We just discussed some basics of our lives and we will come back to more on those topics as we move along but we wanted to offer in this next article a conceptual construct on how to incorporate the basics, the non basics and the beyond basics into the reality of your life. And this is why.
Because, Life is Unpredictable
One thing you cannot deny learning from the year 2020 is that life is unpredictable. As much as we plan the full road ahead, outside factors can steer us away from our goals. We need to resort to plan b, or c and for many this year, facing themselves at plan D.
The Agile methodology is a project management process that was created by a group of software developers who wanted to improve the traditional development process of software, which they found to be too complicated and burdened by the paperwork of the linear process.
It worked. And today almost every new software is created and adapted by the agile methodology. And it can work on your life too. You can become more efficient and save more time on taking care of the basics in your life and have more time to spend on attaining your goals.
A Brief on Agile
Companies have always looked at projects like an assembly line of predetermined stages dependent on one another to progress to the end product. We begin with a straight process of how to get from idea to product. Early software companies used this notion of one process from A to Z too, in what was called a ‘waterfall’. But it was a long process with many obstacles, and a software company always needs to stay ahead of the clock.
Those developers decided to break that production assembly line into different small parts called increments within small time frames called sprints. Increments are self-organized goals that rely on transparency between the customers and the team for continuous evaluation and subsequent improvement. Sprints are short time frames for smaller goals. The agile methodology capitalizes on feedback at each stage as opportunities to embrace changes and new trends at each step. In this way, there is no single plan to follow and teams are ready to effortlessly evolve to meet changes.
It is time to look at the agile methodology as a way to embrace the unpredictabilities in your own life.
Agile in a Non-Work Setting
Instead of looking at your day or week as a linear sequence of expectations, you can divide your work into independent smaller chunks to prioritize and focus on. This way your time becomes more manageable and you are better prepared to embrace any variables along the way. To understand these agile concepts better for self-productivity, consider implementing the following into your daily lives.
Focus on the short term
Take a few minutes to focus on your long term goals.
Now divide each of those goals into shorter ones.
This will help you focus your energy on one task at a time and you will have an achievement to show after shorter amounts of time. Finishing even small tasks gives us a sense of accomplishment and the motivation to move forward.
Use a Sprint
Prioritize your tasks within a sprint.
To be more efficient, divide your work into one-week sprints where you decide which tasks to prioritize and which to save for another one-week sprint. In this way, you view your full pool of tasks simultaneously yet you are able to focus on what is important for the upcoming week and approach each week the same.
In software development the average sprint is 2.4 weeks, you decide how to divide up your weeks.
Embrace change as it comes. Begin working on your goals even before you have all the answers. In this way, you can be flexible to change and effortlessly ready to transform. Use this as an opportunity to get creative in your problem-solving.
Block Out Time
Block out time on your calendar to focus on tasks. Similar to sprints, allot specific times during your day where you have a distraction-free environment to work on each task. This will help you juggle your daily time management. Try it out and you can easily find ways to set this up automatically. For example, you can set on Google calendar an hour each monday for x amount of weeks to focus on x goal.
And lastly and most importantly, self-reflect each day. Collaborate with yourself and give feedback on what works to keep you productive and what doesn't. Continuously reflecting on your work is key to learning to adapt and self-grow.
In a world full of never-ending surprises and changes, it is important to start looking at our lives the same way. The longer we remain resolute to our long-term plans, the harder it will be for us to acclimate to change. Embracing agile into our lives can help us adapt quickly to change with our end goals still insight and without needing to resort to our plan Bs or Cs.