How SMBs Can Use Task Management to Increase Productivity
How To Stay Productive
As a business manager, you understand how critical it is to stay productive to remain competitive and bring in consistent profits. You also realize that your business has limited resources and you often have to focus on improving your efficiencies to drive business growth.
While time management may be a point of emphasis at your business, you may not be placing enough focus on task management. According to Techopedia, task management is defined as
"An activity in which an individual or team leader tracks a task throughout its life cycle and makes decisions based on the progress. Task management is done using software tools that help effectively organize and manage tasks by using functions such as task creation, planning and assignment, tracking and reporting".
Task management, if practiced correctly, can help you hit your targets more frequently and complete tasks and projects on time. As a manager who is under a lot of pressure to meet deadlines, it is easy to focus on the main tasks and let smaller, seemingly unimportant tasks fall by the wayside. It is important to remember, however, that the ability to also manage the less important ones is what separates the good managers from the great managers. Want to see how task management can help you? Read below.
Let employees be responsible
Effective managers know that there is no point in micro-managing your employees and constantly supervising their work. Your employees need to have a sense of urgency to complete tasks on their own. What you can do, however, is provide tools and put processes in place that foster productivity and help your employees complete the tasks that are expected of them.
This may involve setting weekly or monthly goals in line with the project calendars or giving your employees daily to-do lists. But keep in mind that the tasks need to be reasonable and achievable given the employee's resources and abilities. Overburdening your employees or giving them a workload that is impossible to complete within the deadline is more likely to have a demoralizing effect than it is to increase productivity.
Go one task at a time
‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.' In order to effectively manage the variety of tasks in a day, employees should make sure that they focus on one task at a time by breaking a task into smaller ones. And don't fall into the trap of thinking your employees can handle multiple tasks at once. Science has proven again and again that our brains simply aren't programmed to handle multiple tasks that require brainpower.
The Swiss cheese technique is one well worth trying. In this, you basically imagine your whole task to comprise of a block of cheese in which you can easily punch holes and break down the tasks into smaller pieces. This would help employees stay committed to completing the job and focusing on each task, however little the task may seem contribute to the big picture.
It is also important to make sure that employees are not constantly disrupted by personal technology such as social media or e-mail while at work. Ensure that they set aside a certain time to manage their social media or respond to e-mails.
Task management software can also be an effective tool for increasing productivity. A digital task manager or task management app can increase efficiency and streamline tasks. These task management apps allow managers to create, edit, and assign tasks to other employees securely and efficiently.
So if you are a business owner or manager looking for ways to make your company more efficient, give some of these techniques a try. And if you have any of your own favorite tips or tools for managing tasks at work, feel free to share them in the comments section below