Ideally, work and personal life should be kept separated; however, there are times when our personal activities get in the way of work, and vice versa. An example is when you need to watch your son’s baseball game, and there is a business meeting scheduled, or when you have to meet with a client, and are already running late for your anniversary dinner with your spouse. Because these things cannot be avoided, making use of personal task management is deemed necessary.
What is Personal Task Management?
Personal task management is the process of handling your own activities efficiently. This includes day to day chores at home such as doing the laundry and cooking dinner, as well as being able to perform your responsibilities in the family, such as attending school meetings and paying the bills. When you are a working parent, for example, dealing with two occupations (career and parenthood) can be overwhelming, so it is necessary for you to follow a system that will aid you in balancing your duties and responsibilities.
Task management is not the easiest thing to do, especially if you have to balance your tasks at home and at work. But by using a system or a process, you could be more effective, thereby saving yourself from undue stress and conflicts.
Advantages of Personal Task Management
When you make use of personal task management, the advantages are quite significant. This is particularly true for career-oriented individuals who are, at the same time, dedicated fathers and mothers. You see, when you are busy at work, it is so easy to neglect your tasks at home, and this also holds true when you are too preoccupied with your household tasks- your office tasks could suffer.
A great thing about having personal task management is that you will have a checklist of your own activities, and through this, you can pinpoint your priorities and put more focus on them, instead of having to deal with other unnecessary chores.
Another advantage of such systems is that you can plan ahead for the week or for the entire month. When you have a to-do list of your own personal tasks, you can forecast and make sure your work and personal activities do not clash, or are not in conflict with each other. If they do, you can always reschedule ahead of time.
Lastly, when you have your very own task management program, saying “No” will not be so difficult because you are already aware of what you need to do on a certain time or day. The problem with not getting a clear picture of your tasks and responsibilities is that you can simply say “Yes” to anyone’s request thinking that you can always finish your tasks “later.” For example, your friend calls you over the phone, inviting you for some drinks on a Monday night. You accept the invitation, only to realize later on that you have 4 things to do tonight. If you have a to-do list, you would have checked it before accepting or declining.
A Guide to Managing Your Personal Tasks
Managing personal tasks is very similar to what you do at work, and this is because it revolves around the same principles: prioritizing, consistency, efficiency, and discipline. Here are some guidelines that you can use:
1. Make a list of everything you need to do. This includes household chores, appointments, and even office-related work that you may need to bring home with you.
2. Break down big tasks into smaller, simpler ones. For example, if you need to “fix the kitchen” then maybe you could subdivide that into “paint kitchen cabinets” and “replace kitchen lights.” This way, you could make them less overwhelming.
3. Prioritize. Work only on those that are urgent and important, and get rid of others if you can. Once you have identified which tasks you need to focus on, make sure to follow through. Procrastination is your enemy.
4. Always keep track of your to-do list. Make it a habit to spend time writing down the things you need to do and do them. If you can be consistent, you should not have problems setting time for relationships and things that do matter in your life.