We live in a busy world; our day to day lives filled with a multitude of tasks. How do we cope with so many things whirling in our minds?
Owen, a project manager in Stockport writes:
My wife suffers from anxiety, she often gets worked up by a backlog of things she thinks she needs to do, or a build-up of thoughts and feelings that makes her stress, panic, procrastinate and over think. I have often suggested to her that when she has these tendencies, to write everything down; all the things she needs to do, prioritise them and then tick them off one by one. This seems to help with her anxiety attacks.
However, I was so busy worrying about my wife, I didn’t look within myself and realised that I exhibited the same behaviours. I was getting stressed out and felt like I couldn’t cope with my work load (it wasn’t particularly high, it just felt like it). I had been introduced to the idea of a tool used in project management called Kanban boards, which loosely translates from Japanese to “Visual Aid”. Kanban boards are used in process engineering and manufacture to prioritise and manage high dependent tasks. The method was demonstrated to me, and I thought that this was very similar to what I was getting my wife to do and thought that this could be applied to help me in my activities at work.
There are many ways to create a Kanban board, I’d go as far to say that it is a personal choice and Neale at OurBoards supplied me with a board with a 3 column layout; a “To do” column, “Doing” Column and a “Done” Column. This is a simple way to list and prioritise the individual tasks I need to do, keep track of what I am doing and then reflect and be satisfied with the tasks I have completed.
By moving “Gecko Task Cards” between the respective columns I can track my progress. This way of visualising my work, using the OurBoard, has proved to reduce my anxiety, stress and in turn has significantly improved my work effectiveness. The different coloured Gecko cards can mean many things, I chose to colour code mine such that; red means severe issues encountered/anticipated, amber means moderate issues anticipated/encountered and green means everything is fine.
I have found that Kanban boards, in particular my OurBoards Kanban Board is a much more powerful tool than simple lists on a piece of paper for a number of reasons; firstly placed on a wall in my office it is a daily reminder of the work I am doing and the progress I am making, secondly a red gecko card on the Kanban board will prompt a manager in the office to see if there is anything that they can do to help turn that red into a green, thirdly the gecko cards are re-usable and finally it makes me feel like I am in control over the work I am doing.
The quality and service provided by OurBoards has been second to none, they take the time to create a bespoke solution to your needs and wants. I would definitely recommend OurBoards and their products; especially their Kanban Boards.