Blog Post Series Part 2 – Task Management: Building a Plan

By Rob

Productivity and time management are a key part of running a successful business. During Lynn Hunter-Murphy’s workshop on Productivity and Time Management, Lynn offered knowledge, advice, and tools to maintain productivity and manage your time effectively. We will be sharing a four-part series of advice that was shared in this workshop. 

Task management is a key part of productivity that comes from building a plan from your mindset and intentions. Once your goals, mindset and intention are in place, the next step is determining what actions you can take to reach those goals in a way that aligns with your mindset. 

Here are the general steps to work on your Task Management:  

  1. Brain Dump –This step is about putting everything you have in your head on paper, even if it’s disorganized at first. The brain dump generates a list of everything you need for your next step.
  2. Identify important tasks – Next, you can identify which tasks are most useful to your next step. Sometimes, identifying the “low hanging fruit” or tasks that won’t take a lot of time, to gain momentum and lead to working on the tasks that are more time consuming. 
  3. Recognize urgent tasks – It is also important to recognize what tasks are most urgent, with the closest deadlines. For example, is there an application that’s due in the next week? Then, that should be your focus for the next few days. 
  4. Prioritize – Make a list of your priorities for the next 24 hours. 
  5. Estimate effort – Estimating effort related to the outcome achieved is one of the steps to task management. Figuring out how much time tasks take is a learning curve, especially if you haven’t done that specific type of task before. Once the amount of time can be estimated, this makes it a lot easier to plan. 

A useful tool to use for the task management process is the Eisenhower matrix. This tool identifies what tasks are the top priority, which tasks to decide if you have time for in the day, the tasks to get done when you can, or delegate if possible and the tasks that you should delete. 

 

 

 

This is done by filling in whether a task is important and then whether the task is urgent. If the task is urgent and important, then it’s essential that it gets done. If the task is urgent but not important, it can be delegated or be a second priority. If a task is important, but not urgent, then it can be completed once the urgent & important tasks are completed or moved to another day. Then, tasks that are unimportant and not urgent can be removed from the task list. This tool can be used as a brain dump that organizes your daily tasks and can be edited as tasks are completed for the next day. 

Overall, task management is the process of converting your ‘brain dump’ to tasks and organizing what is most urgent and important now. From here, you can move on to the final step – time management and complete the tasks that are useful to your goals. The next blog post will go over time management which will help you turn your mindset and task management into action.