We have lots of tasks to do during the workday as small business owners. From answering phones, and speaking with customers to designing new layouts, doing payroll, and writing invoices, our days are full of mindless tasks and mentally challenging ones. So how can we remember all of it? Below are unique tips on how to remember tasks at work to make your day more productive:
- Make your device’s calendar your best friend.
- Make it a point to do the most important tasks first.
- When doing your mentally challenging tasks, beware of interruptions.
- Schedule time in your day for different “Department” tasks.
- Create a structure for your day that supports your strengths.
- Creating a home for everything in your workspace.
- Alarms will help you remember things.
- Take frequent breaks.
- Create a time-blocking task list.
Make your device’s calendar your best friend.
Add appointments to the calendar and use the alarm feature for each appointment. Phones are used all day, so why not use them to help remember? Add an alarm to time slots on your calendar that describe in detail what you want to do and who you want to contact. When the alarm goes off, you will know what to do, and there will be no downtime figuring out your task.
Make it a point to do the most important tasks first.
Everyone has busy work, but by doing the important tasks first, you will be able to then focus on the smaller tasks which do not take as much time. If you feel your important tasks are hard to get to right away, try getting a few of the 15-minute tasks out of the way to help you feel more accomplished, then start on your important task.
When doing your mentally challenging tasks, beware of interruptions.
If you allow interruptions, it will take you longer to get the mentally challenged tasks completed and waste your day. Mentally challenging tasks need more of your attention, so turn off your phone alerts, allow your calls to go to voicemail, and make sure other coworkers, kids, and family members know you need an hour to finish a project. That way, you can focus on the next task at hand.
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Create a Done List.
When tasks become so automatic that you forget if you did them, say to yourself that you completed that task while doing it.
Drawing attention to what you are doing and being aware of it will help you remember the completed task. You can also make a “done” list. This list would include all the things that you completed in your day.
Schedule time in your day for different “Department” tasks.
As a small business owner, segment your workday by scheduling the time of the day that is most efficient for getting the different tasks done. An example would be doing the bills in the morning before your employees come in or doing the invoices at the end of the day after the project is done.
Create a structure for your day that supports your strengths.
Do you work better in the morning for more creative tasks? Does making phone calls in the afternoon work better for you? Changing your tasks to align with your best time to focus on will make your tasks run more smoothly.
Update in 2022:
Below are additional tips on how to remember tasks at work.
Write Tasks on Paper.
It has been shown that writing tasks down on paper actually helps you remember. No planner, write the tasks on a notebook page with the date at the top to help you remember.
Be conscious of the actions you need to remember.
Taking time to list the steps that need remembering will remind you of the tasks that need completing. Placing the steps on a sticky note on your monitor reminds you of the steps you need to do. Eventually, you will remember them instinctively, and you can remove the sticky note.
Creating a home for everything in your workspace.
Keeping your pens in the same place, your planner in the same place, and reference papers in the same place. Each item in your workspace need a home to help remember where things are and what they are used for.
Alarms will help you remember things.
We talked about making recurring appointments above on your devices to remind you. You can have an alarm clock at the desk to remind you of specific times or appointments you can’t miss. This alarm can restrict how much task time you have for a particular project that may envelop your day.
Set the alarm for a particular time: 20 minutes or 50 minutes, and start your task. When the timer rings, for the last 10 minutes, jot down notes of where you left off and move on.
Take frequent breaks.
Taking frequent breaks throughout the day may also help you remember your tasks easier. When we get stressed, we can’t remember things. Taking time to walk around or have a snack a few times during the day will realign and refocus you.
Create a time-blocking task list.
Sometimes we have tasks that are ongoing but may be forgotten when we get busy. Try to create a time-blocking task list. Start with a markerboard or just a nearby wall. Use self-sticking removable tape to divide the sections up into 15-minute tasks, 30-minute tasks, 1-hour tasks, and 2-hour tasks. Using sticky notes, write the different tasks (be specific) on them. When you have time during your day, look at that section of time and do that task.
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With a bit of planning, you will help yourself immensely! If each day changes, create a task list the day before for the next morning. It works wonders.
What is your favorite time management tip? Please leave a comment below.
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