A project manager is a person who is ultimately held responsible for keeping the projects and teams on track, particularly when the pressure is at its peak. It’s a common knowledge that projects are made up of tasks/ subtasks, each of which has its own importance in the successful completion of the project. Now the only secret to getting a project completed is to manage its associated tasks within utmost efficiency. In simple words, you can’t succeed as a project manager if you don’t have control over your tasks (and everyone else’s). That means you need to bring your organizational skills into play. While working on a project, you need to identify all the tasks, figure out their duration, and put in all efforts to prevent them from falling behind the schedule.
In this article, we have put together a list of task management strategies that might help you manage your task list in a more productive manner. So if you are not sure where to start from, here are a few tips that can help you keep your tasks organized right from the start.
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Use kanban for planning
There is no better way to plan your tasks and projects than using kanban boards. A kanban board is basically a visual representation of your project and your team’s overall progress . For many entrepreneurs, applying kanban for task management is one of the most effective ways to sort work-related tasks/activities. The visual representation provided by kanban answers all your important questions like “what tasks are currently being worked on?”, “how many tasks have been completed?”, “are there any tasks that are likely to fall behind schedule?”, “what tasks do we need to do next?”, and so on. For this and many other reasons, using kanban is a must if you are looking to optimize your team’s task management.
Focus on one task at a time
A major mistake that most project managers and teams make while working on projects is doing more than they can handle at once. As a result, they end up doing nothing at all. If you are considering your task management strategy, make sure that you avoid multitasking at all costs. Insead of doing everything at once, you can consider breaking big tasks into smaller subtasks and then focusing on getting them completed one by one. Even the world’s greatest professionals have admitted to struggle whenever they plan to do multiple things at the same time. So keep multitasking at a distance and give your complete attention to one task at a time.
Do the scary tasks first
Since we all are humans, it’s completely natural to feel a little anxious while dealing with difficult and challenging tasks. In most of the cases, we make all attempts to avoid difficult things or in other words – we prefer to save the most difficult task for the last. Now, this approach might save a few sweat but we will have to deal with the difficult tasks some day, right? So why don’t we get them completed in the very beginning. Just think of all the thoughts that go through your mind when you have a challenging task and think of how much motivated or credible you will feel when you would accomplish them successfully .
Set time limits
A critical part of the task management process is to set realistic time frames against against each task. As a project manager, you have to define milestones and deadlines within a project based on the relevant importance of the associated task or activity. While doing this, you need to make sure that every timeframe you set is actually achievable. Keep track of tasks at work and try to avoid any undue stress on your project team. Keep your task list organised and set realistic time limits.
As a project manager, it is extremely important that you keep your task management strength clear in front of your fellow team members. Talk to your team on a regular basis, ask them about the project/task update (both success and failure), what frustrated them the most in their current task management strategy, and use their feedback to organise your tasks better. Effective collaboration is even more important when you are managing a virtual project team. It can be a little challenging at first but there are plenty of remote team collaboration tools and apps that make team communication smoother than ever before.
Develop an efficient filing system
Managing tasks and projects include a lot of paperwork. Tons of documents are created and amended when you are working on a specific task in a project. Now this can easily turn into a task management nightmare if you don’t have a proper filing system. And we are not talking about the old. If you want to organise your tasks, you need to ensure that all the documents and critical data associated with a project are kept at one single place. Doing this will save you and your team a lot of time since you don’t have to worry about searching scattered files for the latest version of a document.
Never forget risks
Believe it or not, fear is the biggest motivator of human behaviour, particularly in the case of task management and project management. You need to accept the fact that sometimes things might not happen as per the plan and think about the negative consequences. This helps you to prepare a task management strategy that ready for every scenario.
Use a dedicated software
Last but certainly not the least, if you are wondering how to organize tasks at work and keep everything in one place, you can’t neglect the importance of a dedicated online software solution. Check out ProofHub online workflow management and task management software. Save yourself from the trouble of handling outdated spreadsheets and to-do lists, get your tasks and teams online with this feature rich software solution.
Task management is an essential quality for every project manager. If you are not good at keeping your tasks organized, how can you expect your team to move the project forward? Just take a deep breath, do thorough planning. Take a good look at your resources, communicate extensively with your team, and with an effective task management, project success should definitely come easy.
So, what do you think about these simple time management tips? Did you try any of them? If so, tell us how it helped you stop procrastinating and perform more productively in the comments below!