Do you know this situation when you have so many things to manage that your customary ways of tracking those to-dos are no longer applicable? If so, you are in the right place to find out what you can do to make managing, and by extension – completing projects, a piece of cake!
Choosing what’s best for you
The first thing that you have to know is that there are no universal truths when it comes to choosing how you should handle your work. Treat this like a piece of clothing that you just have to try on to see if you feel comfortable in it. Just like people, task management methods vary. Some will be your saviors and others will just never work. And that’s the reason you have to get familiar with at least a few of them to find your perfect match.
This method is probably the simplest and the most intuitive one. Basically, you create a list of things that need to be done (just like with a grocery list), check them off when they’re completed, and move on to the next task. This allows you to have a big picture of what you should do. It’s a very straightforward way that won’t consume too much of your precious time. It will not be good for complex projects, though, as it may not be detailed enough because it doesn’t leave much room for dividing assignments into smaller activities. If you need some back-room boys to help you with that you can try using Wunderlist, Anylist or a nicely named Remember the Milk app.
Here we have a ‘pro’ version of a previous, grocery list method. It shows way more information about what you’re actually working on. By attaching details to your project you can simply plan it step-by-step, as well as include resources required to complete it. So not only you have a list of what needs to be done and when but also how.
It’s based on 5 steps:
- Collecting all the information
- Processing it – deciding what should or shouldn’t be done and how?
- Organizing it – putting everything on a right place so creating categories etc.
- Reviewing – checking where you are to get current and find out what to do next
- Engaging – the last and most important one – just doing it.
GTD can track every part of your work and give you a remarkably wide view. But let me tell you – it can become a little bit messy and take some time to build up. Sometimes less is more. If you can’t manage it on your own there are a few apps that can give you a hand. The first one and the original GTD app is called Omnifocus, but you can try ThinkingRock as well.
The magical tool that really lets you go with the flow. Using text editors in managing your tasks gives you a free hand in what you can put there. It can be especially useful when you need a lot of space to describe a task or it’s specifics. It’s also totally free! The best thing about it is probably the fact that you can use an editor that you already have, know and trust. What can go wrong when it feels like home? But if you need a quick solution and you need it now there are two apps worth mentioning – Todo.txt and even simpler Today.txt
Putting tasks into rows, columns and sheets is very powerful. So use it wisely and swear that you are up to no bad! It will definitely become your best work buddy when you are managing many different projects at once. When using this method you can go crazy and use different color codes to set priorities and goals, not to mention the free templates that can turn your simple spreadsheets into project management charts and forms. To conquer the Beast, you must first make it Beautiful! A tool that can definitely make it easy for you are Google drive spreadsheets. It’s probably the easiest way to have it all because you can use them on every device and effortlessly share with anyone you want.
Managing a project can be a hard nut to crack. But a wise man said that together we can do everything. When it comes to productivity you should remember about your own tasks and deadlines as well as the ones that belong to other team members. When you’re working with a group, you need a way to keep up with what everyone’s doing and what still needs to be done. In general, it helps you to store everything in one place and encourages collaboration in the crew. Furl the sails and go with the wind! For example, you can use a team-based task management apps like Jira or Trello and reach for the moon. But if you are a really busy bee you can go the extra mile with your tasks using Timble which will gather all your task in one place (it’s also compatible with Jira and Trello) and make daily planning easier with a pinch of time tracking for smarties.
It’s definitely not an innovation, someone can even say it’s outdated. But I would rather call it traditional and classy. Using a notebook is obviously uncomplicated and everyone can manage to master it in minutes. But above all, it’s a distraction-free instrument on which you can play every melody. Now, imagine that you’re in a place where there is no wifi and what’s more your PC/Phone battery is dead. No worries! You’ve got the pen, you’ve got the paper. Nailed it!
To make it work you’ll need: pen, post-it notes, cork board and some assignments. The whole idea of Kanaban’s method is about starting with what you do now. You have to divide your work into three sections: to do, doing and done and put them on the previously mentioned board. Then you write down all the things and make a pre-selection. When everything is already on you can clearly see the process of your work. For some people, it’s crucial to have a physical contact with their actions and this definitely gives you the thrill and a tangible proof of how much you’ve already accomplished. Thumbs up for all the work freaks!
Change something you use every day. A classic example of this is just like in the title – tying a string around your finger. The basic idea is to put something in your way and that will remind you of a thing that you have to do. When we notice differences, our mind will focus and be jogged to remember the task. It’s an irreplaceable way of remembering the life or death matters and probably the only option for those of us who are just forgetful and incurable scatterbrains.
What do you think of the methods provided above? Will you be using them for your project management needs? Are there any other you use?
Originally posted 2017-01-01 14:59:46.