Recurring Tasks – Why Use Them and How?

scrum ceremonies

In any project or personal endeavor, there are tasks that occur again and again. Usually, they repeat on a regular basis and must be completed before that recurrence happens again. Such items are called recurring tasks and can be set up to repeat automatically in most task management tools.

Not using recurring tasks yet? Let’s see why using automated recurring items is better for your project and how you can quickly set up yours in Teamhood.

Advantages of Recurring Tasks

Managing a project is often a juggling effort between deadlines, suppliers, team members, and other responsibilities. Planning and scheduling tasks for the team and yourself plays a big part in the project’s success and thus must be done precisely. However, with a large information flow, changing priorities, and customer requests, it can be easy to forget something. This is where setting up automated recurring tasks in your project management solution comes in extremely useful.

Instead of having to remember various little things that must happen at a certain time, you can create recurring items, define their recurrence frequency and be sure they will always be a part of your plan.

You can usually customize the recurring tasks by defining:

  • The frequency – Daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.
  • Day on which the item should recur – A specific day or something a little broader like the first or the last day of a month.
  • Whether a new item should be created
  • Whether to repeat an item only after the previous recurrence has been completed.
recurring tasks
Recurring item management in Teamhood

By specifying these parameters, you can create a custom schedule for each recurring item and ensure nothing will be forgotten even in the most chaotic project.

Recurring Tasks Examples

Now that you know what recurring items are, let’s look at some examples for which tasks they could be used on.

scrum ceremonies
Recurring Scrum ceremonies in Teamhood timeline view

Daily focus time

We all know how easy it is to get lost in multiple chats, emails, and other smaller tasks during the day. Moreover, we often tend to take on more work than we actually have time for. Setting up a recurring task for personal daily focus time allows you to battle both. Having a few hours to focus without distractions and ensure there is some breathing room in your schedule.

Read more about the biggest time thieves and how to avoid them.

Weekly progress review

Tracking your project performance is important, however, we can sometimes place too much focus on the results alone. To avoid this, you could add a weekly recurring task to analyze what went well and what could be improved in the next week. Giving you time to overview and analyze what is going on.

Interested in how to put more focus on your process? Check out this post about process-driven OKRs.

Monthly newsletter

If you work with customers or potential leads, you know how important it is to keep reaching out to them. To stay on top of various initiatives, such as newsletters, create monthly recurring tasks. This way you will keep up with the schedule without having to think about it constantly.

Quarterly planning

Most of us work with some set of KPIs and more often than not they are set for a quarter. The problem is, when working on reaching those KPIs, we often forget to review and plan for the next quarter. To avoid this, consider setting up a quarterly recurring task for planning and ensure you have a set of new relevant goals on time.

agile roadmap

Yearly vision and goal review

Lastly, one example of a yearly recurring item could be reviewing and renewing of company vision and goals. A year is an ample enough time to see changes and a good point to see if there is a need for a new direction. By setting up a recurring task you will be reminded of the need to review and continue working towards what is the most important for the company at that moment.

These are just some examples of the recurring items you can set for yourself and your team. Consider automating any items that repeat on a regular basis to make your planning efforts easier.

Defining the recurring item specifics

In most project management solutions, you will have several options to define recurring items. Let’s discuss the 2 that pose the most questions for those just starting out.

Create a new item or reuse the same one?

First, when setting up recurrences, you will have a choice to create a new item each time or reuse the same one. The decision on which is better is up to you, however, creating a new item each time brings certain advantages you would not get otherwise.

By having a new item for each recurrence, you will be able to track the performance metrics more accurately. The cycle time will be calculated for that specific item, thus giving you a better understanding of what is going on at the moment. Moreover, you will be able to change the item assignees and give specific details that are relevant to that exact occurrence.

Repeat only when completed

Another modification you can make is deciding to repeat an item only after the previous recurrence has been completed. This allows you to create more continuity and ensure all the previous steps have been taken before you move on to the next recurrence.

On the other hand, if you have items that must repeat every 2 weeks this is not an option for you. Because in that case if a previous item was not completed or finished late, the schedule would be affected and not align with the plan. So, whether you should be using such an option, depends on the nature of your tasks.

How to Set Up Recurring Tasks in Teamhood

By using Teamhood, you can set up automated recurring tasks for both yourself and your team. To do so, you will first need to create a new item and define its details.

Then, choose the initial due date and press the repeat option. Here you will be able to define the frequency, date, and specify other important details. And you are all set. Simply continue working and the recurring tasks will appear on your board on the set schedule.

recurring tasks

Not using Teamhood yet? Register for a free subscription and automate your recurring items today.

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Passionate content marketer looking to bring better solutions to the project management space.

2020 - Present Marketing specialist at Teamhood.
2014 - 2020 Marketing manager for Eylean.

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