Whip Out the WIP Board

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, I’ve been providing you steps to stay productive and focused in work and in life. If you completed your mind map last week, you might be overwhelmed with the number of tasks you need to do. Before you start any of them, prioritize! First consider your mission—your blue line. Work the most important tasks first, or focus on eliminating the constraint to your goal.

But that’s only half the battle of productivity. The other half, and one that people often fail to consider, is to limit how many tasks you start. Every task begun is now part of your work in process, or WIP, and too much WIP is one of the major reasons individuals and organizations become frustrated and don’t achieve their goals. For a refresher course on this idea, watch the video above.

The goal is actually to finish tasks, not to start as many as you can. So always start by considering what you can finish. Create a WIP board with three columns for your work—in the queue, in process, and completed—and put each of your mind map tasks in the appropriate column. Notice that the WIP column should have fewer items than each of the other two so that you can manage your time wisely and actually get some items moved to the “completed” column.

Here’s my own WIP board that I created from my mind map:

image of whiteboard with sticky notes attached


A WIP board is the key to turning a brainstorming session into tangible results. If doing this exercise takes you to a good place during this crisis, I’d love to hear about it. Post a comment below or get in touch!




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