We all love a to-do list, don’t we! Whether we’re planning for our holiday, listing what chores need to be done, or planning our tasks for a day at work – a list is our trusty friend when it comes to sorting out all the tasks whizzing about our heads. The satisfaction of the completion tick, or the bold strikethrough - is one we can all relate to!
Whilst over the years to-do lists have developed, digitalised for cloud-based platforms, and adapted into project-management tools in all sorts of organisations, the standard to-do list does have its limitations - especially in businesses.
The first is the lack of context. In shared tasks, unless you’ve given a huge of background information (which can be confusing, and diverts away from the whole point of a list!), it can be difficult to distinguish context, especially if multiple team members are working on it. It can all become complicated too easily.
The second is a priority. Unless you specifically number the tasks, a list of jobs doesn’t tell you which are most important. Tasks get done in the wrong order, and well… you’ve got a complicated mix of chaos. Remember, team members will interpret the list in their own way and will start the task first that they deem most important. This may not be their fault, it may be a simple lack of miscommunication or information… but either way, the simple to-do list does not prevent this from happening.
That’s why, as an organisation, you need the optimum to-do list tool – Kanban.
Kanban is, by definition, a visual method that helps you manage your workflow efficiently and productively - developed as a system of Lean thinking. The Lean Methodology, introduced by the Japanese car manufacturer, aims to minimise waste and to add more value to the final product or service. Kanban was introduced by Toyota as a visualised scheduling system of tasks and has since found its way into all other sectors across the globe – in software development, IT and many more.
It was in 2007 however, that the Kanban method we know today was introduced – formulated by a man named David J. Anderson, who proposed the Kanban board.
To build your Kanban board, start with the 3 basic columns – ‘requested,’ ‘in progress,’ and ‘done.’ Essentially, the board acts as a real-time indicator of progress and will highlight where bottlenecks form in the production line.
These columns can be adapted to suit your business – for example, you could start adding ‘to do – today’ and ‘to do – tomorrow.’ This makes it suitable for all sorts of organisations.
Now let’s look at the 4 core principles and 6 core practices that make this Kanban the ultimate to-do list.
In order for the Kanban method to be practically introduced to an organisation, there are 6 simple steps (as outlined in Anderson’s book) that you should follow.
Whilst we hope that we haven’t completely overturned the standard to-do list for you, we do hope that you have seen some of the potential benefits of switching to Kanban for your business.
Especially with the monumental increase in working from home, there does need to be some form of organised communication between the different members of the team, and Kanban allows for this. It also allows you and your colleagues to continually improve your business workflow and processes – which is never a bad thing.
What is a ToDo List? The definition is a simple one. It’s a list of tasks you need to complete or things that you want to do.
Most typically, they’re organised in order of priority. Traditionally, they’re written on a piece of paper or post it notes and act as a memory aid.
One of the most significant benefits of why to do list is important that it will help you stay organized. It will also help those tasks appear more manageable.
You’ll be able to stay more focused because you’ve got an outline of what you’ve got to do and things you’ve already completed. Having tasks written in a list frees up space in your mind and allows you to be more creative.
Read More: Why to do list is important?
How do you make a to-do list that works? One reason why to-do list doesn’t work is that most people don’t know how to craft them correctly. You could end up with a list that’s too long, too short, too convoluted or too confusing, among other things.
Planning all the activities that you have to tackle then handling them in order can save you a lot of time and stress while focusing on priorities. To-do lists are some of the simplest productivity tools.
However, you have to use them correctly to enjoy any real benefits. A hurriedly made checklist can end up wasting your day rather than organising it.