Dump Your To-Do List Now!

It is common practice to have a to-do list with the intention of getting all of your tasks written down so you can cross them off the list as you get each task done. But the to-do list actually does more harm than good, there is a much better way.

The to-do list is very simple in practice and seems to serve its purpose well. The tasks you have ahead of you are written down so that you don’t forget them and this also means that you do not have to waste mental energy in remembering them. This certainly has its merits.

However, the issue with a to-do list is that it tends to have a large number of tasks defined that can easily overwhelm you. You may not forget them but you are constantly reminded of how much more you have to do. This can easily cause you to procrastinate or become stressed.

Another downside to the to-do list is that it is very easy to overestimate how much you can get done in a given day. This causes disappointment when you complete less than you intended and can cause you to finish the day feeling like you should have done more and cause unsettled sleep.

A to-do list also does not clearly define how difficult the tasks are, how urgent they are and if they are partially completed. This results in ineffective multitasking and leaving the unliked tasks to the end.

The Japanese adopted a much better system called kanban. A development of this that is particularly suitable for our to-do tasks is called personal kanban. A quick search of the internet will soon show you that there are a number of people and companies that promote this methodology.

I have read a book by probably the most famous of the people who have developed a personal kanban system. The book is called ‘Personal Kanban’ by Jim Benson.

The approach that the author details in his book is primarily pretty simple. In its basic form, you write down your tasks on separate post-it notes (one task per post-it) and place them on a whiteboard in the READY section. You can have as many as you need.

Select the most important tasks and move them to the DOING section of the whiteboard. It is best not to have too many tasks on the go at the same time but sometimes this will be necessary, for instance, if you are waiting on another party to complete something before the task can be completed.

Now here is the most important part that satisfies the reward centre of your brain. Once the task has been completed, move it to the DONE section of the whiteboard. This gives a sense of achievement and it is easy to remind yourself how much you have completed that day instead of just crossing it off a list and forgetting about it.

Personally, I have an extra section that just contains the task I am working on right now.  So the system I use has the most important task that I am working on right now in the DOING section, the next three important tasks in the PRIORITY section and the remainder of my tasks in the READY section. I also have the DONE section for me to easily recall what I have achieved thus far.

The book goes into far more detail about how you can fine-tune your system to exactly what suits you best but the basics above are a great starting point. Why not try the basic system as I have described it above and modify to suit your needs. I highly recommend the book if you have a business to run as it will give you pointers on how you can maximise the effectiveness of personal kanban.

You can purchase the book by <clicking here>. I hope you found this tip useful.

Wishing you an organised and abundant life,


(Founder – BuildMyLifestyle.com)



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