Project Management

How to Keep Track of Tasks at Work? 8 Methods for Task Management 

Mindaugas Gluchovskis ·

2019 - Present Marketing specialist Innovative content marketeer with MSc in International Communication, Mindaugas brings fresh ideas and inspiration about project management and beyond.

keep track of tasks

Some project managers seem to have it all together, while others are constantly in crisis mode. Evidence from top productive people shows that the secret often lies in how they organize and track their tasks. 

CEOs like Elon Musk use time blocking to schedule specific tasks during specific times of the day. Investor Warren Buffett has its own 5/25 Warren Buffett rule. With countless other examples, it’s clear there are proven strategies that help to keep the tasks in control. But what can you take from these strategies home?  

Today, I’ll explore the top methods that help to keep track of tasks. We’ll look at practical tips and real-world examples that have the potential to transform how you manage your workload, with one clear aim—to help you maintain your sanity and boost productivity. 

Why is it beneficial to keep track of tasks? 

task management
Workload Management on Teamhood

Keeping track of tasks is beneficial for multiple reasons: 

  • Improved productivity – Tracking tasks helps you prioritize better, stay focused, and manage your time efficiently. 
  • Organization – With a central place to store all project information, task tracking keeps everything and everyone organized. 
  • Better collaboration – Sharing task lists, assigning tasks, and communicating effectively through task tracking software reduces misunderstandings. 
  • Accountability – Task tracking makes it clear who is responsible for what and when to prevent scope creep
  • Data-driven decisions – Insights from task tracking reveal work patterns and time allocation. 
  • Early problem detection – Noticing potential issues early, such as delays or obstacles, task tracking allows you to address problems early. 
  • Accurate time and budget estimates – Task tracking provides data on how long tasks take, helping you make accurate time estimates and keep future projects within budget. 
  • Motivation – Breaking down big tasks into smaller steps and tracking progress keeps you motivated and gives a clear view of your achievements. 

Strategies for keeping track of tasks 

These strategies provide a roadmap for prioritizing tasks, managing time effectively, and boosting productivity. 

1. Set clear goals 

It might seem obvious, but teams often lose sight of the bigger picture while standardizing processes, including task creation and tracking. 

When you first define your objectives with precision, you create a roadmap that guides you through every step of the process. When you’re building workflows, sticking to the SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) might be the best practice to start with. 

For example, instead of “Improve project documentation,” you can specify “Create a comprehensive project documentation template by the end of this month.” 

The NCT is another approach to tracking weekly goals that involves crafting a narrative, establishing 3 to 5 commitments, and identifying tasks aligned with these commitments. This clarity brings bigger purpose and direction to your team’s efforts and makes task tracking more strategic. 

2. Break down large tasks into smaller ones

That sinking feeling when staring down a massive project—sounds familiar? But there is always a simple fix: break those mammoth tasks into bite-sized chunks. Focus on tackling each small task, and suddenly, the workload seems lighter. Plus, it’s a time-saver—organizing your day becomes simpler.  

When you break tasks down, you’re not just making life easier for yourself – you’re also making it easier for your team. And don’t forget to keep everyone in the loop with detailed documentation. When your team sees a clear plan, teamwork improves. 

project management templates
Prioritization list in Teamhood

3. Prioritize tasks

The art of prioritization, putting less crucial tasks on hold to concentrate on what truly matters, is a skill in itself.  

Parkinson’s Law highlights how work tends to expand to fit the time allocated for its completion. To avoid that, start prioritizing by evaluating tasks based on their importance and urgency.  

Focus on completing tasks with a high impact on your goals while delegating or scheduling less critical ones accordingly. Also, stay flexible and adapt your priorities as needed. This will help you focus clearly on one task at a time to maximize productivity. 

Remember, it’s okay to say “no” and remove distractions to protect your time and energy. Prioritizing self-care and regular reassessments ensure you’re always on track with your tasks. 

4. Use a calendar 

Using a calendar effectively can revolutionize how you manage tasks and organize your daily life.  

Scheduling focused time blocks ensures that important tasks are at least completed. Integrate task management apps with your calendar for task tracking and use color-coding or separate calendars to maintain clarity.  

As an alternative, you might want to use a digital Teamhood calendar with a timeline view, which is suited for scheduling tasks on the calendar. Unlike the Gantt view, this perspective allows you to view all workspace boards in a single location and effortlessly establish task dependencies across them. Moreover, you can schedule recurring tasks to make you never forget important repeating items.

