A huge proportion of articles on this blog is about using the best business practices, like agile development and lean startup, in your personal life. It’s something completely new and so many new terms were created.
This glossary will help you understand all the different and sometimes complex terms used on this website. You can also find links to the articles with additional explanations, especially concerning the context in which a term is used.
If you find a term on the blog that you think should be explained here, please send me an e-mail.
Agile & Lean Glossary
100 days Backlog is your quarterly plan (approximately 100 days and 7 sprints) with priorities selected from the vision backlog and the source of tasks for your bi-weekly sprints.
The AARRR Conversion funnel was presented by the venture capitalist Dave McClure. It’s a five-step business conversion funnel measuring Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral and Revenue. You can use the same technique to land a dream job and meet your perfect partner.
Asset-light living means that you buy digital goods online, store them in your personal cloud system and access them in the right place at the right time. Asset-light living helps you save space, time and money.
When you are interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient; but when you are committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results. Interesting is the biggest enemy of success once you have found your fit.
Biofeedback means using or being connected to electrical devices and sensors that help you to receive information (feedback) about your body (bio).
Cognitive distortions are the most frequent cause of negative thinking and negative emotions. Self-defeating emotions are caused by negative thoughts, illogical pessimism and strong inner critique. If your understanding of what’s happening is accurate, your emotions will be normal. If your perception is twisted and distorted in some way, your emotional response will be abnormal.
Your competence level is an accumulation of internal resources in your past – knowledge, skills, experiences etc.. The more internal resources that you accumulated in the past, the more competent you are.
Data-driven personal development means that you make important life decisions based on evidence and actionable metrics (data), not merely based on your intuition, limited insights that we all have or even social pressure and untested assumptions.
Daily 3T List are the three most important tasks from your Personal Sprint Backlog for a specific day that you decide for in your morning meeting. The three tasks are planned for 3 flows that last approximately 2 hours. That should be your plan for every day.
Daily morning meeting with yourself is the 15 minutes planning time before you start to work. The ideas of daily morning meeting with yourself is that you refresh what you were doing in the past to keep the momentum, you focus your activities for the upcoming day and you think about the potential roadblocks that you can encounter through your day.
Digital brain is your digital informational management system that can help you to free your mind from irrelevant information, you can store things for reference, write down ideas and so on. Your digital brain is nothing more than an electronic system for note-taking, brainstorming and archiving.
An emotional midget is an emotional immature person.
Environment you operate in can support you or drag you down in life. The following elements are part of the environment you operate in:
- Relationships (spouse, friends, family, coworkers, business partners, acquaintances, other)
- Market (chosen industry trends, occupation potential, structural changes, market size…)
- Country (political, economic, social, technological, legal, environmental factors)
- City (logistics, culture, fun, nature, food, education, kids…)
- Office (possibility of working with no distractions, no need for a long commute…)
- Home (quality of sleep, room for visualization of goals…)
Product/market fit means that you have the right product for the right market. Fit in personal life means, that you have found the right thing that fits you best in your personal life, weather it is the right diet, sport, spouse, business partner, technology or something else. When you find your fit you can really succeed on that area of life. How do you know if you have found the right fit for yourself? You simply know it when you stop asking yourself this question.
Genchi Gembutsu means go out and see for yourself in Japanese. It's a very simple rule that you don’t talk about things, but go and try them. Don’t assume, go out and test. Testing and trying is the best way to gain firsthand knowledge about yourself and the world.
Immediate implementation means promptly testing new ideas and keeping the ones that work in your life.
Infostructure is a system and a process of how you consume, manage and share information.
Kaizen is the Japanese word for a “good change” (Kai = change, Zen = good). In business it means constant improvement of all company functions, at every hierarchical level. In personal life Kaizen is often called having the growth mindset. The reasarch has shown that the biggest difference between successful and unsuccessful people lies in the mindset. You can either have a fixed mindset or a growth one. Growth mindset or Kaizen mindset leads to success.
Kanban is a Japanese word meaning billboard or signboard. The main principle of the Kanban system is better communication by visualization and visual management. The purpose of Kanban is to visualize work, limit work in progress, focus on the flow and constantly improve. The key components of the Kanban system are Kanban cards and Kanban Boards.
Kick-off routine consists of all the things that you do first thing in the morning for your long-term success. They are small rituals, like meditation, exercise, stretching etc.
Life accounting / Life metrics
With life accounting, you try to quantify yourself and very carefully and closely measure the progress you make in all areas of life. The most important thing is to avoid vanity metrics and the fake feeling of progress. Numbers don’t lie and you can manage only what you measure. Its also called being data-driven.
Life areas you have to juggle are:
- Your personality – knowing yourself, your beliefs, values, behavioral patterns, daily habits, your ideal-self etc.
- Your environment – country, city, home, office etc.
