A Life Reset with Scrum

Reset Your Life with Scrum

Lots of people use Scrum and Kanban in their personal lives, but have you thought about using it for a life “reset”?

 

When would you do a “life reset”?

  • When you’re approaching a big change in your life
  • When you’ve been through a tough time and need to recharge your batteries.

 

I was transitioning into the world of consulting. I had been through a rough patch of bad health, and I was also more stressed at work than usual. I needed some time out to myself to re-energise and also mentally and physically prepare myself to be at the top of my game for my next gig.

Planning the Sprint

I’d like to share with you a visual approach I took to getting the most of some time-out between careers. Here’s how I did it.

 

I planned a “Sprint” by:

    1. Giving myself a goal – “Reset and re-energise”
    2. Constraining the sprint to a timebox – of 1 month
    3. Decided on what success looked like – “Weigh no more than 73kg, feel 100% ready for the next big thing”
    4. And created 4 “epics” – Fitness, Improving Mental health, Getting ready for business, and Admin. Improving your mental health for me is as simple as relaxing to 30 minutes of music.
    5. I broke down each of the above themes into tasks.
      • I wanted to exercise at least 3 times a week, so I created 12 exercise tasks (some omitted from screenshot). Each time I exercised, I would move it to the “Done” column.
      • I decided it was important to do fun things, and created tasks like “Install LED Lights in Car”.
      • I created a task to do some community work, because I always wished I had more time to help the less fortunate.
    6. Every day, I would do a personal standup and decide what to do next. I’d chuck that in the “Next Up” column.

 

Example of a Scrum board for a “Life Reset” Sprint

 

Lessons Learnt

  1. Do not add unrelated daily activities to your board.
    Keep the “Life Reset” board focused on just that. Being the “Product Owner”, I had a tendency to add unrelated things to the board, like doing the groceries. I was mixing my daily tasks with the “Life Reset”.
  2. Pace yourself and enforce a WIP limit.
    There were days when I had 7-8 tasks in the “Doing” column. I was exhausted by the end of the day.
  3. Build in some slack for impediments.
    I ended up being sick twice during the sprint, which took days out at a time. This resulted in additional pressure, which goes against the idea of “recharging your batteries”.
  4. Focus.
    Always keep the goal in mind. This helps keep the focus and make decisions.
  5. Maintain a good mix of themes to keep your life reset balanced.
    Don’t focus on some and leave others behind. I realized I had a tendency to procrastinate on certain tasks. All the “Meditation” tasks got left behind till the end of the month.

 

 

Did I succeed?

Mostly.

 

I had all the logistics sorted for being self-employed. I read a really good book “Getting Naked”, by Patrick Lencioni. It taught me to embrace consulting and life with an open mind. I did some fun things I hadn’t done in awhile – like go on a road trip and install LEDs in my car. I volunteered for Daffodil Day and met some cool people. I feel recharged and I’m ready to take on the world.

 

My fitness did however take a back seat due to being sick during the sprint.

 

Give it a go. Plan a life reset.

 

Zhi Lee
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