Step 1: Consolidate
You probably have tasks written down on your desk, in your calendar, in documents and email and maybe even on your mobile phone. The first step is to consolidate all of these tasks into one simple list.
Make sure your task list is easily accessible because if it’s not, then you’ll end up with a splattering of tasks around your office within no time.
Step 2: Prioritize
With all of your tasks in one place, prioritize them by moving the most important tasks to the top and the least important to the bottom. In this way, you can work from top to bottom in your list knowing that you are always working on the right thing at the right time.
Make sure you prioritize your tasks based on the right criteria. Don’t always put the easiest ones at the top. The “highest priority” tasks should be the ones that either deliver the most value, are critical to the project or must be done before others can commence their work.
Step 3: Schedule
With a clear view of all of your tasks and their priorities, you now need to estimate how much time it’s likely going to take to complete each task on the list. So write down the effort needed for each and try and make it as realistic as possible.
Then create a schedule so that you know which tasks you are going to work on and when. Having a schedule is great because it allows you and your team to forecast the workload ahead.
Step 4: Update
At the start of every day, update your schedule by marking the tasks you’ve completed and re-forecasting the tasks you still have ahead. Only then will you know if you’re on track.
If your schedule gets out of date, it will quickly become useless. However by keeping it up-to-date, it will become a powerful tool as it will give you and your team a roadmap ahead.
Step 5: Communicate:
Your team will want to know what you are working on and when it’s likely to be completed. So share your schedule with them, helping them to keep informed along the way.