What is task management?
Task management is the process of monitoring your project's tasks through their various stages from start to finish. This involves actively making decisions for your tasks to accommodate changes that can occur real-time, with your end goal being the successful completion of your tasks.
How to manage tasks?
Whatever tool you use to manage your tasks, whether a simple to-do list or a comprehensive task management tool, the most important aspect of task management is prioritization.
In PMI's 2017 Global Project Management survey, 37% of executive leaders said "the primary cause of failure [of projects in their organization] was a lack of clearly defined objectives and milestones to measure progress" and "a lack of discipline when implementing strategy.
The findings of this study show that establishing clear goals and working on a priority basis are absolutely essential to the successful completion of a project.
Say you're running behind schedule for a construction project and one of the pending tasks is a required safety inspection. Since the outcome of inspection will directly affect your project's future, prioritizing promotional activities for your project at this point isn't a good use of time and resources.
Other questions you should constantly ask during task management include, "Are my tasks getting done on time? Am I staying within the budget? Is the right person assigned to this task?"
Another interesting way to manage tasks can be by categorizing them on a deadline or priority matrix with "schedule" and "priority" as the axes. With this structure, necessary work that needs to be done immediately should be placed high on both priority and schedule, while necessary work that isn't needed immediately should be placed high on priority but low on schedule.
A team generally works on tasks that contribute towards its organization's goal. While working in teams usually means more work gets done, keeping team members in sync can be difficult. Task management software for teams can help you keep your teamconnected.
Why do you need to manage tasks?
Task management improves your workflow in many ways.
Make your work more efficient
Inefficiencies often stem from disinterest. Task management principles greatly improve productivity by making sure the right resources are utilized at the right time. This includes giving team members in tasks and responsibilities that match their abilities and interests.
Bring focus to your job
Whether you work as an individual or for an organization, all your tasks are done in order to achieve a particular goal. However we often end up doing things that distract from or don't contribute to this. If there's a systematic way to approach all your work items, your work will be more focused on the end goal.
Organize your organization
It's not always possible to work only on one task at a time. However, working on many things all at once can become chaotic. Organizing your tasks in a way that helps streamline your workflow goes a long way in becoming more efficient and reaching your target.
Implementing task management
You can manage tasks with a variety of tools, including:
Simple to-do lists or check lists
From grocery shopping to planning a sophisticated wedding, making simple lists to manage tasks never goes out of style.
Visually appealing and easy to use, these boards are simple yet effective. Dragging a task from "In process" to "Done" is almost as cathartic as striking it off a list.
What's a day without at least one reminder of that thing you forgot to do last week one event notification from your personal or work calendar? Adding deadline-oriented reminders on your calendar helps organize your time.
Whether you use cloud or on-premise software, taking the time to set up your tasks here will reward you with insightful resources, reminders, and reports.
Beyond just the tools you use, there are many points to remember while implementing your task management system.
The subtle art of saying "no"
Learn it. Practice it. Say it to anything that won't help with your goal.
Beware of killers
Time, or productivity killers (take note, anyone keeping an eye on Facebook while reading this) will make you lose focus.
Business as usual
Always remember to set aside time for your routine tasks while planning.
Balance your plate
Delegate tasks. You may be a perfectionist, but taking on everything yourself is a sure path to disaster.
Don't put it off
Things that can be done today should be done today. Procrastination leads to multitasking, and not in a good way. When everything is done in the last minute, tasks that initially required a week may have to be done in a day, which meanscompromising on quality for sake of time. Some tasks may even get missed. So plan properly, and stick to your plan.
Take a break
No one can be productive 24/7, so it's a good practice to prioritize even break-taking. Since interruptions are bound to happen throughout the day, taking deliberate, timed breaks with a productive purpose—such as reading that interesting article a coworker sent you or calling a friend you have spoken with in weeks—will help you come back to work with renewed vigor.
Mind over matter
Stop worrying about things that you have no control over. While planning, make some room for the unexpected to happen, but otherwise don't let it affect your work.
Who is task management for?
Task management systems benefit anyone who has tasks to do—which is everyone. People who pursue task management can fall into the following broad categories:
Stay up to date on how free or busy your team members are, and delegate work accordingly
Task management helps with delegation of tasks within a team, coordinating team members to work productively towards a common goal.
Personal task management
Get instant updates and notifications on all work completed by your team members.
Why do you need task management software?
From making plans to managing tasks, task management software helps you log and track every piece of information related to your project. The ability to keep track of your tasks, deadlines, meetings, and team responsibilities makes task management software a crucial tool for your business needs. If any issues arise, it only takes a click to gain insight into the exact source of the problem, take control immediately, and make changes to improve your work flow successfully. Additional collaboration features like chat, forums, and dashboard help your whole team stay connected and on top of the latest developments.