Personal Agile: A simple way to start doing Agile

Whatever you do in your life, Agile can provide a framework for how to get your work done more effectively.

How to start?

The simplest way I know is to start each day by making a list of tasks that need to be accomplished. Next, prioritize the list by each task’s value to you. Do the most important thing first, and then progress down the list. Leave some time at the end of the day to reflect on what you accomplished. Note how much value you produced. Consider how you could improve your work process tomorrow. Then, forget about work for a while.

The next day, do the same thing. As you prioritize your list, try to take a fresh look at the items left over from the day before, without a lot of attachment to yesterday’s relative value. In fact, you may find that some of these items do not have value, or are not worth the effort it would take to complete them. Build the habit of removing these items from your list. The day’s new items may end up anywhere on the list, but will often land at or near the top. Repeat: at the end of the day, record the value created and reflect on your outcomes and how to improve your process.

Especially in the early days, it is more important to establish the habit than to get it ‘right’. Over time, you will notice a sustained improvement in your productivity and probably your satisfaction with what you are getting done.

Do this for 21 days, and you can call it a habit.