Practical Tips To Help You Tackle Your To-Do List

Seven tips you can implement to efficiently manage your tasks

Practical Tips To Help You Tackle Your To-Do List

Work expands to fill up time! Time is limited; however, the task list is usually endless. No matter the amount of time we dedicate to work, we do not progress towards our goals or get anything done. Everyone experiences this during their work life.

In this article, we have put together seven tips to help you manage your task list and dedicate time to tasks that matter.

Read on!

Seven tips to help you manage your tasks

1. Create a master list of all tasks

Most teams have more than a communication channel to stay connected – emails, meetings, Trello, Notion, Asana, instant messaging like slack, etc. This means that your tasks and action items are scattered across different tools. It can be forgotten, deprioritized, or just lost if not collated.

Hence, the first step to managing your task list is to create one! Now, this can be a daunting task to go through each conversation across multiple tools to collate all your tasks. Luckily, Loopin has made this pretty simple. Loopin seamlessly integrates with your work apps, giving you the ability to triage tasks across all channels and maintain a centralized repository.  

2. Identify important vs. urgent tasks

The Eisenhower Matrix is a fundamental framework for being productive and managing time efficiently. The famous Eisenhower Matrix leverages “importance” and “urgency” to classify the tasks into four buckets: (a). Important and urgent; (b). Important but not urgent; (c). Urgent but not important; (d). Neither urgent nor important. Most individuals often focus on urgent tasks (but may or may not be important) and lose sight of tasks that matter. By classifying your tasks into these four quadrants, you can identify those that will help you move the needle and are critical for your team and organization.

3. Estimate impact to your organization

Implement this tip to prevent spreading yourself too thin and constantly find the need to multitask and change priorities. Once you know what tasks are essential, prioritize your time across those tasks depending upon impact and the value they bring to your team and organization. Prioritization focuses on tasks that bring the highest investment return to you and your team. If a task significantly impacts your organization, consider putting that task higher up on your priority list.

4. Communicate your priority with your manager

It always helps to have clear communication with your manager, especially around tasks you would be working on, to ensure any inconsistency is highlighted early in your task management process. An excellent platform to share this is through your regular 1:1s with your manager. Refer to the guide “Questions To Ask Manager In 1:1 Meeting” to ensure that you get the most out of your discussion with your manager.

5. Identify due dates and create a working backward plan

Once you have identified the tasks you would be working on, the logical next question is often - “So, when can I expect this by?” Get ahead of this question by scoping all your prioritized tasks, identifying dependencies, estimating effort, and calculating a tentative completion date after accounting for any external deadlines or downstream dependencies. Once you have the target completion date, create a working plan, and highlight critical milestones. Socializing this plan with your manager, executives, and stakeholders is also good to ensure alignment.

6. Block time on your calendar to complete your tasks

Now that you have prioritized tasks that you would be working on, the next step to ensuring that you get to your to-do list is by blocking dedicated time on your calendar. As the week progresses, the calendar gets blocked by meetings and doesn’t leave much time to complete tasks. Hence, week planning is a great way to ensure that you find time to get through your to-do list. Leverage Friday afternoons or Monday mornings to plan for the coming week – prioritize tasks and block dedicated time on your calendar to get to them.  

7. Plan for some randomization during the week

No work week goes as planned, but you can reduce the chaos by preparing for the unknown. You can do this by accounting for only 80% of your time to planned activities for the week and leaving 20% of your time for high-priority tasks and random action items that you get pulled in through the week. By doing this, the randomness of your work does not get in the way of your having a productive week!

Quick Roundup:

1. Create a master list of all tasks

2. Identify important vs. urgent tasks

3. Estimate impact to your organization

4. Communicate your priority with your manager

5. Identify due dates and create a working backward plan

6. Block time on your calendar to complete your tasks

7. Plan for some randomization during the week

Now that you have these tips handy... slay your to-do list!

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