Task Management - The Basics

‚ÄčThere are countless books written on the topic of task management. There are also numerous apps to help you. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be complicated.

My recommended app is Remember the Milk (rememberthemilk.com). What makes RTM the killer app of task management is the ability to easily enter a time estimate for each task on your list. As your life becomes busy, having a realistic list of things to do can prevent unnecessary stress and frazzle.

The first step in keeping up with your tasks is simply writing down what you need to get done so you don't forget. In the app, you simply make a note in the Inbox. Each day you can sort through your inbox to assign a date to the tasks you need to get done and move the tasks out of your inbox.

As you are sorting your tasks you can assign the time estimate of how long it will take to get it done. Keep in mind - everything takes longer than you anticipate. This is called the planning fallacy. However long you think it will take you to do something, double it. Also remember that there are only 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. A substantial portion of that time is taken up with things we do everyday like sleeping. Keep that in mind as you give yourself things to do.

As you sort your tasks and assign time estimates you'll be able to start your day with a good sense of everything you need to do and how long you have to do it. More importantly, over time, an organized approach to task management allows you maintain focus and direction. You'll be able to complete the small steps that are necessary to achieve big goals.

The classic book regarding Task Management is Getting Things Done by David Allen. He gives a detailed approach to organizing your tasks. You can easily find summaries of the book on the web.

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Wednesday, 21 February 2018
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