• Expat in Japan
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How I use Trello to ensure I achieve my goals

We have just entered a new year and you know what means, new years resolutions. I think I am not the only one in saying this but I never seem to be able to stick with my resolutions or even worse not know if I am progressing towards them or not. This was a big issue since there was no way to track if I was achieving my goals or not.

Then I found Kanban and Trello. Kanban is… Trello is… Combining both of them gave me a visual way of how I am progressing with the tasks that make up my goals. There are many ways to set up a Kanban system but how I will show you what has worked for me for the past few years.

Let’s get started by downloading Trello from their site and creating an account. Once you have done that, let’s create a board. Right now it is blank but let’s start to create some lists. In Trello, you can create lists to place your tasks in. Using the Kanban methodology it is essential to have the “To Do”, “Doing” and “Done” lists. I think these are pretty common and can even be seen in generic to do lists. I had also started like this but I quickly realised tasks pile up very quickly in the “To Do” list. So then I also added a “This Week” and “This Month” list. These just represent tasks I want to finish within this month and this week respectively. Now that we have finished creating our lists, let’s create some tasks.

When creating tasks we should always add them to the “To Do” list, and when we decide we want to work on it, let’s say this week, we should move to the “This Week” column. It’s pretty simple to just create any task let’s say for example “Read this book” but then what makes a good task? I personally feel a good task for yourself is one that does not take a lot of amount of time and is clear… For example, if I take my earlier example of “Read a Book”, this does not fit under the criteria of taking a short amount of time. I would break this task so it becomes simpler let’s say ‘Read 10 pages’ which is can be achieved much quicker. Why do this? The biggest reason is if I see a huge task I need to do I will be put off doing it and procrastinate. If I see a small task, I feel like I can do that quickly and so let me get it done. Doing anything is better than doing nothing. If everything seems doable, I will do it and I will make small constant progress consistently and eventually reach that goal of mine. Also over time doing the simple task you set yourself at the beginning, you can increase the load, for example “Read 20 pages”. If you are finding it tough, reduce the load so it doesn’t seem daunting and you will do it.

Now that I have a bunch of tasks in my “To Do” list, I personally like to add coloured labels to them. The biggest reason for me is so that at a quick glance I can see visually which tasks are contributing to which goals. If I use the previous “Read 10 pages” example, let’s alter it to say “Read 10 pages of Finance book”. My overall aim is to be more competent in finance hence why I am reading a finance book. I will assign the blue to the overall goal of finance and add a colored label to book reading task and any other finance related task. If I have a fitness related goal, maybe I can assign that pink, photography is red and so on. I believe this is helpful in the long run and makes it much easier to track what you are doing, what has been done and what is left every time you look at your Trello board.

Scheduling my tasks What I do at the end of the week (maybe include recording what I have done at the end)


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