7 Tips for Effective Task Management
Whether you’re the team manager or a regular worker in an organization, task management is a skill you must have. Task management entails knowing how to handle the tasks committed in one’s hands. Such responsibility doesn’t depend on one’s status in an organization. Because, regardless of who you are, a 100% delivery will be expected from you every time.
In this post, we want to teach you some tips that will help you handle tasks better from now on.
Seven Tips for Task Management Strategies
1. Create a to-do list
The first step involved in task management is identifying the things you need to do. Traditionally, people used notepads to jot things they needed to get done. Today, lots of smart apps have made life easier. With to-do list apps, you can make a list of things you have for the day. And then let the app send you notifications when it’s about time to begin a task.
For example, if you’re an SEO person, your to-do list could look like this:
“Today, I’m writing three blog posts, editing twelve YouTube videos, compressing images for SEO, publishing content on WordPress, and sleeping.”
Get your own to-do list app today and start creating your to-do list.
2. Workflow process
Another crucial aspect of task management is understanding the manner in which you’re going to complete tasks. It is not enough to have a to-do list. How do you intend to complete each item on the list? What are the processes involved in the workflow? Would you need to collaborate with others?
It’s advisable to clearly point out the process workflow to avoid confusion, difficulties, or delay. A good tool that can help you out here is a flowchart.
A flowchart is a type of diagram that represents a workflow and the step-by-step approach involved in solving a task. For example, let’s say one of the tasks on your to-do list is customer onboarding. Here’s how a flowchart can help you showcase the workflow journey.
You, too, can make similar charts using a flowcharting tool like Zen Flowchart. They have all the flowchart shapes you need to designate task workflows.
3. Break your big tasks into smaller bits
Starting with a big project can seem overwhelming, especially when many such tasks are staring at you. This is why it’s advisable to break tasks into bits before proceeding.
Some tools can help you do this swiftly without disrupting the integrity of your tasks. We’re talking about task management software like Asana, Jira, ProofHub, Trello, etc.
Many of these tools work in a card-by-card format, with each card representing a project piece. Going back to the SEO example referenced earlier. A tool like Trello can help you break your tasks into cards of the following pieces:
Card 1: Title of Blog Post #1
Card 2: Title of Blog Post #2
Card 3: Title of Blog Post #3
Card 4: YouTube video #1
4. Prioritize tasks
It’s important to attend to tasks in the order of their importance. As you will agree, not every task on your to-do list has the same level of importance. Some are clearly more important than others. Task management is about knowing which tasks are important at a specific instance.
Some people advise it’s better to complete complex tasks first before attending to simpler ones. But this is not always true. Sometimes, the simpler tasks may be of greater importance than the complex ones.
By and large, know what matters at every given point in time, and set your priorities based on that.
5. Schedule your tasks
How often do you pick up your phone to scroll through social media while working on a project?
If you’re like most people, you probably do that every time. Udemy says about 36% of the millennial and Gen Z generation spend roughly two hours of their work time checking their smartphones during the workday.
This is bad for productivity.
So, what can you do to raise your focus level and kick out distractions?
You need to create a schedule and stick with it. A schedule is a detailed description of your task’s start and due date/time. For example, a schedule can be something like, “To do XYZ from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.”
When you allot a certain amount of time to a given task, you will be more cautious of time wastage.
6. Focus on one task at a time
It may be tempting to think you can take on more than one task at a go, but this habit usually leads to a lack of productivity in the long run.
You are not a robot, and you will never be. In the first place, you need to avoid any situation that may warrant you to take on more than you can handle at once.
Another issue with multitasking is the tendency to make mistakes or make below-par deliveries. You should avoid doing that at all costs.
7. Delegate tasks
Delegation culture is a key part of task management. As humans, there’s only so much one person can do. To ensure there’s a constant movement of workflow, delegation is of absolute necessity.
Instead of bombarding yourself or a colleague with tasks that could be shared amongst many, delegation ensures everybody gets an equal cut of the project.
Speaking of delegation, using a task management tool like the one we discussed in #2 above can make delegation a lot easier for you. For example, if you use Trello, you can delegate tasks based on the cards in the tool board. So, suppose you’ve broken the big project into six cards, you can delegate each card (task) to six separate individuals. This way, everybody knows what they need to do once they log in to the tool.
Task management is a highly important part of project execution. It helps to create a clear direction on how the tasks in a workflow will be completed.
Don’t joke with it. Otherwise, you might find it difficult to complete even the smallest tasks.
Uday Tank is a serial entrepreneur and content marketing leader who serves the international community at Rankwisely. He enjoys writing, including marketing, productivity, business, health, diversity, and management.