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I think I may have found the solution to my on-going problem with KB. Basically, some of the tasks on my board are small chunks of larger tasks which might sit around on my board for up to a month or more. No matter how much free time I have to complete them, they won't get done because no one really wants to work on their personal statement or cover letter every hour of the day for a month.

In the above scenario, not only does this foster procrastination, it prevents other tasks waiting to get done, to be delayed.

I have created what I called 'protected days' whereby I have one day a week where nothing but one (or two) tasks are scheduled to be completed. The difference here is that these 2 tasks are not in my 'currently processing' column on my KB board. Absolutely nothing else can be scheduled in on this day apart from what has already been predefined.

So, in my situation, I have some online training to complete for work. Of course, this is already on my 'to-do list' on my KB board, but can't move into the processing column because I first need to complete my personal statement and the other 2 tasks which will also probably take up to a month. Creating this one day out of the week to address other tasks in this controlled fashion allows me to switch things up and create a sense of progression.

What do you think?

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With Personal Kanban, we recommend exactly what you are suggesting.

Sequester work and days into cognitively-like groups. That way, you can focus on one domain (a type of task, a domain, a meme) and not context switch so much.

We call these Orange Days.

Limiting WIP isn't just about limiting tasks, it's about limiting context switching as well. The more you can sequester tasks into like groups, the easier it will be to get your work done - cognitively as well as practically.

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Couldn't the real problem be that your tasks are way too big and should be split into subtasks? If a task blocks everything else for weeks it should probably be split into manageable chunks.

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This goes beyond simply breaking things down. For example, if I am preparing for an academic examination, I could break this down continuously to each chapter of the book, but if we look a the bigger picture, once the first chapter is done, the next chapter is waiting to take its place. It becomes a never ending stream of 'revision' no matter how much you break it down. To me, it will always be the same thing. The only difference it that yesterday I was working on chapter 1, and today its chapter 2. With protected days, you get to take a break and get the other tasks moving as well. – User_2313 Jul 31 '14 at 12:25

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