Hacking my Productivity

20 Nov 2014 in Design, Flow, Kanban, Learning Cycles, Personal, Productivity Hacks

I just responded to Tomis' post in his Agile Learning Center blog about how his time and work is structured. It's a part of his own practice in the Learning Cycle we talk about in ALCs (Intend --> Create --> Reflect --> Share).  So he's reflecting on his work and sharing what he's seeing so others can learn from it and be connected to him in his process.

I'm also trying to tune my work practices a bit, and have a new hack that I just responded to him about, so following his lead, I'm also going to share it here.  Besides, I need a place I can put the actual image. :)

[ === Comment Posted in Tomis' Blog ===]

Kanban Backlog Prioritization Hack

Tomis, 
 
It's great to see your explorations in applying ALC principles to your own work. It's so critical that the students see us authentically e
ngaging in the same kinds of processes that they are.
 
I've been exploring some of this for my work recently too.  I'm trying a 2x2-dimensional hack on the backlog in my main kanban to help me organize/prioritize my time and tasks (I know... you're using Trello, I'm still using mini-stickies on one of our folding mag-white boards).
 
I'm trying to keep myself focused on the activities that make the biggest difference, and let all the other ones drop away if needed. So I'm sticking the stickies into two different 2-dimensional spaces. The first focuses on the impact and reach of what I'm doing. Is it private? or public? Is it just for me? or to benefit many? How big is the impact of doing it? No big deal? Or game changing?  For example, writing an email response to someone may get prioritized below writing a blog post, because the blog post (when put in a a useful place) has a larger reach and impact. Information in email largely dies there and only reaches the person I sent it to.
 
The second space is about the maintenance stuff that I have to do in life, but this one is organized around how much it increases future efficiency and how urgent something is. For example, I could put "Pay X bill" in there near Urgent, if they're due and get it done again and again. Or I could put "Set up automated bill payments near Future Efficiency and make it so I don't have to waste much time in the future paying bills. This layout helps me be conscious that I do have to do hygiene/infrastructure work in my life, but that growing that infrastructure to let me waste less time on it in the future, let's my shift my work to the other quadrant where I get to make a difference in the world.
 
I don't know if it's really effective for me yet, but I'm giving it a try for a bit.
 
Thanks for sharing your mapping and sensemaking of your work domains!
 
-art