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A new productivity hack I am trying out

I recently observed my team mate who is also an avid Notion user use a Kanban Board to manage his daily tasks.

I got inspired and decided to test it out for a week.

For those who are unfamiliar with the “Kanban”, this is a visual system that originated from Toyota's production system and has been adapted for knowledge work.

It is a method that focuses on making work visible and limiting work in progress (WIP) for individuals.

The use of the Kanban system in manufacturing was the inspiration for using the same system in agile software development.

It turns out you can also apply the Kanban To-Do List to your own personal life.

Here is an example of what it looks like:

A basic Kanban board is a three-column diagram where the first column on the left shows the work that needs to be done, the middle is for work in progress (WIP), and the third indicates work completed.

Here are the benefits I’ve experienced after testing this:

🪷 Better focus

At any point in time, there should only be one item in “in-progress”.

By limiting the number of tasks in progress, we can focus on completing one task at a time.

This reduces the tendency to multitask (an ultimate productivity killer) and increasing overall efficiency.

🪷 Higher motivation

The method I use right now is timeblocking which has mostly been effective. However, I do find myself not having enough motivation to complete tasks I dread.

I started to use the Kanban board last week on top of timeblocking. I found it incredibly useful in helping with motivation.

A Kanban board basically gamifies the tasks I need to do, giving me a sense of satisfaction when I see tasks move to in-progress and completed stage.

It’s more fun than just having a list of tasks with text only.

🪷 Avoid taking on too much work

By visualising upcoming tasks that needs to be worked on and limits on the number of tasks in progress, I can better manage my workload.

This will give me more confidence to say no to ensure I do not overcommit myself.

If you’d like to try it out, I made a notion template for you to duplicate and use.

Let me know what you think after trying it out!

Charlie Munger’s final lessons for us

RIP Charlie Munger

In his final interview with CNBC, Charlie Munger was asked: “Is there anything left on your bucket list, Charlie?”

After pondering about it for a while, he responded,

“Well, I am so old and weak compared to when I was 96 that I no longer want to catch a 200 lbs tuna... Takes too much physical strength.

I would have paid any amount to catch a 200 lbs tuna. When I was younger, I never caught one.

Now if you give me the opportunity, I would just decline going after them. There are things you give up with time...”

This candid admission from Charlie, a man who had accumulated so much wealth, is a stark reminder that no one is immune to the passage of time.

When I watched this video, I am reminded of two things:

1. Time passes us all so quickly, whether we are rich or poor

So many go through life without ever “catching our tuna” and doing the things we really want to do.

Our dreams are often postponed as we pursue other things, thinking we’ll have time later.

The truth is time does not wait for you. You never know when is the last time you see someone or have the ability to do something.

Have a bias towards action and make things happen.

Make a list of one thing you want to do this year that you’ve been putting off and complete it.

For me, it was bringing my parents overseas which I already did. The next one is another 2 weeks in Taiwan later this year. 🙂 

2. Treat Your Body Like a House That You Have to Live in for Another 70+ Years

Every thing you will ever achieve in life depends on your health. Without it, nothing else matters.

Once it is compromised, everything grinds to a halt.

Learn continually; keep your body in the best condition you can and eat whole foods. Never sacrifice health for career.

I am sharing my Healthy Habits notion document for free. Please feel free to copy it and adapt it.

Recommendation: Remarkable 2

I use the Remarkable 2 almost every day as part of my job.

The key benefit of this device is to replace a paper notepad and also serve as a whiteboard for online meetings.

✏️ 1 Taking notes during meetings: This is because taking it on phone or laptop can come across as road. Using this device is usually a good conversation starter too.

✏️ 2. Read pdfs: In addition to reading books regularly, I read a lot of documents like fact sheets, quarterly reports, white papers, long articles online etc. Reading them on Remarkable 2 has been better for my eyes.

✏️ 3. Ideation: Constant reiteration is key to thrive in the tech industry. I ideate better when having a blank space to draw; create mindmaps instead of typing.

The device is thin and light, measuring just 4.7 millimetres. This makes it easy to carry around.

You can get $55 off a Remarkable 2 with my promo link here.

If you decide that you want to return your reMarkable after ordering it, then they offer free returns and a full refund within 100 days, starting from the date that your order was delivered.

I am a Singaporean tech worker and content creator. Every week, I share ideas on how we can become our best selves in our career; finance; health and relationships.

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