Task management is no joke. It actually takes a lot of work and, if you don’t have the necessary skills and tools, it can end up damaging your organisation’s performance and results.
Here are 8 ways for managing tasks more effectively:
1. Make goals and visit them on a frequent basis
Make sure you're engaging in activities that support your business goals. Look at your short-term goals and long-term goals in order to see the big picture. It’s smart to re-visit them each day, week, month, quarter, and year.
This saves overall employee time, making the team much more effective. When the goals are set and clear, everyone will be able to do more with less stress or frustration.
2. Bounce back quickly from adversity
Details fall through the cracks. People miss deadlines. Projects go haywire.
Unfortunate things happen to us all the time. But if you're adaptable, you take adversity in your stride, never letting it hold you down. You adjust your thoughts and expectations to suit your new reality, rather than dwelling on the past. The last thing you want to do is to think about “what could have been.” If you want to bounce back quickly from adversity, you must be resilient. And then move on to the next task at hand.
3. Be prepared for anything
This is one of the most important rules when managing tasks. When you take on a task, you must also take into consideration all possible scenarios and outcomes.
What if someone on your team makes a mistake? What if the person responsible for the task can't find the time to do it? Do you have the means to make appropriate interventions? Look at every possible outcome (within reason) and be prepared to overcome anything standing in your way.
4. Break a big task into smaller pieces
How do you do that? By starting with the details. Dissecting a large and complex project into smaller, achievable tasks is an excellent way to make daily workloads easier.
Another task management tip is; provide clear instructions so your team members always know what they need to do. This will ensure they give their complete, undivided attention in order to be as effective and productive as possible.
5. Prioritise wisely
You should protect your time by prioritising your tasks. Start by working on the ones that will demand more from you. However, to get things rolling, it’s always best to get a smaller task done first. That way you’ll have that amazing achievement feeling we all get when crossing off another action-item.
Got something urgent on your plate? Quickly scan your calendar or list to see if there are any tasks that demand immediate attention. These are the tasks that you can’t avoid because not doing them can have possibly damaging consequences for yourself, the team and the company.
6. Focus on one task at a time
Multitasking is the quickest way to occupy your time. People take on more than they can handle, way too often. In fact, you've likely heard that multitasking is problematic. But many studies show that it actually kills your overall performance.
Frequent multitaskers perform worse because they have more trouble organising their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information. You should avoid multitasking by breaking complex tasks into smaller ones and focusing on getting one thing done at a time. Slow and steady wins the race.
7. Eliminate daily distractions
Everything demands your attention. Today, smartphones, email and social media all vie for your attention span. What people don't look at is the cost of these distractions to your personal and professional life.
In order to defeat these obstacles, you need to first learn how to slash cognitive and emotional distractions. Start by removing digital pressures. Putting your phone on silent and turning off notifications. Giving yourself frequent breaks. And, most importantly, knocking out the most dreaded tasks first thing in the morning.
8. Consider managing your team’s tasks in a shared tool
You will likely need a team task management template to help you manage yours and your team’s tasks. The bigger the project, the more vital it is that you have a tool to simplify things. As we mentioned earlier, you must always consider everything that can go wrong. Does it sound a bit too pessimistic? Sure.
But we believe it’s better to prepare than to dive head first and then have to face a situation you have no idea how to deal with. There are tools to help you with planning, strategising, preparation, short term goals, collaboration, project management, and more. Consider a platform that can visually show you what each of your team members is doing and what they should do next.
For advice on the perfect work management tool to get things done fast, get in touch!