02 January 2011


Precious things, those. I've worked six days a week for the past six years, and aside from vacations, there are a handful of instances when one of our holidays is before or after a Sunday, thereby creating a weekend. This year we were lucky in that Christmas and New Year's were on Saturdays.

Sometimes I treat a weekend as a time to be lazy--last weekend, for example, was an Official Pajama Weekend--but other times, it's just a matter of setting my own agenda for forty-eight hours. I did a lot of housecleaning over the past two days, but it didn't feel like a chore. I wanted to tear apart my ofice, and dust, and vacuum, and rearrange drawers.

Personal Kanban has helped me manage my own agenda when time is tight. I've known Jim for a long time, and when he started imagining PK, I was following along with his various musings. This summer, I had the chance to help with early editing of the forthcoming book, which offered a deeper understanding of its flexibility as a time management system. For awhile, I was using a modified version of it (I think it's safe to say that ALL versions are modified versions) via the AwesomeNote app on my iPhone. And then subsequently I decided that the simplicity of the iKan app was more functional for me. (iKan isn't as pretty as AwesomeNote, but I never have to retype anything, which I was doing in AwesomeNote.)

Having my entire, unwieldy backlog of tasks I'd like to accomplish in one place lets me stop cycling them through my brain. I nearly always have my phone with me, so when I think of something, I can add it to the list on the fly. Limiting what I am actively working on gives me a framework for balance--if I have some odious job to tackle, I can assign something more emotionally rewarding to one of the other Work In Progress slots. And having a running list of what I've accomplished has the same resonance as crossing items off a more traditional to-do list.

If any of this is intriguing, check out PK 101-it's a great intro.

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