Personal task management is an important topic for students and professionals alike. What is task management, and why does it matter? Many people feel like they waste time during the workday or endure stress around meeting deadlines in a timely manner. With constant looming work deadlines and personal life stressors, a feeling of overwhelm can be the norm for many.
Personal task management skills help people alleviate stress and meet their goals. So, let’s explore what task management is, how to integrate it into your life, and, hopefully, get rid of some unnecessary stress.
What is Task Management?
Let’s first define task management. Personal task management is exactly what it sounds like: managing your personal tasks in a timely, efficient manner. However, as we define task management, it’s a little more complicated than it seems.
Simply making a to-do list doesn’t quite do the trick in helping us get done what we need to. Personal task management is a means of organizing the work you’d like to get done in the way that best fits your goals and lifestyle. Think of it as a mission statement: something you can return to when you’re not sure what to do next and which option best aligns with your duties and values.
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Task Management Skills
To be able to prioritize tasks and stick to that plan regardless of distractions or reservations is a skill – perhaps the most important of task management skills. Outlining answers to the below three questions is an effective way to stick to the tasks at hand while keeping the bigger picture in mind:
- What is the ranking of priorities?
- How much time do you have?
- Is help needed or can this be done individually?
Keeping focus is key. One critical task management skill is honing focus and eliminating distractions. Smartphones are one of the biggest distractors. They give us access to news, social media, and opportunities to chat with friends, all of which can be major distractions. Finding ways to eliminate exposure to whatever it is that may distract you is paramount to any personal task management strategy.
Methods of Task Management
There are many methods of task management. Finding the best method for your life is essential. Using an app can be a great way to organize your to-do list. Here are some popular app to build task management skills:
- Apple Reminders
- Microsoft To Do
- Google Tasks
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are apps out there beyond these mainstream choices that have more specific facets that may better suit your needs. Different task management apps or software can facilitate the following:
- Time tracking
- Collaboration amongst a team
- Monitoring progress in real-time
- Updating task progress
- Attaching notes or add-ons for others to see changes
- Sharing new information efficiently
- Creating individual to-dos within a group task
Many personal project management gurus suggest creating a hierarchical list because many procrastinators will accomplish their less-important tasks in lieu of tackling the most important (AKA, most daunting) tasks. Don’t fall into this trap!
Corporate Task Management
Corporate task management often means managing a group, or multiple groups, in the completion of projects. Maybe you’re creating a calendar or to-do list for a team’s weekly duties so the entire group can conceptualize and collaborate on tasks.
An efficient task management plan makes it easier to keep people on track while handling multiple deadlines at once, as is common in corporate settings. Corporate task management matters especially for salaried positions. Get your work done sooner by studying different methods of task management and honing your task management skills.
Student Task Management
Student task management is, by nature, more individual than corporate task management. Methods of task management for students should focus on time management and prioritizing work.
While corporate task managers might have the luxury of an assistant, students are mostly on their own. Spending an hour on Sunday planning the following week can be an effective way to organize studying, identify priorities, and schedule time for personal time, eating, and sleeping.
Establishing strong personal task management skills as a student will pay dividends come exam time when you can relax and maintain a healthy school-life balance while classmates cram. Studying frantically the night before a test and experiencing the high levels of stress that come with that is an indicator that you likely have room to grow in your task management skills.
Watch your efficiency increase and your stress levels decrease as you build these personal task management skills. The optimization of your life through task management will make school, work, relationships, and life better.
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