techniques for managing tasks

3 techniques for managing tasks like a pro

Spencer Coon
Mar 23, 2017

All of us know the situation when you are on your way home from work, grinding over all the tasks you wanted to finish during the day and instead are reminded of all things that are impeding you from managing tasks like you want.

For these situations, there’s tons of suggestions for how to organize your tasks. But many of us get caught up organizing all the “productivity” techniques and a lot of time is, again, spend but not on the tasks themselves…

We’re going to show you 3 techniques, that really matter and by combining them help you to manage your tasks like a pro.

1. Minimize meetings

What are meetings for? For some people (your boss, for example), meetings are a power and social event and for others it’s a place to hide out. Taking hours to sit around, but only 5 minutes in total might be productive. We have a bad habit of “email-meeting-email” cycle where we actually never do anything but promise to collaborate at one point. Meetings are not a place where work is actually done. It’s best to find a strategy to avoid them. If you have to lead meetings take care to limit the time and use online task managers to organize real, actionable plans to get things rolling – not just another review email. When you need to attend them, have an excuse to escape them at will.

2. Create Different Long and Short-Term Goals

Usually there is no need to try to multitask, unless you’ve procrastinated all your due dates. You and your supervisor should have your tasks divided into yearly, monthly and weekly milestones.

Yearly Milestones:
Make a list of things you want to accomplish throughout the year. Think very high-level goals for this category. Let this be an overview of what to expect in the future from both your work and your team overall.

Monthly Milestones:
By reviewing your yearly milestones, the next step is to break them down further and draw up your monthly milestones. By setting smaller, more manageable tasks and milestones for each month, it’s easier to see how your smaller actions will contribute to the overall personal or team goal.

Weekly Milestones:
Again, go one step smaller to weekly tasks and milestones based on the monthly goals you set. You’ll find it useful to separate the tasks in categories and to set rough estimations of the time you need for each task. By using this method you won’t come under pressure of strict due dates. You decide on your own which task you feel like doing next based on your energy levels and workload. With this intrinsic motivation, most of us work more productively.
A personal note: it is vital to know your limitations or you will burnout and derail your productivity plan. Practice makes perfect in setting the right amount of tasks that should be done within a week.

3. Manage time with the Pomodoro technique

Once you’ve finally won a little time by reducing your wasted time in meetings and set your milestones and tasks, its time to actually get them done!

The Pomodoro technique will help you to work on your tasks with high focus for short timed periods. By not making mental switches from one task and distraction to the next, more work will be done in less time.

Here’s how:

  1. Pick a task.
  2. Start a timer and work for 25 minutes with full focus.
  3. Take a short break (3-5 minutes).
  4. Work another 25 minutes before taking a new break, and so on.
  5. Every four Pomodoro take a longer break (15-30 minutes).
  6. Continue in that cycle till your task is done and go over to the next one.

These techniques for managing tasks are a simple and easy guideline to follow. Give it a try and start managing your tasks like a pro.

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