Stop Starting, Start Finishing! My slides on how to improve your life.

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Here are the slides from my keynote Starting Start Finishing from the LeanKanban Nordic conference.

Thanks for the great response! It seems like this was exactly the type of stuff people needed to hear! Some of the most tweeted quotes from the presentation:

  • “Organizations with slack are faster than organizations where the goal is to keep people busy all the time.”
  • “Those who can’t say no to anything, are those who burn-out and must say no to everything”
  • “Time is free! You get 24hrs per day!”
  • “I wanted a long term client because then I can see the consequences of the bad advice I’m giving” (hmmm…. maybe I shouldn’t have said that… lol)
  • This tweet warmed my heart: “@henrikkniberg has totally done it for me today. I need to change my life! 🙂 #sssf13”

Below are some sample slides. I had a lot of fun drawing the pics for this presentation! Thanks for giving me an excuse to waste spend time on that 🙂

Oh, and before you ask. I used ArtRage (software) and Intuos5 (drawing tablet).


  • 1
    2013-03-14 - 13:05 | Permalink


    Nice post on how you can apply lean principles to improve the quality of your life through limiting work in progress and focusing on the things that matter. Your perspective here resonates with me.

    Reminds me, like Randy Pausch’s Time Management video ( does, that we can control how much we take on and focus on the things that matter most to us.

  • 2
    2013-03-15 - 08:33 | Permalink

    I really like these cool slides!! Thanks a lot for sharing it. I wish I could have joined the presentation, I guess it was a lot of fun too.

    What you achieved with the family trip is awesome. I started some weeks ago with my personal kanban an I got some more input how to structure it even better now.

    Done perfectly! 🙂

  • 3
    2013-03-15 - 16:48 | Permalink

    Hi Henrik,
    I am Cisco’s agile/lean evangelist (and enterprise coach).
    As such, I request your permission to use some of your graphics here for our community portal.
    Thanks in advance!

  • 5
    2013-03-15 - 16:52 | Permalink

    Hi Henrik,
    I found this post after seeing your “Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell” video on Youtube which is probably one of the best examples Ive seen. I am now curious to know if there is an available presentation of “Stop Starting, Start Finishing” somewhere out there? My wife and I own a photography business and just reviewing your slides seem like a great help but would love to experience the full presentation.

    Please let me know if it is, or when it may be available.



    • 6
      2013-03-15 - 16:54 | Permalink

      Hi! Glad you like it. There is no recording of this yet, all I have is the slides. This may change in the future though 🙂

  • 7
    2013-03-15 - 20:23 | Permalink

    very apt and useful and most lighter vien with great impact

    always liked your blog and presentation.
    am planning to use these slides with due credit to you, hope this is fine with you

  • 8
    Hossein Khalaj
    2013-03-17 - 10:40 | Permalink

    Thanks , its very useful.. 😉

  • 9
    2013-03-17 - 12:45 | Permalink

    Hi Henrik,

    Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing the slides. I´m a PMP enjoying working with Kanban to manage many projects at the same time. It was fun to see how it can also be applied to you own life 😉


  • 10
    2013-03-17 - 17:03 | Permalink

    Very good compilation! Congrats.

  • 11
    2013-03-17 - 20:53 | Permalink

    Very very interesting article. Congratulations!!

  • 12
    2013-03-18 - 10:44 | Permalink

    Hej Henrik,

    tack för bra grejjer… Love it och försöker använda en hel del av det där i mitt liv.

    Kul att träffa dig på konferensen … även om jag sprang till tåget innan jag fick boken 😉

    Allt gott

  • 13
    2013-04-11 - 08:24 | Permalink

    […] testa. Detta och mycket mer kommer upp i huvudet när jag läser Henrik Knibergs presentation om Stop starting, start finishing. Jag fastnar vid Do one thing until done. Stop saying ‘I do not have time’. Notice how […]

  • 14
    2013-04-17 - 11:03 | Permalink

    Hi Henrik,

    Its amazing how little things you do at home can help you learn, home work burndown chart, wardrobe WIP limits was fantastic, all the time I was happily laughing when reading those slides and back of the mind I was thinking how easy it is to adapt to simpler process

  • 15
    Jonathan Lange
    2013-04-28 - 18:39 | Permalink

    A friend forwarded these slides to me. They are great, but very tantalizing! Would be great to hear the talk, or read a write up.

  • 16
    2013-05-21 - 08:57 | Permalink

    Thank you! Your presentation motivates me.

  • 17
    José M.
    2013-12-12 - 18:34 | Permalink

    I’ve just seen this presentation and, well, I must say it is amazing. One of the things I’ve never been able to do is bringing all this stuff that I use in my everyday work to my personal life. I keep running the whole day. And you have given me the key. I hope to come back in some weeks to tell you that my life has become more efficient.

    By the way, apart from physical boards, do you use any other tool for task management? Specially having in mind the amount of time you are on travel.

    • 18
      2014-01-04 - 17:19 | Permalink

      Believe it or not, gmail is my primary task management tool. I’ve tried many others, but I keep coming back to gmail, it’s kind of the center of my universe when it comes to planning and coordinating stuff. I use with SaneBox and ActiveInbox, a killer combo. For tasks that live completely outside of the email world I use toodledo.

  • 19
    2014-03-04 - 18:22 | Permalink

    A brilliant set of slides. They really help concentrate the mind. I would love to use a couple of them, with due attribution of course, for presentations I give on Personal Kanban.

  • 21
    2014-08-24 - 14:09 | Permalink

    […] principles : to get things done, reduce work in progress. A principle also referred to as “Stop starting and start finishing“ or “Multitasking is the first step in multi-failing”. I sometimes feel […]

  • 22
    2014-08-24 - 18:46 | Permalink

    […] lean principles : to get things done, reduce work in progress. A principle also referred to as “Stop starting and start finishing“ or “Multitasking is the first step in multi-failing”. I sometimes feel multi-tasking could […]

  • 23
    2015-02-04 - 05:48 | Permalink

    At least this is more instructive than one of those reality Television stars,
    kim this? Joey what?

  • 24
    2015-02-04 - 07:22 | Permalink

    Inside the top 10 of my favorite articles, thanks!

  • 25
    2015-12-20 - 22:21 | Permalink

    It’s a shame for this amazing presentation not to have a recording 🙁 Cause it’s hard to figure out some slides without further explanation. I have read many books on self development and getting things done but the techniques and examples you have provided by far one of the most practical and useful ones that I have ever encountered. I think you should write a book on that. And please don’t forget to record and share the talk next time 🙂 Thank you for (all) the amazing work.

  • 26
    2016-02-07 - 18:20 | Permalink

    […] saying is as long as your attention is jumping to adjacent subjects then you too can “stop starting and start finishing” things as you grow not only with more skills but learn how to “deliver” your […]

  • 27
    2016-09-22 - 04:29 | Permalink

    I’d like to find out more? I’d want to find out some additional information.

  • 28
    2017-10-05 - 08:33 | Permalink

    unfortunately the Dropbox link doesn’t work any more. Can’t find them elsewhere.

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