Personal Task Management: How to Keep Up With Your Responsibilities
It’s no secret that Coronavirus has changed everything about our world. We’ve gone from structured schedules and office jobs to working from home at our own pace. These changes are fantastic, but they also leave many people wondering about the best way to manage their time.
Are you struggling with personal task management at your job? Read on to learn how to sharpen your time management skills!
Start With Self-Care
When you think about your performance at work, you should think about the elements of work performance as a pyramid. At the base of your pyramid is the element of self-care.
You can’t pour from an empty cup. In order to perform your best, you need to be feeling your best.
Start by making sure that you get enough sleep at night. Most adults need at least eight hours of sleep every night. If you’re struggling to get enough sleep, try going to bed and getting up at the same time each and every day and limiting your screen time before bed.
Related: Celebrating Sleep Awareness
You also want to make sure that you’re eating healthfully and getting enough exercise. Begin your day with a healthy breakfast and avoid foods with high calories and little nutrition. Try to dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to get up and get moving.
By practicing self-care, you’re priming yourself to perform well at work and stay on top of your tasks.
Create an Old-Fashioned To-Do List
When things are hectic at work, it’s easy to forget everything you need to get done. That’s why it’s super important to create an old-fashioned to-do list so smaller tasks don’t slip through the cracks.
After you’ve finished your morning emails, get started on work projects by first drafting a to-do list. Sometimes it helps to write it down by hand so you have a visual representation of what needs to get done. It’s also pretty rewarding to check off an item once you complete it.
As you move through your day, don’t hesitate to continue to add tasks to your list. Adding to your list doesn’t mean you’re committing to get it done today, but it helps you keep track of outstanding work.
Rank Your Tasks
Once you have your to-do list in hand, you’re going to want to rank the tasks that need to get done in order of importance. You’ll also want to break down bigger projects into manageable pieces.
For example, if you’re working on a content marketing project for your business, break down the project into the research that needs to be done as well as the writing portion. Rank each portion of the project in the order in which it needs to be completed. That might look like: “project research,” “drafting,” and “editing.”
Time-sensitive projects should be completed first and longer-term projects should be reserved as an option if you finish your work early.
Create a Schedule
Your next task is going to be to draft your schedule for the day. Look at your calendar and determine which items from your to-do list you can reasonably fit into your day and when you can fit them in.
If your day is packed with meetings, you likely won’t be able to make much headway on projects that need long periods of focused attention. Instead, work manageable tasks into your daily schedule. Save larger projects for days when you have fewer meetings and more time to focus.
Try to limit task scheduling to the current day, especially if you work at a job that has a lot of unexpected tasks. This will save you from having to swap out tasks when something else comes up. It will also help you focus your day each morning.
Don’t Forget a Time Cushion!
Speaking of unexpected tasks, you need to add in buffers to your daily schedule to allow for things like unexpected tasks or phone calls.
When booking your schedule for the day, overestimate the amount of time you’ll need to complete a task in case something comes up while you’re working. You might also give yourself 10-15 minutes of empty time between tasks. If nothing comes up, you’ll have more free time to work on other tasks, and you won’t feel defeated at the end of the day if you don’t get everything done.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Your team is called a team for a reason. You’re all there to help each other reach a common goal. If you’re overwhelmed at work, don’t be afraid to reach out to your team and ask for help.
This is especially true if you find yourself getting bogged down with small tasks, reach out and see if your co-workers have time to pick up some of those tasks. If you lead a team, handoff smaller projects to people with less experience so they can build their skills.
Need help communicating with your team, but don’t want to spring for Trello? There are a ton of Trello alternatives available to help make communication and delegation of tasks super easy!
Prep for the Next Workday
Spend a little bit of time at the end of each day assessing what you got done that day and what is leftover for the next day. Start drafting your to-do list for the next morning and leave it somewhere conspicuous so you can’t miss it when you get ready to work. If you need to give yourself a reminder of where you were at on a project, annotate your to-do list with some notes.
Once you’re done, you can transition to your personal time with peace of mind!
Take Your Personal Task Management to the Next Level!
Adjusting to working from home doesn’t mean that you have to be less productive. With these tips, your personal task management game will be on point. Get ready to be a superstar performer in your career, because you’re going to get a ton of work done!
Are you interested in learning more about stepping up your game at work? You’ve come to the right place! Check out the rest of our blog for everything you need to know to make massive career strides!