For some people, organization is a way of life. For others, “I don’t have time” has become a daily mantra. Regardless of the category you fit in, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to better organize your days, activities, habits and… task list!
We are more than happy to provide you 5 best strategies to try if you want to better manage your time, tasks and projects at work.
1. The Kanban Method
To apply this easy way of keeping tasks organized, you will need colorful Post-It notes. If you prefer to track tasks digitally, simply choose an app that fits your workflow, such as Trello.
Organize your tasks into 3 categories, selecting a different color for each:
- To Do
As your tasks progress, move them into their new spots on the board, until they’re completed. Also remember to add their due dates. You can color-code the categories by client, team squad, project or any other differentiator you prefer.
The Kanban method is a great choice for teams or people who want to see the big picture at a glance.
You know what’s cool? That you can bring all apps that keep you organized at work into a single dashboard, 100% customizable within the OneDock app.
Let’s say that you want to use Trello for a specific project, Asana to have a visual image of the task list and Jira to track time and assign tasks to other colleagues. Instead of keeping 3 or more tabs open in your browser, you can easily install OneDock, which integrates all of these apps and more. Basically, you can customize OneDock with your favorite apps. See the full list here.
2. The Eisenhower Matrix
This productivity tool suggests to organize your tasks into 4 categories:
- Important and urgent – first do these tasks;
- Important but not urgent – tasks to do later in the day;
- Not important but urgent – tasks you can delegate to other colleagues, if possible;
- Not important and not urgent – tasks you skip today, because they can be resolved another time.
The Eisenhower Matrix allows you to prioritize your assignments and it is helpful especially on days when you feel overwhelmed or overcrowded.
3. The 1-3-5 method
Here’s another example of how to organize your tasks. At the beginning of each day, choose 13 tasks you want to focus on during the working hours and split them as it follows:
- 1: high-priority task
- 3: medium-priority tasks
- 5: low-priority tasks
First complete the high-priority task, then move on to the medium-priority tasks and last, the rest of 5 low-priority tasks. Simple, right?
It’s highly important for you to understand that you cannot accomplish an endless number of tasks each day. Instead, make peace with the fact that you can deliver one big task, three medium tasks and 5 or fewer smaller tasks. Keep your entire to-do list organized into 9 items.
4. Organize tasks by difficulty
This strategy points out 2 interesting facts:
- Your mind is at full capacity and fresh at the start of your day.
- Your capacity to focus intensely is limited.
With these thoughts in mind, you can place the most demanding tasks at the top of your daily to do list, and continue with them in descending order, depending on the difficulty or level of concentration they require.
This approach ensures you have enough cognitive power to complete the hardest tasks first. It also allows space for small breaks in the afternoon, when the concentration capacity decreases. Think of this method like this: when you organize tasks by difficulty, your workday feels like a hill that you climb in the morning, when you’re well rested and fresh, and sail down in the afternoon.
5. The power of three tasks
If you can’t decide upon a task management system, you can decide to deliver 3 tasks per day, no matter what. You can choose 1 big task and 2 smaller or medium ones. If you have time to deliver more than 3 tasks on a certain day, then it’s even better. But try to establish this rule among your colleagues or managers, of delivering 3 tasks per day. This way, you will surely know you have accomplished something during your working hours.
Last but not least
Manage your energy instead of your time. We all have different working rhythms. Some of us are fully focused in the morning, others are night owls, while others’ brains completely shut down after 06:00 P.M. It’s important to find out the time of the day your energy levels are at their peak and prioritize your tasks accordingly.
Now you know a few methods, so it’s only a matter of trying and choosing the one that works best for you.
Remember that you also have a friend that can help you stay organized and productive at work: OneDock, the app that brings order to chaos, declutters your screen and eases your mind, so that you can get all the important tasks done. Try it for free and see for yourself!
Catalina Rascanu - Copywriter / UX writer at Telekom Romania