You might have heard the term agile thrown around before. It is a popular concept in software development and project management. It refers to a methodology that organizes the way in which teams work to deliver faster and better results, usually by providing their output in small, consumable increments and getting feedback on each step of the process.
An agile methodology helps you work fast and change to adapt to any emerging situations. Here is how you can take this framework and apply it to your daily life to become more flexible and efficient.
1. List out all your goals and tasks, long and short-term
The first step is to outline your work. Make a list of all your goals and tasks that can be visualized right now and that are clearly on the to-do list. Write them down and identify what are your long-term and short-term goals in order to have a clear picture of what you will be working with. For long-term goals, consider tasks you need to get done right away or in the next few weeks.
For example, if you want to write a book on business, the first step might be to start researching your topic. Add that to the list.
2. Divide and prioritize, focusing on the next 15 days
The next step is to divide your tasks depending on when you need to get them done. Outline everything that you have to complete within the next 15 days and put them in a separate list. Your task list should include everything, like buying a new gadget, going to the doctor, or acquiring a particular skill.
3. Do your sprint
The next 15 days will represent your sprint. You have to focus on your task list and get everything done. Check your tasks off as you complete them and try to get as much as you can.
4. Come back to your list and review your work every 15 days
Once the 15 days are up, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Check your list and see what you completed and what you didn’t manage to do. Maybe some tasks are no longer relevant or need to be changed, so make sure your task list reflects those updates. Update the list with any new tasks.
5. Make changes if you need to adapt
The goal of an agile methodology is to make you more flexible. Clearly, some tasks might come up in the middle of a sprint. What should you do then? Consider whether they can wait for the next sprint and add them during your 15-day revision. If not, add them to your current sprint, but make sure you push some things off.
You have limited time and energy, so don’t feel pressured to get everything done within those 15 days and identify the tasks that are less urgent or have a lower priority.
6. Focus on specific tasks
Sometimes, you will have the same tasks to be repeated each 15 days, like paying bills, for example. In those cases, each review you can focus on these tasks and try to find a way to optimize them. Ask yourself whether they are really necessary or if you are fulfilling them in the most efficient way.
Maybe you can automate or delegate some of these tasks. Do the same for any tasks that are important but do not motivate you and especially those you might procrastinate. If you see the same tasks appear over and over, incomplete, consider deleting them altogether or approaching them in a new way.
There are several advantages to applying an agile methodology to your life. It allows you to organize your workload in a way that makes it easier to complete.
Here are the main benefits of using agile in this way:
1. You keep your tasks under control
You always know what needs to be done and when. An agile list allows you to stay on the main tasks you need to finish and also to have a clear picture of what you must complete. Each task has a determined deadline within a period of 15 days and reviewing your workload every couple of weeks means you consistently refresh your priorities.
2. It keeps you motivated
Reviewing the list and checking off items will help you feel satisfied with your progress. It adds clarity and motivation, as you always have a grasp on everything you have done and what still needs to be completed.
Seeing the tasks laid out and how they are ticked off, one by one, gives our brain that little rush of dopamine, which according to studies keeps us engaged and motivated. It provides a checkpoint to see the progress you are making.
3. It gives you a better work-life balance
By integrating work tasks and personal tasks, the list offers an opportunity to balance your life. You can give more time to your loved ones and enjoy your time off without losing sight of the important work still to be done.
4. It boosts your productivity
An agile methodology boosts your productivity and makes you more likely to meet your deadlines. It provides a new opportunity for organizing your personal and professional tasks in a way that makes them easy to tackle and quick.
Agile methods are used across many high-profile companies because they work. With this, you have a chance to reap the same benefit in your personal and professional life. All you need is to commit to a two-week sprint and review a schedule that fits even the busiest of lives.