Home > User Experience > 4 Scrum Methods to Boost Productivity in Your Everyday Life | by Mallory Kim | Sep, 2020

4 Scrum Methods to Boost Productivity in Your Everyday Life | by Mallory Kim | Sep, 2020

4 Scrum Methods to Boost Productivity in Your Everyday Life | by Mallory Kim | Sep, 2020

I say one of my boards because I have multiple Scrum boards. This is the one I made for my wedding last year, but I also have a board for house projects and for my business.

For larger, task-oriented projects I will make a separate Scrum board so I can keep things as organized as possible.

For my digital Scrum boards, I use Trello. I really like Trello because it’s free and it’s really easy for anyone to use.

As you can see in the screenshot above, I was able to tag everything with a category and a color, I can add descriptions, comments, and attachments to cards, and I can label the top columns any way I want.

I also invited my bridal party plus my husband as contributors to the board so that everyone was in the loop and others could help.

This way of visualizing your task list is so motivating and is ten times easier than having just a simple to-do list, especially for larger, more overwhelming things in your life.

Just as you would being part of a software development team, you should work in sprints.

Make yourself a schedule. For me, I like two-week sprints, but this could definitely depend on what it is you are doing, and how long certain tasks will take you.

Obviously, for a large project like updating the kitchen, that’s not something you can do in two weeks, but there are ways to break those tasks into bite-sized chunks, and that’s really the key here. For example:

  • Research backsplash tiles
  • Find a contractor who specializes in kitchens
  • Determine the budget

These would be smaller tasks that you could definitely assign yourself and get done in two weeks, and this makes a huge difference in the overall goal of updating your kitchen.

The smaller you can make your tasks, the less daunting they seem, and the more likely you are to start and complete them.

The more tasks you complete, the better you feel, the easier it becomes, and the habit forms.

By holding yourself to a two-week sprint, you are giving yourself a deadline for such tasks. When you don’t give yourself a deadline, you are thousand times more likely to put tasks off.

This might sound like an obvious one but you should always prioritize your tasks by assigning priority levels to them.

You can use the labels feature in Trello for this and label your tasks as High, Medium, or Low with correlated colors, or you can just physically order them by priority so that the next task you grab is the next in order of importance.

When you have a lot of tasks or cards sitting in front of you it can be overwhelming to try and figure out where to start.

By prioritizing your tasks before your sprint starts, you are taking the guesswork out of choosing your next task, which will eliminate unnecessary time and headaches from the process.

Hold yourself accountable at the end of each sprint. Even when things start to become a habit, it’s inevitable that you might forget things now and again.

I write and post a new article on Medium every other week, but even as I’m writing this article, I missed that deadline for myself. Since March I have been releasing on the same schedule yet time still slipped by me.

There are two ways that you can set a deadline for yourself. If you are checking your Trello or Scrum board every day, there are features within these tools that allow you to set deadlines.

Having a visual queue for the deadline can be helpful. But if you are anything like me and that’s not enough (clearly), then you should set recurring reminders on your phone that will actually sound an alarm telling you that something is coming due.

I now have a calendar reminder for every other Thursday that I need to have my article complete and ready to post by the following Monday. This is the most fool-proof way to make sure you don’t miss deadlines for those particularly important tasks.

At the end of each sprint that you complete, look back on your two weeks. Celebrate all the wins and successes and analyze where you can do better next time.

Figure out what it is that seems to hold you back from doing those tasks that you seem to be missing each time and set the priority as high for your next sprint.

Tackling the least exciting tasks first is better for productivity because you feel more successful and everything else after that will feel like a breeze.

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