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"Personal kanban": a life-changing time-management system that explodes the myth of multitasking

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https://qz.com/985821/personal-kanban-a-life-changing-time-management-system-that-explodes-the-myth-of-multitasking/

qz.com

"Personal kanban": a life-changing time-management system that explodes the myth of multitasking
Multitasking is probably the single most overrated skill in modern life. It drains your brain of oxygenated glucose that could be put toward paying more focused attention, makes it difficult for a person to switch between tasks, and is generally an illusion anyway. Only 3% of the population are "supertaskers," according to a study from Ohio University.

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The Personal Kanban

It's a system to save us from our endless to-do lists, which can turn any job into a lifeless chore. It works on two principles: 

Visualize your work and limit yo...

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Setting up

  • Create three columns on a board where you can use magnets or post-it notes. Label the columns: Options, Doing, and Done.
  • Write your individual tasks down on separate cards. Post all ...

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The Zeigarnik effect

Starting but not completing too many projects puts people at risk of the Zeigarnik effect, which states that people are better at remembering unfinished tasks than completed ones.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

1. Time-Blocking

Time-blocking consists of assigning individual tasks to manageable time slots.

Instead of writing out short tasks alongside hours-long tasks on your list for the day and hoping you ha...

2. If/then Lists

To set reasonable goals make a list for high-energy days and another for when you are reluctant to work. Both lists should follow an “if/then” model.

The first lists should have the more involved tasks, while the second list should feature more mindless tasks like cleaning out your inbox, organizing your desk, or even napping.

3. Eisenhower Matrix

An Eisenhower Matrix breaks a to-do list into the four categories below:
  1. Has items that are both urgent and important, is to be tackled immediately.
  2. Items that are important but not urgent, can be scheduled for a later time.
  3. Tasks deemed urgent but not important can be delegated to others if possible
  4. Tasks that are neither urgent nor important should be crossed off the list altogether.

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The Zeigarnik Effect

Unfinished work continues to exert an influence, even when we try to move on to other things.

When you start working on something but do not finish it, thoughts of the unfinished work ...

The Zeigarnik effect and memory

It reveals a great deal about how memory works. Zeigarnik suggested that failing to complete a task creates underlying cognitive tension. This results in greater mental effort and rehearsal in order to keep the task at the forefront of awareness. Once completed, the mind is then able to let go of these efforts.

You can even use this psychological phenomenon to your advantage.

Get More Out of Your Study Sessions

  • Break up your study sessions rather than try to cram it all in the night before the test. By studying information in increments, you will be more likely to remember it until test day.
  • If you are struggling to memorize something important, momentary interruptions might actually work to your advantage. While you are focusing on other things, you will find yourself mentally returning to the information you were studying.

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Cognitive biases

Cognitive biases

...are common thinking errors that harm our rational decision-making.

We don't always see things as they are. We don't simply glean information through the senses and act on it; inste...

Optimism Bias

Is our tendency to overestimate the odds of our own success compared to other people's. 

Overly optimistic predictions can be dangerous, leading us to waste time and resources pursuing unrealistic goals. In the real world of business, things don't always work out for the best, and it serves us well to know when conditions are not on our side.

How to control the optimism bias

  • Be skeptical of your own rosy expectations for your work. 
  • Assume projects will be more difficult and more expensive than you initially think they will. 
  • Don't trust your good ideas to manifest through positive thinking - be ready to fight for them.
  • Trust the numbers. Numbers are firm but fair, and getting intimate with your business's cash flow can help you make more rational decisions.

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