Japanese management techniques like kaizen and kanban were all the rage years ago when I worked for Ford Motor Company and ICL. The concepts of continuous improvement and just in time delivery are still relevant to most businesses these days. These ideas work on a personal level too – continuous learning, growth mindset and now personal kanban can help us live happier lives. Personal kanban is a technique for managing your work in progress so that you get things done while not feeling stressed by having too much on your to do list.
There is a great summary of how it works here. I tried it out and it works for me. It really does take the pressure off that feeling of never getting enough things done. And because it’s a dynamic process of adding items to your work in progress as you finish others, it really feels like you are moving ahead.
But using it in isolation from other techniques can mean that the big projects never getting broken down into do-able chunks. So I combine it with mind-mapping. I have a mind map of all my projects (coaching clients, workshops, book promotion and writing, BAPT, house, garden, family and friends) and I review this weekly to identify what needs to be done on each of them. I then use this to feed specific actions into my to-do list for the week. This way, I can give attention and balance to all aspects of my life.