I have a client who is an expert whose practice is really gaining traction. She’s busy and growing and those are all great things. But she’s also waking up in the night remembering things she hasn’t done, and panicking about what she isn’t remembering.
Her task and project management system consists of a notebook, calendars, lists and even notifications on her phone — but it isn’t enough now that she is so busy and in demand. And things are getting missed. She needs a high performance task and project management system to get her back on track and keep her there.
Having a good task and project management system is like having another team member in your practice. This person is the custodian of everything that happens (and is meant to happen). They’re the ones holding down the fort and nagging you about what needs to be done and when. They’re keeping you on track and remembering all the things so that you don’t need to. And that’s really great support.
Because having a high performance task and project management system brings many, many benefits into your practice.
The Benefits of a High Performance Task and Project Management System
Increase your effectiveness
Peter Drucker said, ‘Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things’.
Research shows that some time is lost every day by workers due to a lack of effectiveness in searching for information and some research shows this could even be up to 2.5 hours per day. But a good task and project management system makes you more effective by helping you find the information you need when you need it.
A good project management tool can save you time, but a great project management tool can save you and everyone else on your team time. It can speed up the processes and systems in your workflow and help you organise tasks in a way that maximises everyone’s time.
Manage your surplus information
Tony Schwartz, productivity expert and author of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, explains how our surplus information overwhelms us. This happens because new information is constantly coming in and replacing the old so that we simply can’t hold onto it. Because of that, we have information overload, making it difficult to access the information we do have. But the right system can fix that, remembering every single piece of information for us.
We have a rule in my team. You don’t have to remember everything, but you do have to know how to find it. And we can stand by this rule because we have a great task and project management system.
Ramp up your productivity
Tony Schwartz also heads up The Energy Project. The research they’re conducting within the project is about our personal energy crisis. Tony and his team posit that the greater our personal performance demand, the more decision fatigue we face and the more we need time to just rest, recover and recharge. We can’t do everything at once, all the time. So we’re going full speed ahead, and then slamming on the brakes to try to recover. And research shows that doing this over, and over again stresses us, causing mental blanks and reducing our IQ and productivity by up to 40%.
A new Anatomy of Work Index whitepaper from Asana shows that 60% of the time workers are spending time on work about work. In other words, they might be emailing someone about meetings or doing other practical but non-income earning tasks. This left them with only 40% of their time to be spent on skilled, income-earning work. And that means that they’re losing the productivity battle.
But having a system in place saves your energy, focusing you on the task at hand and ramping up your productivity and your team’s, overall.
What’s Stopping Us from Adopting a New System?
Despite all these benefits, many people don’t want to adopt a new task and project management system, and instead continue relying on old-school to-do lists and outdated calendaring systems. They continue to lose time and productivity, and therefore, continue to lose revenue. Why?
Well, often they’ve already tried to adopt a new system and failed in the process. And now they don’t trust it — they don’t really believe that it will help or that it will work for them in their practice. They may also have implemented too many other systems now and it feels overwhelming to switch them out for something else. But it doesn’t have to be so complicated.
In our team, we use Asana for our task and project management. And the great thing about Asana is the efficiencies of scale. Because it is well known, well used and well regarded, there is a lot of help available when it comes time to get yourself set up.
1. Review the next month or quarter and think about when you can reasonably take a step back to implement your new system. Then take a day or two out to dedicate yourself to setting up your new task and project management system.
2. Use your practice project map to see where you need to focus your templates within your system. Set them up for your new projects and tasks and roll them out in stages as you finish old projects under old systems and bring new projects online under the new system.
3. Consider seeking help from a productivity expert who can help you understand where you can best align your energy with your principles and work the most efficiently.
I’d love to hear your thoughts…
Originally published at https://janeandersonspeaks.com on April 28, 2021.