A Very Important Personal Kanban Insuring I Have Your Back

I have said it many times before to many, many people, I have yet to come across a situation where I have not been able to apply a Personal Kanban to help me be better organized to sail through a situation, whether it be at home, at work, with my non profit or even with my extended family.  I’ve used countless Personal Kanbans but none as important as the one I made last week.

Recently a situation came up and immediately I thought of using a Personal Kanban, it was vitally important that I did not let anything fall through the cracks.  My father had been battling cancer and for a time he was in remission but recently we have found out that the cancer had returned in another area.  There are many aspects that go into anyone who is battling a disease, and with my family this is no different. There are many variables that need to be taken care of.   With my father’s situation one of those variables is that he is going to need surgery.  Of course every surgery is very important.  There are a lot of unknowns, many questions you have and most often you are meeting the surgeon for the first time.

When all of this came to light with my father I decided to start a new moleskine notebook just for information pertaining to his health and doctor appointments. Being that my parents are in a different state and I would be traveling to most, if not all appointments with them I thought that this would be a good way to have all the important information in one place and at our fingertips when needed.

I knew I was going to go with my parents to the surgery consult, so I began compiling questions for the surgeon.  I had also been collaborating with my sister and my husband for their suggestions and as the questions came in I began to fill up my Personal Kanban for the surgeon consult later in the week.

My Moleskine Personal Kanban filled with questions for the oncologist and surgeon

I set up my moleskine notebook with 4 lanes: one with questions for the oncologist, one for questions for the surgeon, one lane to put the question in when I have asked it and it was being answered and the last lane is titled answered.  I put yellow sticky notes in this lane that way I could put the smaller blue sticky note with the question on it on one of the yellow sticky notes and record the doctor’s answer right next to it.

Later on that week we met with the surgeon to discuss the prospects of surgery and what that procedure would include.  We went into the consult room and got comfortable (as could be) while waiting for doctor.  I opened my purse and took out my moleskine.  I opened it to the pages I had made the Personal Kanban on.  Immediately my Mom looked at me and said “I’m so glad you brought one of those sticky notes things with you do for us today.”  My reply, “I got your back Mom.”🙂

Moleskine Personal Kanban after meeting with the surgeon

I was using this Personal Kanban not only for myself but also for every member of my family.  We all had questions we wanted answers to including my parents. This Personal Kanban insured that nothing fell through the cracks and we got every question answered, every concern was discussed.  When one of my parents or I myself asked a question that hadn’t made it onto my Personal Kanban (unknowns do pop up especially in this type of situation) I simply wrote it in the answered lane as it was asked and answered.  What I have learned when going to doctor appointments is that sometimes you tend to get caught up on the first thing the doctor says to you and then because you are focusing on that first statement you really aren’t listening to the things that follow, that’s why I feel it’s so important to write questions down ahead of time.

We left the consult with the surgeon feeling we had every possible variable explored, and every question we had answered.  A lot of the time when you leave an appointment that is so important you feel so overwhelmed.  There is so much information to be relayed to other members of your family, very important information.  I was never so happy that I had prepared a Personal Kanban, sometimes the phone calls to everyone after the appointment can be so overwhelming, but this time I had all the information on my Personal Kanban which made sure that nothing was forgotten or overlooked.

Yes, Mom and Dad I’ll keep making my Personal Kanbans and I’ll forever have your backs. 

My next post:  Find out how I am using a Personal Kanban in LeanKit Kanban to track my students’ progress in my classroom.

You can check out Personal Kanban by visiting the website. I highly recommend purchasing the book, Personal Kanban Mapping Work/ Navigating Life by Jim Benson & Tonianne DeMaria Barry.

2 thoughts on “A Very Important Personal Kanban Insuring I Have Your Back

  1. Thanks for sharing, Patti! Although we may sometimes get strange looks from people who don’t get our “sticky things”, we know how they help to keep us focused on what’s important. And nothing’s more important than making sure you can support your dad through this.

    One thing you wrote in particular has stuck with me – how we often get hung up on the first thing the doctor says to us, and then we don’t follow through with our other unspoken questions. This is true of many meetings, as well. I often go into work meetings with my questions on stickies, either inside a notebook or even on the inside flap of my iPad cover. They never fail to keep me focused on getting my questions answered!

  2. Pingback: Personal Kanban and Recovering from Major Surgery « not out of reach

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