Personal Kanban Book Summary - Personal Kanban Book explained in key points
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Personal Kanban summary

Jim Benson & Tonianne DeMaria Barry

Mapping Work / Navigating Life

4.1 (166 ratings)
17 mins

Brief summary

Personal Kanban by Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry is a productivity guide that presents the Kanban system. It helps to prioritize tasks, visualize workloads and improve workflow efficiency.

Table of Contents

    Personal Kanban
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    A work-life imbalance can cause you to lose sight of meaningful goals, but the Personal Kanban can help.

    Have you ever been overloaded with work, stressed out and struggling to find a free moment to kick back and relax? At times like this, even simple pleasures such as meeting friends for a drink seem like a far-off impossibility. Why does this happen?

    It all has to do with how we separate our work time from our personal time, a tendency that disturbs our work-life balance. It does this because our personal life and our work life are inseparable parts of the same life. In an ideal world, both aspects of your life are meaningful to you, but a problem arises when you allocate all your time and energy to planning just one part of your life.

    For instance, while you might find it silly to jot down a reminder to hang out with friends, you probably readily write to-do lists for work, a fact that may lead to your pursuing work goals until day’s end, at which point you have no energy for socializing.

    But that’s not the only problem. When you treat your life and work as separate entities, you risk permanently forgoing life-changing goals, like living abroad or more ethically. That’s because goals like that require taking action in both your work and your personal life. So, if you don’t plan out your goals with both these sides in mind, you likely won’t achieve them.

    For example, living a healthier life requires more than exercising and eating a few pieces of fruit. To truly achieve better health, you’ll need to reduce stress by doing things like taking regular breaks from work.

    Okay – so you’re ready to plan for both sides of your life. But how do you do it?

    With the Personal Kanban. A tool that will help you visualize and plan your to-dos as well as your activities, the Personal Kanban will also put you on the road to achieving your long-term goals.

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    Key ideas in Personal Kanban

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    What is Personal Kanban about?

    Personal Kanban (2011) is an adaptable tool for visually oriented people. It’ll help you to organize your life and your work, and to strike a balance between the two. These blinks teach you how to set up your own Kanban and how to put it into action, thereby maximizing your efficiency; they also provide insights into life patterns, allowing you to measure progress and limit the tasks on your plate.

    Personal Kanban Review

    Personal Kanban (2011) offers a practical approach to managing tasks and increasing productivity. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides simple yet effective strategies for visualizing workflow and organizing tasks, helping readers improve their productivity and focus.
    • With its real-life examples and case studies, the book demonstrates the power of the Kanban method in various contexts, making it applicable to a wide range of industries and professions.
    • The authors' emphasis on flexibility and continuous improvement makes this book highly engaging and relevant for anyone looking to optimize their workflow and achieve better results.

    Best quote from Personal Kanban

    Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted. - John Lennon

    —Jim Benson & Tonianne DeMaria Barry
    example alt text

    Who should read Personal Kanban?

    • Professionals in search of a dynamic and flexible life management tool
    • Anyone struggling to strike a balance between life and work
    • Creative people who find themselves unmotivated by rigid, one-dimensional to-do lists

    About the Author

    Jim Benson has worked for a broad range of organizations – from government agencies to Fortune 10 corporations to startups. He co-owns the software development copy Modus Cooperandi and is a management consultant who uses Personal Kanban to improve working environments.

    Tonianne DeMaria Barry is a management consultant. She’s worked in the fashion industry as well as for government agencies, non-profit associations, Fortune 100 corporations and startups.

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    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

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    Personal Kanban FAQs 

    What is the main message of Personal Kanban?

    The book Personal Kanban teaches us how to visualize and manage our work to increase productivity and reduce stress.

    How long does it take to read Personal Kanban?

    The estimated reading time for Personal Kanban is a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Personal Kanban a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Personal Kanban is an essential read for anyone looking to improve their productivity and organization skills.

    Who is the author of Personal Kanban?

    The authors of Personal Kanban are Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry.

    What to read after Personal Kanban?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Personal Kanban, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo
    • Making It All Work by David Allen
    • The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
    • Change by Design by Tim Brown
    • Get a Life! by Rick Hughes
    • Learning Agile by Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene
    • The Work-Life Balance Myth by David J. McNeff
    • The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim
    • The Devops Handbook by Gene Kim
    • The Elements of Scrum by Chris Sims and Hillary Louise Johnson