Task Management Skills
Are you constantly juggling tasks and projects feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to start? It can be daunting to deal with deadlines, pending tasks and heavy workloads. It often leaves you stuck and hampers your productivity.
Don’t worry! Prioritisation is a skill that can help you regain control of your workflow and boost productivity. By breaking down your workload into segments and setting priorities you can break free, from the cycle of missed deadlines last minute rushes and procrastination. The process of task prioritisation is quite simple. It involves revaluating how you approach your work and establishing an personalised process.
Below are seven steps that can guide you in prioritising tasks to enhance productivity;
Start by documenting all your tasks; Begin by transferring all the tasks from your mind onto paper or a digital platform. Create a master list of action items categorising them into types;
Daily tasks; These include routine responsibilities, like meetings, check ins and responding to communication. Tasks; These are action items tied to client deadlines, presentations or project milestones. Monthly plus tasks; This category encompasses tasks associated with long term projects and goals.
To organise your tasks and avoid feeling overwhelmed it’s helpful to break them down into items. Start by understanding what’s, on your plate and then prioritise accordingly. Project management tools can simplify this process by allowing you to effortlessly record your tasks manage your checklist and assign levels of priority.
Determine the importance of each task; Not all tasks are equally important. Its common to tackle easier ones first regardless of their significance. However research shows that focusing solely on these tasks can create a sense of progress called “completion bias.”
To overcome this bias it is crucial to evaluate the importance of each task. Differentiate between tasks that require attention and important tasks that should be included in your to do list even if they don’t need immediate execution.
To effectively categorise your tasks consider asking yourself the following questions;
- Who will be impacted by this task? Is it relevant to you your clients, your department or your company?
- What will be the reward or outcome once this task is completed? Will it lead to a client contract, increased revenue or the early completion of a project?
- What are the potential risks if this task is not completed?
By considering these factors when prioritising your tasks you can ensure an approach, towards managing your workload.
Could it lead to losing clients, revenue or slowing down project progress?
Once you have assigned priority levels to your tasks there are methods you can use to organise and manage them. These include strategies, like the “Eat the Frog” approach the Eisenhower Matrix or the ABCDE Method. Stick to a schedule that reflects your tasks; While you may have a calendar filled with events and appointments it is equally important to plan your tasks based on their priority. Make sure your schedule aligns with your work by proactively allocating time for high priority tasks.
By creating and maintaining a schedule that reflects the priorities of your tasks you gain the ability to anticipate days allocate work time and set reminders to stay on top of your tasks. Schedule your important tasks based on their importance and deadlines. At the end of each workday plan for the day by allocating time, for each task.
Make sure to keep some flexibility in your schedule so that unexpected events can be accommodated. Taking breaks, for self care, relaxation or enjoying activities is also important. Using tools like Teamwork or ORA.pm can simplify task management and scheduling by providing reminders and automating tasks. This will assist you in meeting deadlines and visualising the importance of your tasks.
Here are some suggestions to enhance your work focus and productivity;
Focus on one task at a time; While multitasking may seem efficient it often leads to subpar outcomes and reduced productivity for people. To stay on track it’s advisable to tackle tasks one, by one. Techniques like time chunking or the Pomodoro technique can help manage tasks that require concentration. Understand your capabilities; Accept that there are limitations to the amount of time you have in a day. If you find yourself stressed over a task or facing a block consider postponing or delegating it until you’re better prepared. It’s important to be realistic about what you can accomplish and maintain a work life balance. If a task isn’t crucial for your teams work or revenue generation allow yourself flexibility in managing it. Encourage teamwork, in prioritising tasks; Remember that your work doesn’t happen in isolation. Effective task prioritisation can be done collaboratively with your team. Make sure to communicate regarding deadlines and assigned tasks.
Work together to establish deadlines define project scopes and assign roles. Concentrate, on work without interruptions. Communication tools are helpful for facilitating these interactions. Through chat apps and board reviews team members can coordinate schedules discuss priority tasks collaborate effectively and ask questions. Teamwork ensures that everyone is aligned and working efficiently together.
To prioritise tasks effectively start by creating a task list. Then evaluate their importance and urgency. Stick to a schedule based on priorities beginning with the tasks. Avoid multitasking as it can hinder productivity. Recognise your limitations. Promote collaboration within your team. Project management can help streamline task prioritisation while keeping teams organised, focused and productive.
David Alssema is a Body Language Expert and Motivational Speaker. As a performer in the personal development industry in Australia he has introduced and created new ways to inspire, motivate and develop individuals.
David Alssema started his training career with companies such as Telstra and Optus Communications, and then developed Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) within workplace training as principal of Paramount Training & Development.
As an author/media consultant on body language and professional development David has influenced workplaces across Australia. He contributes to Media such as The West Australian, ABC Radio, Australian Magazines and other Australia Media Sources.