"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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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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