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Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life Paperback – February 2, 2011
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- Carmen Medina: Director of Intelligence (Retired) Central Intelligence Agency: Personal Kanban is a must read for knowledge workers and their leaders who recognize that old productivity models don't apply to knowledge work and seek a more realistic and centered approach. The ideas are deceptively simple but in that simplicity is their strength. As soon as I finished reading it, I started drawing out the landscape of my projects and felt much the better for it.
- Ross Mayfield: CEO of SocialText: Personal productivity systems usually fail in practice because of complexity and they don't reflect the collaborative nature of real work. Personal Kanban provides the simplest structure that could possibly work and lets you achieve a state of flow.
- Jerry Michalski: guide, Relationship Economy eXpedition: Trying to get more effective? Why use Rube Goldberg systems of tabulated notebooks and special-purpose inserts? Instead, consider a system that flows like a stream and focuses your attention, both on the task at hand and on making your process more effective. That's what Personal Kanban is, and it may just fit your thinking and doing style.
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Top Customer Reviews
Aside from the practice, the book is clear and practical, with doses of philosophy stirred in with the practicality. It's definitely worth a read, and the technique is easy to try. See if it works for you.
The prerequisites are simple:
1. No part of this process should take more than 10 minutes to implement
2. It needs to be visual
3. It needs to be visible!
4. I should never be in a position where I say "If only I had an internet connection" or "If only I had my laptop" or "If only my Circa Rhodia pad come unlined."
5. At the "end of the day," I need to be able to report on and measure my performance. We are all accountable for what we produce. My goals are directly tied to what I can accomplish.
6. It's got to FEEL good. Metrics aside, if it is ugly, cumbersome or "kludgy," it will never be a tool for me. I seek beauty through simplicity.
7. It can't be binary. Use it or not, there has to be room for a transition.
8. It should not be mutually exclusive to any other system. If I want to implement Next Actions or Covey's big rocks/little rocks, or a universal capture tool (ie Evernote), then nothing should stop me from doing that.
Perhaps those prerequisites were not so simple after all as it seems that no one was able to meet those criteria.Read more ›
I think the process suggested (previously defined by David Anderson in his Kanban book; previously developed by Toyota for manufacturing) is valuable, and has made me give up my to-do lists. On the other hand, I don't think you need a whole book to explain it, a simple (if longer) blog post would be sufficient.
The idea I found most valuable was to strive for effectiveness rather than productivity. That is: try to get things done instead of trying to keep yourself busy.
Why my self imposed deadlines become meaningless.
Why I used to be really productive and effective and the last few years have not.
Why I have felt so exasperatingly overwhelmed even on days when there is nothing I actually have to do.
Not just another time management system (I have plenty), but a way out of the stress and overwhelm of work that keeps coming at me. Of incomplete tasks nagging at me and keeping me awake.
This book deals with the disconnect between our brains and the modern multitasking/deadline driven world. It is well written a doable.
I loved the system, I have implemented it, I am sleeping better. My backlog of projects hasn't disappeared, but somehow making them tangible has also made them manageable...and I am actually getting to them one by one.
We all feel like there aren't enough hours in the day to fulfill our commitments to work and family life. How often do we find ourselves saying "I am so busy, I can't seem to get anything done!" How can it be possible to busily accomplish nothing?
When we maintain a large backlog of existential overhead we feel stressed because we don't feel like we're making progress. Thanks to the Zeigarnik effect we focus inordinately on unfinished tasks. When we finish a task it is flushed out of our thoughts because we're constantly focused on the unfinished pile.
Personal Kanban offers a deceptively simple solution to these stresses. Take all the tasks currently occupying that ball of stress in your mind, write them down on sticky-notes and stick them to a board. By writing them down you're able to see that they're not all equally important. You remove them from the amorphous stress ball inside your psyche and stick them to the wall. Suddenly you enjoy the clarity brought by simply visualizing precisely what it is you need to accomplish. A Kanban is a signboard where you visualize your work. In it's simplest form a kanban board contains 3 columns: "Ready", "Doing" and "Done".
I generally reject dogmatic and/or complicated concepts. What Jim and Tonianne have written in Personal Kanban is neither. There are only 2 rules:
1. Visualize your work
2. Limit your Work in Progress (WIP)
I've explained the backlog already, one of the benefits of this backlog is that you can now easily see what needs to be done, and prioritize those tasks according to what's most important to you at the time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had my first board up and working before completing chapter two. Excited about the results I've already gotten and what's to come as I further development my PK.Published 53 minutes ago by Marcus
I have been applying the Kanban method for knowledge work for around 6 years. When Personal Kanban published I was a bit skeptical but purchased it, read it and applied it. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Masa K. Maeda
A really outstanding book which will completely change your outlook on personal productivity and realize that what matters is effectiveness: doing the thinks which matter rather... Read morePublished 1 month ago by pascalvenier
This book is an absolute essential read for anyone that attempts to manage projects for themselves or others. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Samuel Rose
Jim and Tonianne are among the top thinkers today in the field of individual and organizational productivity. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jon Terry
Takes you through the process of eliminating overwhelm and replacing it with a results driven and fun lifestyle. Examples in the book make it really easy to follow.Published 1 month ago by CEOvoss
Excellent guide to this technique for improving your personal productivity. I have employed the author's recommendations and have found that I am indeed more organized and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mark Smallwood
Love this book. Combine kanban with the kolbe index testing (I'm a high "fact finder" low "follow through"), and you've got a life changing work setup. Read morePublished 2 months ago by JEREMY WEISS
This is the book to buy. Why? Because this author invented Personal Kanban (PK). Thus he can write about it from every viewpoint that matters. Read morePublished 3 months ago by JohnSays