The Task Management Cycle

The Task Management Cycle

Jen Lawrence
Jen Lawrence

Business Process Consultant focusing on streamlining workflows, optimizing tools, and aligning teams for operational efficiency and effectiveness.

Why do we all struggle with task management? 

First and foremost, we’re underprepared for today’s environment. Now more than ever the tasks never stop. In our electronic environment, there’s always something to do, and we’re always connected.   

Second, a lot of us are using what’s trendy. We tend to look at what’s shiny and new using the wrong tools instead of what we actually need. 

Third, this lifehack trend has popped up. We end up looking for a quick fix. Instead, we need to be building habits, not throwing solutions at a problem, hoping they stick.

So how do we avoid this? Understand how to best optimize the natural cycle of tasks.

“The natural cycle? What? Jen… did you just make this up?” Yes. Yes, I did. But stick with me.

To get things done, tasks go through a life cycle based on how we need to interact with them. 

Phase 1: Capture

How do you capture what you need to get done? What is your natural inclination? Do you grab a paper and pen, do you have a task management tool that you use?

Pick one method to choose from so you have one landing page for your tasks.

Phase 2: Organize

How do you organize what you need to get done? Is it using categories, labels, flags, lists? How are you going to organize everything based on your tasks? I recommend categories that will help you designate what is a priority. Use the functions available in the capture tool that you chose above.

Phase 3: Prioritize

How do you prioritize what you need to get done? This is an exercise you should be doing every day. Set due dates for a day before the actual due date to give yourself time. Use a simple ranking system of 1,2,3. Sit down with your to-do list and pick the top 3 for the day. It is a lot easier when you can see everything that you have out there. Prioritizing also allows you to be more agile when things come up. 

Now that you know all about the natural cycle of task management. Don’t go in and overhaul your whole process. Build habits over time! Small little tweaks will make a huge difference over time!

Start with your biggest pain point and go from there! You got this! If you want to go into more detail about this entire process, you can watch the webinar here!

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