When trying to find effective solutions for prioritization, productivity, and task management, you’ve probably heard the suggestion that you should make a priority matrix to help you list urgent items and important tasks. While there are a bevy of software and apps on the market today to help you with task management, you’ll still need to consider how to lead your small team with the minimal time you have to complete things.
While software can help you make an effective priority matrix, listing out what needs to be done and who can do it, it won’t always work when something new or urgent arrives. For instance, if you land a new client but have no people that can assist that person, you’ve got a problem on your hands that your software can’t handle.
What you need to be able to do to create an effective task management strategy is to know the people you have on your team, and also understand how to get them to do what you need them to do. People aren’t machines, so they won’t always do everything exactly the way you want them to unless you know your individual team members well enough to help predict and prevent any issues early on.
If you really know your people well, you should be able to assign them tasks with excellent directions that can help them perform better. After all, your human resources are really the most valuable asset you have, and as long as you comprehend how to help them prioritize and perform their tasks, you should be able to get the performance you need out of them to get through your task management list with excellent productivity.
Even if you can create the best priority matrix in your industry, and you feel you’ve got your task management outlined well, you might still have a problem. If your team isn’t dedicated to performing their jobs and getting their tasks done, your fantastic priority matrix won’t make much of a difference. So, what can you do to motivate your people and make sure they are all doing the jobs that are best for them? I’ve got a few ideas listed below that should help you achieve that.
Know the strengths and weaknesses of each person on your team. There are a few ways you can approach this, and one effective way is to use a Myers-Briggs Inventory Test, or a California Industry Test. If you are able to run tests like this on your people and have an expert teach you what the results mean, you can use those results to better match each person to the job they’ll be best at. Also, you’ll know what strengths they have so you can capitalize on that, and you can identify their weaknesses to help them bridge the gap there.
Motivate your team. Make sure you train and teach your team, using team building sessions and workshops. The better your team interacts with each other, and the more motivated they are, the better their time management skills will be when they work together to get the job done.
Check in to see how tasks are going, and how well they are done. While it’s easy to get caught-up in your daily routine, you need to make sure you’re assessing how each team member completes his or her tasks, so you can then provide feedback and help them improve in areas they might struggle.
Reward achievements. Even if something seems small, make sure you praise your team for getting their tasks done, and doing them well. Praise goes a long way to keep your good employees happy and productive.
Once you’ve got your strategy down for building your team, increasing productivity, and making sure task management strategies help build better time management skills, you’ll need to review how to prioritize tasks overall so you know how to present them effectively to your team.
There are four to-do lists that can help keep you organized and focused while you guide your team to boot their productivity. These lists are:
Long-Term Priority List. A long-term priority list should cover one full year of everything you want your company to complete. This list will focus more on your ideals than what you actually might get done, so you do have a lot of freedom here.
Monthly Priority List. Figure out what you want to get done over the next month. Things might go exactly as you planned them, but in this list, make sure you understand how to separate important needs from urgent tasks.
Weekly Priority List. You want your weekly lists to be a bit shorter and easy-to-handle so your team members know exactly what they need to do during this time.
Daily Priority List. Every morning that you work, make a prioritized list that lay out what needs to get done that day. Make sure you keep things broken down into sub-tasks so that team members feel they are getting things done to stay motivated, rather than leaving them with several larger daily goals that might take longer to get done. If people feel they aren’t getting everything done as quickly as they need to, they might lose motivation—so make sure it’s achievable and inspirational.
Now that you can motivate your team and create an effective priority matrix, you should be able to effectively increase your worker productivity while guiding your people to focus on the important and urgent tasks that need to be completed. Proper motivation goes a long way in keeping a team both productive and effective, and combining this with better organization should help keep your organization performing well.