Whilst on a Business Trip recently, I bought and read the book Focus, by Daniel Goleman and I found it to be an excellent articulation of how a Disciplined, Focussed approach to life, both Business and Personal, can have a significantly positive impact on Performance, or as Daniel Goleman puts it, Focus is:
The use of a PPM, utilising the Personal Kanban and Pomodoro techniques has the potential to revolutionise an individual's way of working and make them more effective, whilst reducing the number of hours worked. Note that I use the word effective, not efficient, as the PPM is about both removing those things that don't add value and doing those that remain in a better way, whereas some techniques focus on efficiency and result in doing the same (wrong) things but faster. The PPM approach that I will describe has certainly improved my effectiveness and has made my work-life significantly more focussed as a result.
The way that it works is as follows:
1. Personal Kanban
The Personal Kanban approach is relatively simple to set-up but the challenge, as with most Lean Tools is the Discipline around its application. There are variations on the design and nuances on the 'rules' but the approach that I take is:
2. Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is not new, having been developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s and is named after the Italian word for Tomato, due to the predominance of Tomato shaped Kitchen Timers in the 1980s.
The idea behind the technique is that a Human can work best in concentrated focussed periods of 25 minutes, whereby they should focus on a single task and avoid distractions. In brief, the process is:
I have used this technique for a few years now and it is not an exaggeration to describe it as revolutionary. In the last couple of years, I enhanced it with the use of the Kanban flow software, which allows the management of the Kanban and the utilisation of a Pomodoro timer, as well as collaboration with others on projects. However, as with all processes, I would recommend making the process work for you before automating it.
In an increasingly distractive world, it is more important than ever that we enable ourselves to reclaim focus and I would recommend that anyone who might feel 'out of control' of their personal planning, or simply doesn't feel that they are as effective as they could be, to give this approach a try.
If you're interested in my recent Podcast regarding Being a Visible Leader, you can access it via this link or by clicking on the picture below. If you would like to read the Pulse Article, 'Being a Visible Leader', please click here.
There are many Lean Leadership Books out there but I have reviewed those that I think are of most use on my Book Recommendations page.
The book, Focus, by Daniel Goleman may be found at this link.
The Pomodoro Technique, by Staffan Noteberg, may be found at this link.
A Factory of One: Applying Lean Principles to Banish Waste and Improve your Personal Performance, by Daniel Markovitz, may be found at this link.
Follow Philip on Twitter: @LeanMaster1
"I aim to promote the global sharing of best practices in the application of Lean Thinking."