Why is their a need for task management to be incorporated in our everyday work? To begin with, if you are like most executives, you must have at least 25 individual tasks for you to take care of on any given day. Not all of these are of the same significance as the others; some are urgent and important; others are not urgent but important; there are those that are urgent but not important; and of course there are always those that are not urgent and not important.
When you are faced with all these tasks day by day, it will not be surprising to know that you might have difficulty balancing your work, being unable to prioritize the ones that need immediate attention and those that you can simply get rid of. Because of this, many career-oriented individuals like you rely on proper task management to help them when it comes to prioritizing tasks.
In essence, task management is deemed very important among executives because it helps them become more productive; it reduces the time allotted for setting priorities, encourages us to make use of the art of delegation, and enables us to differentiate from the four kinds of individual tasks which are: urgent and important, not urgent but important, urgent but not important, and not urgent and not important.
Prioritizing by Making a To-Do List
To manage your tasks, the first thing you have to do is to make a list of your activities and individual tasks for the day. Ideally, you should spend 10 minutes for this. A very good thing about making a to-do list is that you can clear your mind of unnecessary worries brought about by thinking of how you can get everything done on time. Studies show that when you have the list, you can be more productive by at least 20%.
This list will serve as your guide in managing your tasks. Through this you
can easily decide which tasks need to be done the soonest possible time, and
which ones should be crossed out of your list.
Delegating to Increase Productivity
Delegation can actually help you become more efficient when it comes to getting the work done, however not many people realize this. Instead, they opt to do everything by themselves, which then results to having to put in more hours at work just to finish a given task. Delegation is one of the ways you can implement task management, and this you need to understand and accept.
How do you delegate? First, you need to choose the kind of tasks you can pass
on to someone else. Usually, it is best to delegate those which are routine
work, as well as those that are not in your competency. Then, select a person
you think is capable of doing the work, based on skills and abilities, as well
as the personality and attitude of the person. Lastly, give clear instructions
and make sure they understand completely the goals you wish to achieve for the
task. And of course, do not forget to mention the deadline.
Knowing the Difference between the Four Kinds of Tasks
As mentioned, there are four kinds of tasks which are
1. urgent and important
2. not urgent but important
3. urgent but not important and
4. not urgent and not important
Let us discuss them individually.
People often become confused when it comes to distinguishing between the urgent tasks and the important tasks. Yes, there is a big difference between the two. We mistakenly consider urgent tasks as important ones when oftentimes it is not really the case.
Urgent tasks are those that need to be addressed immediately, and these may include answering emails and phone calls. If you are in the middle of something important and all of a sudden the phone rings, you need to answer it otherwise it will not stop ringing.
Important tasks on the other hand may not always be urgent but it could have a big impact on your company or business. This includes planning for a management presentation, providing a solution to a customer’s issue, or building good relationships with other people in your company or with clients.
Take note that some tasks could be both urgent and important such as handling a crisis, and it could also be not urgent and not important such as gossiping or surfing the web, unless you are doing this for research purposes.
Learning the skills of prioritizing, delegating, and differentiating tasks
that need to be done and those that are not necessary are what make task