

Due date – is date and time when the task should be completed.

Action items – is the list of actions required in the range of the task. The action items should meet the S.M.A.R.T approach criteria.

Comments – are comments appear during the work on the task.

 

Create your personal board, use it and be effective!

Newsletter – Week 50, 2018

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Newsletter – Week 49, 2018

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Newsletter – Week 48, 2018

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Newsletter – Week 47, 2018

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