Hands up, who’s guilty of it? Having the absolute, best intentions when you start a day’s work in the office – you set off on the right track; open up a word document, write a catchy title – and even a few words of the first paragraph. Then one of those email notifications pops up in the corner. ‘Oh, I’ll just respond to one…’ you think. Before you know it, you’re replying to Sue in HR about her birthday party next month.
Multi-tasking is a useful trait - and could be argued essential – in some walks of life. Unfortunately, when it comes to focusing, being reliable and able to get jobs done – it’s not so useful. Although some of this comes down to your own ability to not procrastinate - there are methods you can use to help you focus, and stay on track to reach your ultimate goals.
It involves creating a list of tasks – but in a way that works most efficiently and effectively for you.
Whilst it may sound simply like a list of tasks,’ this isn’t entirely true. The most important part of creating your task list, is not what’s on the list per se – it’s the person who will be completing the tasks - you. You’re the creator and so it’s your responsibility to make it work for you. As cliched as it sounds, a task list is what you make it.
Of course, you have the option to make an endless list of tasks that you’ll need to complete that day, week, or month – and then feel completely overwhelmed when you realise you’ve filled the space of an A4 piece of paper. Or, you can do some research, and find an effective method to ensure you leave the office feeling like you’ve achieved all you need to, and you’re also a reliable colleague (hooray!).
Ok, so it’s not always just all about you – the tasks do hold some importance. More so, in how you structure them and relate them to your long-term goals. Here’s an example of a good work to-do list:
Do you notice something about these tasks?
They’re all specific – there’s no room for interpretation on what you need to do, and so you will remain focused. They will also relate to an overall project.
There are different ways to create an effective task list, and the first step requires you to explore the different methods available: the Ivy Lee Method, Eat the Frog, the 1-3-5 rule (and many more!) – they are all designed to help you get the most out of your planning and organisation. It’s not one size fits all – and so don’t expect your colleagues to always be marvelled when they try the one you can’t stop talking about. We have articles that go into more detail about developing your daily to do list using these (proven-to-be effective) methods.
The term for this process is Task management. If you want to know more about task management software or what is task management? We have some more articles on the subject.
There are a number of ways that you can track task lists across your team effectively. Working across a team, it’s important that you take into account your team’s opinion. It’s not always possible to please everyone – but you can at least allow for everyone to have their say. Here are some options:
Tracking your task list in teams
Microsoft teams are something we’ve probably all at least heard of by now. With its group chat features, collaboration tools and ability to meet from anywhere – we can all concur in saying that it is built for the new ‘working from home’ age. And, the question on all of our lips is- is there a feature to create a task list across teams? The answer is - almost.
Checkify soon to be available for Teams desktop, web and mobile client – the team to do list function, will incorporate both tasks by Planner (team tasks) and To-Do (personal). With the new feature, you can collaborate your task lists much easier across teams.
Task list software
If your company hasn’t jumped on the Teams hype, then there is other software out there that performs the task list function. Starting with the simplest form: Excel and word. They can be saved in a shared folder, and individuals can update progress. This does, of course, rely on the fact you can access these folders from home. You could even use Gmail, or Outlook which both have task list features. These both, however, are more suitable for personal tasks, rather than teams.
When it comes to software specifically set up for easy update across teams, there’s several available, including remembering the milk, notion, and todoist. Using software means that the to-do list is available at any internet connecting device, and can be easily updated. However, with so many options available, it is important that you pick a system that works for the whole team. Like we said, not one size fits all – and you have to be conscious of that.
Task list app
Often, the software mentioned above, as a standard feature will include an app for tracking tasks. With the majority of the population owning smartphones, and the increase in working from remote locations, there is an unprecedented need for a to-do list to be available at all times, and from anywhere.
As with the tasks you add to your task lists, there will be a number of factors that will play a role in the app that works for you. Some deciding factors may be as simple as device compatibility, whilst others may attract due to their accountability (see who is doing what and when), or their ability to delegate tasks. Whatever your priorities are and what you aim to achieve, there will be an app that works best for you. We’ve even taken the time to collate them all for you the best to do list apps – so take your pick!
Although a task list is no superpower when it comes to resisting the urge to answer your emails whilst doing another task – they are a great way to structure your time effectively and productively. Using the right method and software can have a huge impact – and so it’s important to find the right one.
To find out more about Checkify’s to-do list app and task management.
It is the process of handling the complete life-cycle of a task or series of tasks. Offering a more effective way to manage your workday, tasks and workflow.
It starts at the planning stage and covers tracking right through to execution. Task management allows you to track different tasks, right from the very beginning.
A to do list gives you a mental jolt to remind you what tasks you have to accomplish in your day. Many people see them as a tool for creating a shopping list for the grocery store but they can be a powerful tool in business. Task management is a to-do list with superpowers and far more suited to be business use.
Read More: Work To Do List or Task Management Software?
Task management is more than a to-do list it's a dedicated tool to help you track tasks from beginning to end, achieve goals, set deadlines, delegate, manage your team’s time more effectively and make sure projects get done on time.
There is various task management methodology that helps keep track of what you need to do and help time management.
Read More: Task Management Methodology