The most valuable lesson of Kanban is to limit work in progress. At the personal level, this jives with studies showing that humans suck at multitasking.
This is a hard lesson for me: My life is littered with the detritus of works begun, works planned, resources squirreled away against a future that rarely comes back to them.
A messy desk or hard-drive becomes an oppressive labyrinth: one sits down for a purpose, only to have all one’s energies dispersed for nothing down the forking hallways of might-have-beens.
Facing this honestly is terrifying: It means admitting one might never pursue that avenue, never chase that morning’s dream. It means confronting the brief spark that is human life; no, that’s not what frightens: rather, the dark that follows, as persistence of vision gives way to vanishing memory, and one’s name and deeds fade forgotten.
Please forgive my messy desk; the dark is waiting, and I would but close my eyes a while longer.