How’s the Kanban Board Coming Along?

It’s been about ninety days now since we last came to you with our Kanban Board idea, so we thought we’d stop in to let you know how it’s coming along. A Kanban Board is a method for getting things done – and in our case – not just any little thing, but the most important things in accordance with our overarching long-term plan and vision for ourselves. As entrepreneurs, we are often pulled in a million directions and are asked to wear many more hats than we might’ve had to in a regular 9-to-5 role. As a result, it’s quite easy to feel overwhelmed, like you’re just spinning your wheels but nothing important is actually getting done. Being much more intentional and purposeful about what you would like to do is actually far more gratifying. Here are our biggest lessons learned so far as well as whether or not we think it’s worth continuing:

  • Use smaller stickies: We liked the colour palette of the sticky notes we were using, but they proved to be a bit too large. And the reason they’re too large is because of this next point:
  • Make the tasks smaller: The tasks need to be smaller. We made the mistake of putting sometimes whole mini-projects on one sticky note. Well that makes it quite demotivating and hard to check off. Instead, what we’re going to do next time is make each task as small as possible – something that can be done within 30 minutes or at least within a day. It’s far more gratifying to be able to move stickies down to the “accomplished” area of a board, keeping your positive momentum going throughout the week, month and quarter.
  • The Powerful Trifecta: We love the Kanban Board and want to continue using it into this next quarter. We’ve noticed it’s most powerful when combined with these three things:
    • Gratefulness Journal: write down 3-5 things every night that you’re grateful for. “Grateful” is our word for the year for 2019. Why? Because gratefulness is inextricably related to joy (and this year, we clearly plan on cultivating a good bit of both!).
    • Sunday Planning: this is a great part of reducing the “overwhelm” in your life. Sunday Planning makes all the difference. When you take the time to plan for your week, it helps you be a good bit more realistic about what can actually be achieved as well as what’s most important to focus on.
    • Two Year Plan: using all of this in conjunction with the two-year plan we have for ourselves, it helps make every quarter even that much more important and critical, thereby intensifying the focus each quarter on the most important things.

How our Kanban Board is set up: we used a simple vertical mirror divided into three sections:

  • Top Section: This is the “To-Do” area. Every stickie starts out here. Every stickie represents one small task (written on the stickie itself), and the color of the stickie denotes the larger category of a task or project that it belongs to. It takes up about 40% of the board.
  • Middle Section: This is the “Currently Working On” area – meant for stickies you intend to work on this week. It is the smallest section on purpose – representing only about 20% of the actual physical space of the board.
  • Bottom Section: This is the “Accomplished” area – the most gratifying of them all. 🙂 Needless to say, it is where tasks go once they’re completed. It is actually quite gratifying to be able to move stickies all the way from the “To-Do” area to “Currently Working On” and ultimately to “Accomplished.” Absolutely a feel-good.

So let us know what you think about this method of organizing your life and business. We’re including our video of this update below so you can check it out for yourself! Have you tried a Kanban Board yet?