"Personal kanban": a life-changing time-management system that explodes the myth of multitasking
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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 your total number of "works in progress."
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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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 ...
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.
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Pursuing productivity for its own sake is counter-productive.
Most people feel able to complete more tasks when they start using time-management tools, but they don’t bear in mind that they can’t keep increasing their productivity forever, and they commit to more and more. In a few weeks, they are more productive but still frustrated.
Back when more people worked in factories, laborers did not have to deal with time management. At the assembly line, time was managed for you.
Freedom comes with responsibility: you have to think a lot more about how you manage your time.
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This works well for the chronic procrastinator: those who say they will do it later and then wonder why it never gets done.
Instead of getting overwhelmed, tackle your to-do l...
Rather than trying to work flat-out, break down your day into a series of work-sprints with a short rest period after each session.
Set a timer for 25 min and focus exclusively on your work for that time, take a 5 min break, and repeat.
Some people find that taking a 5 min break destroys their flow. But it does help to break long complex tasks into a series on manageable sprints.
The 2-minute rule is a strategy for quickly assessing and taking action on small tasks so they don’t take up too much mental energy.
Ask yourself if a task is going to take you 2 minutes or less. If so, just do it.
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If you spend more time planning and organizing than doing, it's time to shift your focus. Don't waste your time searching for "the perfect organizational system"....
Use the way to organize that is most comfortable to you, be it pen and paper or an app.
Saying No, and not committing to others as a habit, can be a powerful organizational tool, freeing you up from obligatory work, which clutters up your day and your focus.
Being an organized person requires a lifestyle change, and is not seasonal. You can't go back to not being organized after your work is done.
The goal is not to become perfect but to have a healthy, productive, organized and peaceful life.
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...
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.
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... by giving you a prioritized list of things to get done.
They help you to identify your priorities, outline what you want to achieve when you want to ach...
“By saying no, you are giving yourself the ability and bandwidth to say yes to the things that are more important.”
“If you often find yourself run down by your daily workload or overwhelmed by the complexity of projects and tasks in your life, it is likely because you have not fully mastered effective time management.”
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You are indecisive and often deals with things in the nick of time. But procrastination has a physical and social toll as your body and your coworkers get stressed over it.
You are obsessed with your idea of perfection and end up spending way too much time on a specific task. This leads to feelings of being overwhelmed, missed deadlines and delaying other priorities.
Solution: Make sure you have achievable standards that don’t get in the way. Train yourself to do things that fall short of your idea of perfection until you begin to accept that the “imperfect” but functional is enough for most things.
You often miscalculate how long it will take to do something to the point of missing deadlines and having to reschedule.
Solution: Schedule more time than you expect to take to finish a task, learn how to work faster and to estimate time more accurately. Reviewing past assignments duration will give you good time estimates for future reference.
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It is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don't do something about it.
It is also the one task that can have the greatest positiv...
"One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all".
The common struggles to conquer our to-do lists:
Most of us put way too much stuff on our lists. And that puts us on the path to failure.
Overstuffing our lists causes a continuous thrum of worry in our heads. And the worry that results from having too many conflicting goals causes our productivity as well as our physical and mental health to suffer.
We're just not good at constructing our to-do lists. It's not as simple as it looks.
Many of us aren't any good at formulating the tasks on the list, failing to think through steps and plans, so that when we're faced with too many tasks and too few suggestions on how to proceed, we don't complete tasks. Remember that the to-do list string around your finger is for you to make better plans using the list.
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Habits and work systems can produce the best return on your time.
Getting more work done is about knowing what to do, when to do it, and how to get it done in order to maxi...
Urgent but unimportant tasks = distractions.
Urgent tasks put us into constant “reply mode.” Important work is related to planned tasks that move us closer to our goals.
Anytime you are pulled away from your tasks, it takes time to readjust to them when you jump back in (sometimes it can take up to 25 minutes).
Interruptions (notifications, loud noises, social media, checking email etc.) harm your concentration.
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