As a small business owner for over a decade, task management has become something of a second nature for me. Before I sit down and get started on what I’m working on for the day, week, or month, I have more than a general idea of what my major priorities are and how they fit into my schedule.
Still, it’s an ongoing battle. Some days are harder than others, as new to-dos make themselves known and obstacles like last-minute meetings get in the way. The unpredictability of our day-to-day duties means there’s no perfect way to put together a list of tasks and make sure they’re taken care of in an ideal order, which is why it’s sometimes a good idea to revisit the drawing board and see if we can find any new, more effective methods of managing our schedules.
Last month, author and speaker Michael Hyatt wrote an article on his blog entitled The Beginner’s Guide to Task Management. It’s a detailed, in-depth look at some different, simple tactics that we can try in order to make managing our daily, weekly and monthly tasks a little easier. Don’t let the title fool you – though it may be targeted towards those without much experience in setting and managing tasks, it’s definitely something every business owner, manager and employee can benefit from reading.
Here’s a snippet:
Reviewing your lists on a regular basis. This is the key to successful task management. It’s great to get tasks out of your head and into a trusted collection system. But if you never review it, it’s useless.
I have found that it works best to have a review system, so nothing falls through the cracks. I employ a pattern of weekly and daily reviews. I do the weekly review on Sunday nights and my daily review at the end of each day.
In my weekly review, I identify the tasks I want to complete in the next week. I flag them with a “This Week” context tag. In my daily review, I identify the tasks I want to complete tomorrow. I flag those with a “Today” tag.
With so much going on, it can be hard to keep track of every single task you’ve set for yourself, or have had assigned to you by someone else. Taking the time to go over what you need to do and refresh your memory can be a huge help in making sure you’re all caught up. As Mr. Hyatt states, a simple one-day-a-week system could be all you need to do so, allowing you to get up-to-date in very little time.
Mr. Hyatt also offers advice on maintaining a set of master task lists, creating tasks as needed, creating a Today list for each day, and tracking tasks you delegate to others. It’s a nicely detailed article that doesn’t overcomplicate the concept of task management, and can help everyone from seasoned business owners to new employees learn some ideal tactics for staying organized. We’d recommend giving it a read.
What do you think? Did you find this article useful? Do you have any of your own tips for task management? Your thoughts are always welcome, so let us know!