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10 ways agile project management concepts can be used in your life

    1. Daily stand up session for your plan of attack for the day

    In the mornings, block off 15 minutes to ask yourself: what did I do yesterday? what am I going to do today? What is blocking me?

    2. Planning sessions to align your work with your 1, 3 and 5-year goals

    Scrum recommends that you have them before every sprint, which is typically 2 - 4 weeks. I think it makes sense to have planning sessions every quarter. Every quarter, determine whether what you are doing every day aligns with your long-term goals.

    3. Backlog refinement sessions for your goals

    In between the planning sessions, you can have backlog refinement sessions where you adjust what you do every day. Are you spending too much time putting out fires? Doing urgent things instead of the important things?

    4. Develop a board that tracks your work

    In scrum, the team has a board that allows them to visualize the work they have to do. You might have a task list but is it helping you categorize what kind of work you are doing? Does it help you see what else is coming up that you need to do?

    5. Sprint review to understand your progress

    While it doesn't make sense to demo anything because you're not exactly building anything, it does make sense to review at the end of a sprint whether you are accomplishing the work that helps you achieve your long-term goals.

    Note that these are different from planning and backlog refinement. Planning and backlog refinement focus on the what to do next. The review session focuses on what you have done. The different sessions do work in combination with others though.

    6. Have a scrum master in your life

    A scrum master on a scrum team is one who examines the process and coaches the team to help them self-improve. The scrum master often sees things that people can't see for themselves, which is why they are so valuable.

    Do you have someone in your life that is helping you see things differently?

    7. A retrospective that examines how you are doing your work

    A sprint retrospective is one where the team looks at how they are doing the work and identifies what went well, what could be improved, and what will be changed in the next sprint.

    In this case, you're not looking at the work you've done (those are the review sessions), instead, you're looking at how you're doing the work. What tools are you using? Software? Apps? Are you using the best tools you can for the job?

    8. Timeboxing your work

    One of the best ideas from scrum is the idea of timeboxing your work. Every two weeks, you take on enough work that will fill the two weeks but not so much that you have to work overtime or weekends to finish it. Not only do you only take the work you are comfortable in doing, you also take on work that you are confident you can complete.

    Be conservative about what you can accomplish. Then focus on completing what you set out to do. If you complete your work ahead of time, you can always take on more work. But if you take on too much work, you might burn out or feel like there's too much work and it's hopeless.

    9. Find a team to help you

    The power of scrum is not just in a different approach in doing work, but also in having a team working alongside you with the same goals. And while the team at first is not going to be great at working together, through the different scrum ceremonies, they are going to get better and more efficient.

    I'm often reminded of the African proverb: if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.

    10. Be the product owner of your life

    The scrum team typically work with a product owner, someone who understands what the business values and helps them prioritize the work. Now if you're trying to manage your life through scrum, you may have to rely on someone (say your boss or customer) to help you prioritize your work. But it's better if you figure out what work you need to do and prioritize accordingly.

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