Using a Kanban for housework

Photo of basic Kanban board

I haven't yet used a Kanban, but I would like to use it to help me get housework done. How is a kanban any different from a simple to-do list you ask? With a simple to-do list there is no indication of how the items relate to other items, there's only an indication of whether the item was completed or not.

Surely if the task was to wash the kitchen dishes, that's all we are interested in. The problem is that sometimes I can't manage to do everything that is on the to-do list which leaves me with the question for the next day of either throwing away the old task list and starting a new task list or adding new items to the old task list until everything is done.

With a kanban board I would simply move items back or forward depending on the progress that day. The next day the items which were completed would be removed from that list. It would be helpful if the kanban board was archived somehow on a daily basis. I could imagine someone taking a photograph of the board every day, and in my case I would simply archive the kanban representation in a text file using a batch script.

Do I need a kanban just for tidying and cleaning the kitchen?

I probably do need a kanban just for tidying and cleaning the kitchen. The reason being is that it helps me focus on just the kitchen, which means I'll be more motivated to do the tasks knowing it's a relatively small list.

Perhaps each room could have its own kanban, and there could be a housework kanban which is perhaps maintained by a kanban bot, or my personal bot wearing it's kanban hat.

Getting started

To get started with the kanban it has to be really convenient, almost if my personal bot could write the post-it notes for me and stick them on the board. If I took a photo of my kitchen you could probably see within seconds what needs to be done, and if you can recognise that then why can't a bot be able to do that?

If I had the kitchen kanban.txt file in front of me I would simply add everything to the backlog list. Then I would move items I was confident I could do to the todo list. If I didn't complete the item it would return to the backlog section. Of course I may want to re-use a recurring task which would save me from having to manually add it to the backlog every other day.

Recurring tasks

Perhaps I would need a separate file which contains a list of recurring tasks. That way the bot controlling the kanban would identify items that once completed wouldn't simply be deleted but rather moved back to the recurring section. This would help mimic what you might do with post-it notes, the items appears in 1 list and then is moved to another list, and at no time appears in both lists.

The benefits for using a Kanban

I wouldn't use a kanban unless I thought there were benefits for doing it this way. The benefits other than getting the task done have to be realised although there is potential there for improving my time-management skills, organisation skills, and problem-solving skills. Including making me more efficient, more effective, more motivated to get things done, and more valuable to a team of highly skilled individuals.

21-12-2015 15:58