Dealing With Loose Ends
Both at work and at home, we’ve all experienced moments when it seems as though we just can’t keep up with all of our responsibilities. Situations like these can quickly become tipping points where the smallest task, such as making a phone call or responding to an email, can become very difficult and stressful. While it won’t win you many style points, a system of organization can really come to the rescue when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
How does it all work? On the subject of organization it’s easy to get swamped in the vast amount of literature out there, which can range from business-oriented how-to’s or philosophies offering to give your life a complete makeover. The basic principles are generally the same though. Recording a task somewhere removes it from your mind and reduces the effort you expend on having to remember things. This freedom allows you to better focus on actually performing tasks instead of worrying about what’s around the corner, or what you shouldn’t be forgetting.
The specifics of task management vary depending on personal needs. Some people prefer to keep things really simple, relying on the tried and true pen and paper To-Do list. Others prefer a more detailed approach using desktop and online PC tools that can associate dates, timelines, contacts, locations, and priorities with a given task.
In light of so many options, success comes in using the right tool for the job. If all that’s needed is to jot down some quick reminders, a task manager laden with features can become more of a burden that deters organization. After some trial and error, you should be able to find something that works well based on how much effort you want to spend. Understanding your habits, and how capable they are of adapting, is also critical in figuring out what kind of task manager you are. Keep in mind that, ultimately, no system of organization will pay off without some kind of maintenance.
While becoming a taskmaster is by no means easy, the rewards can be drastic. The personal health benefits from stress reduction are accompanied by rises in productivity and efficiency. When you work within your own system, it becomes easier to schedule and anticipate what you want to work on and when you want to do it. Preparation, in turn, makes the quality of work higher and provides an opportunity for revision and improvement. Being able to maintain and stay on top things can also become a great motivator as well as a source of confidence. Additionally, setting and reaching goals becomes more of a habitual practice.
Most importantly, at its core, a task management attitude makes sure that you don’t forget the little things. Tying up all your loose ends, both in the office and in life, can really put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to getting things done.