Task Management

Hi, this is Cyril from Work Smarter: Live Better.

In this short video, I want to discuss three simple advice to manage your tasks in much more efficient way.

Most people that I work with are bombarded daily with things to do. So I ask them, “How do you manage these? How do you manage all your tasks? How do you organize it? How do you remember what you have to do?” And I get different answer. I’ve got the classical “To Do List”. So, I take a pen and paper and I write my list every day. I’ve got the “Inbox” which is I keep a lot of things I have to do in my inbox and my inbox become my task management system. I love by the way the people who whinge about the number of email they receive and will be the first one to send them separate email to remind themselves about things they have to do. Some people use apps. Some people use post-its.

I had one day one guy said to me, “Cyril, I use the Palm Pilot.” And I said, “That still exists? The Palm Pilot?” He said, “No, no. Every day, when I need to remind myself I need to do something, I write it in the palm of my hand. That has become my palm pilot.” Which I think was very cute. And sometimes it’s a mix of all that.

And quite often people say, “I’m not sure I have the right system. Sometimes things slip, you know, I have multiple systems, I have to compile them all the time. It’s quite stressful.” Anyway.

So I’ve got three simple advice for you: capture on the fly, sort the small, calendarize the big. Three simple advice.

So first, capture on the fly. Capture on the fly is to always have with you a pen and paper. It could be in your iPhone or notes, something that you will capture. You think about something you need to do, just capture it on the fly. Don’t wait for it. So, have with you something that you can collate your ideas as soon as it bumps into you.

Then sort the small. So what do I mean by “sort the small”? I think you should have 2 different systems. A system for what is time consuming. We’ll talk about it in a minute. And then a system for managing all the little things, all the less than 5-minute things.  I personally use Outlook Task for this. Some of my clients use To-Do list. Some of clients use an app. It doesn’t really matter. But it’s a system you can choose a specific date. And while I like about Outlook Tasks, if I allocate the task to myself for tomorrow and if I don’t do it tomorrow, then it will be reallocated the next day, and the next day until I do it. So I don’t need to re-write it, Outlook Tasks does that automatically. So, second: Sort the small.

My third principle is calendarize the big. Whatever is time-consuming should end up in your calendar. You should block a time with yourself, what you are going to do and book a meeting with yourself. I have some people saying to me so, “If I start putting in my calendar everything I need to do, all the time-consuming, it’s impossible.” And I say, “Well, fantastic because at least you’re going to see how committed you are, if you really have the time to do it. Writing things on the list hoping that you’ll find the time to do it is not a good way to progress. Confronting it to the reality of your diary, well, it will tell you if you really have the time to do it.

I hope you enjoy it. If you like it, just press the like. If you have any ideas or if you want to share one tip that works for you on how you manage your task, please do so and let’s continue the discussion then.

You have a lovely day, thank you very much.


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