- Health and primary needs (body)
- Fitness / Sports
- Other (sleep, sex, breathing…)
- Relationships and people skills (love and belonging)
- Family (primary, secondary)
- Money and wealth
- Career, achievements and respect
- Emotions (your emotional body)
- Competences – Intelligence, knowledge and skills (your intellectual body)
- Formal education (degree, certificates…)
- Informal education
- Fun, creativity and travel
- Spirituality, self-actualization and giving back to the world (your spiritual body)
- Technology as a leverage for being more productive on all areas of life
Your life strategy are your main decisions about spending your time, energy, money, skills and other resources. Your life strategy is especially shaped by your beliefs, values, personal management system, like the AgileLeanLife.
Your life vision is the hope for what your life could be and something you can share with people you deeply care about. You should set your live vision by answering three questions – who do you want to become, what do you want to experience in life (and how to enjoy it) and what kind of a legacy do you want to leave.
Limits are nothing but minimums and maximums that you set for yourself in your life. The idea of limits is to not overdo it or invest too few of our resources into a specific thing. Limits can really help you organize your life and introduce steady patterns that are easier to manage.
The low-hanging fruit are simply targets and goals that are easily achievable. They help you with early wins in life. Early wins are very important, because they boost your self-confidence. Early wins motivate you and show you that it can be done.
Margin is the space between your load and your limits. Margin is the opposite of overload.
Testing and trying is the best way to gain firsthand knowledge about yourself and the world. For every new experience you get, you should decide whether to keep it in your life or not (pivot or presevere). Every new experience should also give you ideas and insights into what to try next. The idea of Minimum Viable Experience is to invest the minimum amount of effort possible into learning if something is your fit or not.
A not-to-do list is a list of tasks you simply don’t do, no matter what. You delete them, delegate them, outsource them or simply say no when they try to find their way onto your Personal Sprint Backlog.
In the 14-day reflection intervals, you set tasks for the following two weeks (the so called sprint). You should visualize your two-week execution sprint on the Kanban board.
Personas are fictional characters representing the ideal customer or a typical character for a user segment. When you are defining a typical persona for a selected customer segment, you are defining their goals, desires, behavioral patterns, buying triggers, limitations and other elements, such as demographics, biographics, geographic and psychographic attributes, and so on. You can use the same technique to clarify what kind of partner you want to attract into your life and where you want to work. You can also make an ideal-self persona that can help you with decisions where to grow and improve.
A pivot in personal life is a fundamental change in your life strategy.
Shut-down routine consists of all the things that you do before you go to sleep for your long-term success. They are small evening rituals, like meditation, exercise, stretching, reading, making love etc.
The Skyscraper technique in content suggests that you find a good idea from your competitor or somewhere else, you make it multiple times better and share it with the right people.
If your vision isn’t powered by a mission, strategy, tactics, motivation, execution and dedication, it’s only an illusion. In order for a vision to really have a lot of power and can help you empower your life, you also need to have a powerful why.
The process is the overnight success that comes after years of hard work. It’s the effort you put in that leads to the results you want. The process requires discipline, sacrifice, commitment and delayed gratification. The process is your sweat and tears, it’s the life’s test of whether you really want something badly enough.
In the search phase you just try, experiment, observe, reflect and learn about yourself and the world. The most important thing is to have no fixed ideas and no expectations at all in this phase. Your job is only to test the assumptions you have written down, correct them, and try different things to find out what suits you best. Your only job is to learn about yourself and the world. No goals. No measurement of progress. Just learning and playing. All the way until you find your fit.
Transactional costs tell us how much energy and effort it takes for starting some kind of activity. For a desired (new) behaviour, you want to decrease transactional costs to the minimum, really going as low as possible. For an undesired behaviour, you want to increase transactional costs to the maximum, always putting new obstacles in your way.
Through self-reflection, you can change how you see yourself and how you feel about certain situations and, at the end, how you act.
You learn about yourself and your environment by reflecting on your actions. Reflection is an insight into knowing yourself and life better. Reflection is an insight into how to do things in a better way. After every action you ask yourself, what have you done right, what have you done wrong and how you can improve.
You have to think regularly about why you are doing it and how you are doing it, and whether you are making real progress – the progress that brings value to your life.
In business, the SWOT analysis is used to evaluate strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in a project or a business venture. You can use the same technique in your personal life by performing a personal SWOT analysis
Everything you do and have in life (material things, relationships etc.) either adds value to your life or drags you down. Things that add value to your life are things filled with positive energy. Things that take value from the quality of your life (aka waste) are the things that bring the negative into your life.
The difference between what you think is valuable to you and what is really valuable for your life also creates waste.
Zombie life is being stuck in the land of the living dead. You don’t actually live, you just exist. On the one hand, there is no death, but on the other, there is no growth or moving ahead either. It’s just a terrible drain of human energy, only waiting for life to pass by.