As an executive or manager, your job involves handling a wide variety of tasks and juggling projects across your entire team. As such, you may become incredibly overwhelmed dealing with so many varying assignments. It is vital for you to incorporate relevant team task management strategies and tools. This will help you reduce stress, remain organized, and succeed in accomplishing a wide variety of projects with your team. Below we outline various tips for managing and organizing tasks.
Helpful Techniques for Organizing Tasks at Work
According to Business Insider, in order to succeed, business leaders need to accomplish tasks in a timely manner and get things done at the right time. Adam Gurian, President of Timex, advises managers and business leaders to tackle minor tasks quickly and immediately when they come up at work instead of putting them off for later. This will actually save you more time when managing a team.
In addition, at the end of the work day, complete any minor work to prepare for tomorrow’s tasks. Team task management should include organizing assignments, which will help you keep track of deadlines and day-to-day tasks. Some helpful techniques for organizing and managing team-centered tasks include:
- Taking short breaks throughout the day should help you remain productive when you are working to accomplish a project.
- Sticking to a schedule when working on projects with different team members.
- Discussing who will accomplish certain assignments and what deadlines your team members are comfortable with.
- Only opening emails that are clearly important in order to prevent wasting time on spam or random newsletters.
- If upper management is asking you to take on a task that you do not have time to complete, let them know. You can always say no in order to ensure all projects are completed on time and meet high quality standards.
Another time waster includes social media websites, which means you’ll want to block certain sites from your network. That way your entire team is more focused on work throughout the day. Gurian also advises using Skype and other technology in order to be more productive when communicating with team members remotely.
You will also want to structure your to-do list using new strategies to maximize efficiency, according to an article from The Muse. For example, you will want to include a weekly to-do list so that you’re not focused on projects that are due one or two months down the line.
By including a weekly to-do list, this will help you be more productive because your energy levels will vary throughout the week. This way, you’ll be able to finish certain tasks on more productive days and fewer tasks on other days. In addition, you will want to prioritize your to-do list. You will need to have a table where your tasks are separated using levels of importance.
This can especially be helpful in team task management protocols where multiple team members are working on one project. This method will help you finish the most important tasks first including those with an approaching deadline. Another useful strategy is to have themes for every workday such as accomplishing all administrative tasks on Fridays or focusing on a team-based project on Tuesdays.
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Key Strategies to Optimize Team Task Management
In today’s corporate world, more and more businesses are operating worldwide across different cities and departments. As such, remote workers are becoming a common occurrence and more employers are learning ways to manage projects and assignments across a team remotely. Forbes reports that business leaders would benefit from getting input from employees and creating policies around team task management to ensure productivity is at optimal levels.
In addition, by incorporating employees across multiple regions and expanding your company across the nation, you’ll be able to tap into new markets. Employing workers across the country will allow them to gain new clients and network within the industry in different regions.
5 key strategies for improving team task management include:
1. Holding weekly meetings either in-person or through Skype.
2. Employing cloud-based software tools and time management software will help you better handle team projects.
3. Using effective project management tools especially when working with teams located in different cities or locations. Mobile phone applications can also come in handy in terms of tracking emails, holding scheduled video calls, and messaging workers in order to set up meetings.
4. Focusing on enhancing your workers’ performance and quality of work instead of worrying over the time spent or quantity of work completed. Make sure projects are running smoothly at a desired pace and quality isn’t compromised. Otherwise, remote workers should be able to take on the hours they can handle.
5. Avoiding micromanaging your team. This means you should set goals for your team, but not track their activities every single hour of every workday.
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Important Task Distribution Methods
One of the biggest problems that a manager has is the difficulty of distributing tasks among team members. This is complex because some workers can take on much more work than others. Some may be struggling and unable to take on too many tasks.
Determining that no one is being overworked and others have enough work to fill up their day is quite a balancing act for managers, according to the Harvard Business Review. In order to distribute tasks, you will first need to make a plan and clarify plans among your team.
“[Make sure] your team members are crystal clear on their roles,” Julie Morgenstern, productivity expert and author of Never Check E-Mail in the Morning, told the news source. “Each person is a player, and the surer [you and they are] of their roles and responsibilities, the easier it is for you to assign work, review work, and demand excellence.”
You will need to make a list of all the tasks that need to be completed and then consider the strengths and skills of your employees. You can then assign tasks based on the abilities of your workers and truly tap into the talent available at your company.
You will want to set expectations among your team members and ensure that everyone is being treated fairly based on the pace each individual works at. You’ll also need to have one-on-one conversations with your team members to ensure everyone understands what is expected of them and to help keep them motivated and on task throughout a project. You will also want to be flexible with your team in case anyone’s priorities change or things need to be put off until later in the year.
The RACI Matrix can be used to define and document the roles of team members and assign project tasks and responsibilities for every employee, according to an article from CIO. Confusion around the roles and responsibilities of team members tend to cause the biggest problems in terms of completing key projects. This is why the RACI Matrix can be very effective with helping a team succeed in pulling off major assignments.
The RACI Matrix is a chart where all assignments are documented based on every decision and goal of a project. Roles are assigned and everyone knows what they are accountable for. You can create a RACI Matrix by identifying all the tasks and listing them on the left side of the chart.
Then you’ll want to identify all of the key stakeholders by listing them on the top of the chart. The other parts of the chart will need to include who is responsible for a task, who is being held accountable for the project, and who will be consulted and informed for every assignment. Afterward, you will need to share and discuss the RACI Matrix among your team members in order to fix any problems before they grow.
How to Prioritize and Delegate Tasks
When delegating and prioritizing tasks among your team members, it is vital to plan out what you want everyone to accomplish and make sure to assign the right person for each job. To ensure no one has any questions about their task, have your team members paraphrase the project and assignment in their own words.
Then you’ll need to ensure your employees are dedicated and committed to their assignment when delegating tasks, which includes ensuring everyone is comfortable with their deadlines and the tools they may need to employ.
Lastly, you’ll need to determine accountability, which means your team members will need to communicate with you during every step of their project and check in with you regarding timelines. As such, using time management software tools can be very helpful when managing tasks and organizing assignments.
Time Tracking Tools Help with Team Task Management
You will find that employing time management tools such as Runrun.it software can help you better track the amount of time spent on a project and manage the tasks assigned across a team. Runrun.it software tools include a timeline and comments provided by collaborators as well as a system for automatically tracking the time each team member spends on an assignment.
In addition, collaborators will have access to a customizable dashboard where they can view their tasks and determine the metrics achieved for past projects. To see whether Runrun.it time management software is right for your company, click here for a free trial.