Some Task Management Tips

I previously shared a simple method to conquer the task management beast in An Old School Method for Task Management.

Beyond the basic methodology, I do have some specific pointers that help me, many of which I have extracted from the many task schemes that have not worked out for me (many of the ideas come from David Allen’s Getting Things Done approach). Anyway, here is my regurgitating of the key things that work for me:

  • Don’t keep tasks in your head. That just creates stress. Write it down and free your brain to think impressive thoughts, create amazing deliverables, and guide complex stakeholders.
  • Not everything needs to be tracked as a task. Yes, I know. That contradicts what I just said. However, the more noise you put on your task list, the more the important ones get lost. Some things will happen without you needing to track them. For a contrived example: if you have a task to make 50 copies of a document, you don’t need to also have a task to print the document – that will “happen” when you go to make the copies and realize you need the original. Sounds obvious, but I find myself having to police my task list for these, which is why I mention it.
  • Only track near term tasks to detail. Still part of the “less is better” theory. A lot can change in a week, at the very least priorities are adjusted, at the most complete direction shifts can occur, so over-tracking the details of next weeks tasks is just creating additional work. Also, future milestones belong on the calendar, remember!
  • Use a list of projects to help brainstorm tasks. In addition to my calendar, I use a list of current projects I am currently working and ask myself for each,”Is there anything I need to do in the next few days to move this project forward?”

Remember to review your tasks daily. Otherwise you are just goofing around.

Once you get your tasks in order and have some free time, two additional sites that I have extracted some organizational gems from are 43 Folders and Lifehacker.

The following two tabs change content below.

Dan Hughes

Was a principal consultant at Systems Flow, Inc.

Latest posts by Dan Hughes (see all)


Comments are closed.