Avoid cluttering your calendar with non-essential tasks and prioritize self-care by blocking time for relaxation and recharge. These strategies will help you optimize your productivity and stay on top of your tasks easily. 

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5. Create task dependencies 

Task dependencies offer a structured approach to defining relationships between tasks and visualizing their sequence. 

The first approach involves examining how tasks rely on each other, whether it’s based on resources, personnel, projects, or teams. Each type of dependency necessitates different management strategies and skill sets. 

The second method classifies dependencies based on the sequencing of tasks. These four types include:

  • Finish to Start 
  • Finish to Finish 
  • Start to Start 
  • Start to Finish.  

Visual aids, like flowcharts or project management software, can help you visualize these task relationships. In the following post, we explain task dependencies and provide practical examples

6. Leverage project management software 

Managing complex projects can be overwhelming due to the sheer volume of tasks and subtasks involved. To tackle this issue, task grouping is a crucial feature that helps organize larger tasks and their subtasks.  

Free and paid tools like Teamhood, Asana, Trello, or Jira can help you manage tasks, track progress, and collaborate with your team.  

Teamhood’s key feature is its customizable task board, which allows users to visualize their workflow, add task details, and track progress effectively. 

Typically, rows are utilized to segregate tasks by type or project teams, but they can also designate time periods, such as workweeks, aiding in advanced work planning. Some teams even leverage Kanban swimlanes to plan and monitor OKR goals effectively. 

expedite Kanban swimlane
Kanban board with Expedite row for urgent tasks

7. Create a to-do list 

Think of a to-do list as your personal assistant, always there to help you conquer your task list. 

Firstly, organization is key. Your to-do list keeps all tasks neat, ensuring nothing slips by unnoticed. It’s super easy to adjust things as needed with a digital app

By prioritizing tasks, you’ll be tackling the important stuff first and zooming through projects. No more wasting time figuring out what to do next. Your list will guide you through the day with clear tasks. 

In terms of focus, your to-do list keeps you on track, steering you away from distractions. And that feeling of accomplishment? It’s unbeatable. Every tick off the list is a victory, propelling you forward. 

8. Delegate tasks 

Sometimes, the most effective way to manage and keep track of tasks is by entrusting them to others through delegation.  

For example, an operations manager delegates tasks to team members, such as managing inventory, coordinating logistics, and handling customer service. This allows the manager to focus on strategic planning, things such as budgeting, and process improvement. 

Delegation is a powerful tool that can transform team dynamics for the better. It cultivates trust, collaboration, and a sense of ownership within the team. However, that can only work with clear communication, which is essential in delegation. It ensures everyone understands their roles, expectations, and deadlines. 

Also, when tasks are delegated, individuals can learn new skills, gain experience, and broaden their knowledge base.  

Besides that, delegation can help reduce stress and workload for leaders. The key is to identify tasks that can be delegated to others. 

assign task teamhood
Task assignment in Teamhood

9. Review and adjust 

Regularly reviewing tasks and progress is essential for identifying effective strategies and areas for adjustment and ensuring continuous improvement.  

During reflection sessions, consider alternatives to current practices that may need improvement. For example, if you find that juggling too many active tasks is overwhelming and prolongs your weekly review, aim to limit the number of tasks to a manageable number for the next week. 

You might find that the over-complicated task naming, tagging, and color coding system takes away too much time, consider simplifying it. Aim to make your review sessions more efficient and productive. 

How can project management software help in task tracking? 

Is task management software truly the solution, or just another shiny distraction? 

Task management software offers a centralized hub where all your tasks, deadlines, and progress updates are neatly organized. No more scrambling through emails or sticky notes—just a streamlined dashboard at your fingertips. 

Within this platform, you can assign tasks, share files, and leave comments, enhancing collaboration and communication among team members. 

Moreover, task management software promotes accountability by clearly delineating responsibilities and deadlines. It acts like a built-in taskmaster, ensuring everyone stays on track and motivated. It provides a real-time overview of your project’s progress, showing how all the pieces fit together. 

While task management software may have its pitfalls, it remains a powerful tool for keeping your team organized, focused, and productive. Teamhood task management software offers visual task boards and timelines to manage and prioritize tasks effectively – give it a try for free today! 

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