Once upon a time there was a pure chaos in my life. Do whatever you want and whenever you have time. That was fun … for a while. When I was studying this worked fine, but then I started working and suddenly everything changed. Time became very expensive. I realized that it’s time to try and manage this chaos by organizational changes. This would hopefully get me more valuable time or at least I would be able to use it wisely.
I started with GTD (Getting Things Done). Applied and tried it for about a year, but …. Well as usual I overcomplicated this simple solution with time estimations, time tracking. It started to feel like, I was spending most of the time maintaining GTD lists. It was getting more and more complicated. Something was wrong it shouldn’t supposed to work like that. My precious time was wasted on “management”.
Again I had to change my planning. GTD wasn’t for me. I stumbled upon one of the presentation in Krakow by Paweł Brodziński about Kanban. Presentation about project planning on cork board seemed cool and nice, I bought cork board some stickers and tried something new.
In this post, I will describe my current time/task management workflow which is at the moment working quite fine ( maybe because of the "new thing” hype ).
Long Term Planning
First of all let’s start with something that everyone should do from time to time. Long Term Planning. Before doing anything else, I am thinking about what I m going to do this month, year and what kind of goals, I want to accomplish, in the long run. This is really important, because it lets me think about my life and where should I go next.
I divide stuff into four areas:
- Personal – friends, family, girlfriend etc.
- Physical – health, fitness, activities etc..
- Technical - programming, math, algorithms etc.
- Social – planning, speaking, teaching, managing etc..</ol>
- Waiting – tasks that are waiting to be done
- Doing – tasks that. I am currently working on
- Done – tasks that have been finished in the current week
- Week log – place for finished tasks from previous weeks, there are four stacks for each week, so I have log of what I did in this month</ol>
Of course I will change this list a bit in the course of the year. But those are always minor tweaks. Also those points will provide nice knowledge about myself in the future.
It is really important to have a game plan of your life . Life is very complicated and most of the time we can only adapt to the situations. Control can be easily lost. With long term plans, I feel more secure for such situations.
I mentioned Paweł Brodziński and Kanban with some try and errors, I managed to create my own workflow for tasks. Cork board and sticky notes are really awesome.
This is my awesome board. I Divide it into four areas.
Between areas Doing and Done, I have two narrow openings that can contain only two tasks. Those are things that, I am working atm.
Sticky notes are in different color and of course this also has it’s purpose. Tasks are divided into six groups.
- red – important
- green – learn
- blue – blog
- pink – events,speaker
- orange- projects
- yellow – personal</ul>
- Cork board is always visible. You don’t need to switch windows or buy new screen.
- It has limited space. So I am not able to add hundreds of not important tasks
- it forces you to do something physical, move your body. That’s quire engaging and brain loves it.</ul>
There are also tasks that have two colors like on this screen. That means that this task is in two groups and in this case, when I finish the project I will write a blog post about it
Cork Board vs Software
At first I was a bit reluctant to use cork board and old fashioned sticky notes.
Now I only can only say that it is awesome
There is only one problem with this. What to do with recursive tasks ? Tasks that are repeating all the time. For those tasks I m using an android app called Due Today. It is really awesome and handy. Maybe in the future, I will find way to incorporate this logic into board.A lot will change, and I will adapt some things but that’s the beauty of this. By try and error I m creating something that feels good at the moment and is quite motivating (because I feel the freshness in it)