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Johanna Rothman helps managers and teams solve problems and deliver products. Her most recent book is Manage your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects. You can read her blogs and other writings at jrothman.com Johanna is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 121 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Personal Kanban and Iterations, Day 5

05.09.2013
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I am still making progress, although it’s more difficult to see my progress today. Why? Because I did not get as much to done.

PersonalKanbanDay5One of my readers asked a question about the Urgent queue  and the relative ranking of my ever-growing left hand column. How did I determine what to do, and what was the rank of each?

The Urgent queue always trumps everything on the left hand side of the list. I was so frantic on Monday, I didn’t order anything when I put the list together. It almost didn’t matter what I worked on, as long as I made enough progress to get enough things to done. As you can see, I did pick and choose. When I rewrite my list for next week, I will reconsider what I need to do in order. I need to complete the workshops and talks first. Then do the writing. My list next week should be shorter, so I should feel less frantic and be able to finish it.

As for the ones I have added to the bottom of the list, trumping the older ones in importance? No, not really. They are there because I realized I needed to do them also this week. My todos are getting away from me. Putting them on the list means I don’t lose them. I can relax because they are there. Now, I have to focus and do them.

If you are wondering, will I continue this series next week? No. I will not. One week of this is plenty. I wanted to show you a number of things:

  • Everyone has trouble every so often, with too much to do
  • The best way to organize your work is to see it, not matter what you decide to do next
  • I like personal kanban, where I finish one chunk of work and go on to the next
  • If you keep your chunks of work small, you can finish one and continue on to the next one. If your chunks of work are too large, you can’t finish anything and you are tempted to multitask. (Don’t do that!)

If you want to see all the posts in this series, here they are:

To see a “real” personal kanban board, the way I suggest you do it in Manage Your Job Search, go to Personal Kanban for Your Job Hunt.

Read my Book Review of Personal Kanban for more information on how to do it right. And, Gil Broza will be interviewing me for his Individuals and Interactions virtual training May 15, 2013. My topic? “Focus Keeps You Going.” Surprised? I don’t think so!

Published at DZone with permission of Johanna Rothman, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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