Having the ability to multi-task is an essential skill for any office ninja; we multi-task in our sleep. In my new office ninja role as Director of Employee Engagement, I started to feel like “multi-tasking” didn’t quite sum up what I was doing every day. I needed a new, more powerful phrase, which is how the term SUPER-tasking was born.
The problem with super-tasking (or uber-tasking if you prefer), is that if you aren’t careful, something is going to slip through the cracks. Even when you think you have all of your ducks in a row, you are going to lose a duck, and let’s just hope that nobody cares too much about that duck.
In an effort to make sure I know where all of my ducks are, I have tested various methods (both digital and analog) for keeping myself organized. They say the best way to enjoy exercise is when it doesn’t feel like exercise. I like to think of organization methods the same way: if you aren’t into it, you aren’t going to use it. Here are some ideas for those of you who haven’t quite settled on your method or are looking for some new ways to organize your day-to-day tasks:
Todoist groups your projects by categories and gives you daily and weekly overview of your to-dos. This app makes it easy to prioritize tasks, assign tasks to others, and even see your productivity trends over time. With the premium version ($29/year) you can add labels to your tasks for more detailed organization possibilities.
This Chrome add-on is the perfect no-frills task management app. Similar to Todoist, this app allows you to group task lists by categories. Wunderlist, however, uses hashtags to group similar tasks together and allows you to collaborate with others. While there is no way to prioritize tasks, you can, however, star important items. The premium version ($49.99/year) adds more functionality with subtasks, unlimited file sizes, and unlimited sharing.
Trello organizes all of your projects into boards (similar to Pinterest boards). However, within each board you can create separate task lists associated with each project. Trello allows you to categorize and prioritize lists within boards, as well as invite other people to collaborate with you on boards and specific tasks.
Colored Sticky Notes
Keeping post-its of your daily todos is a great and lo-fi way to keep track of your tasks. I take things a step further and color code them into task categories. Based on the color I know what type of things I have to do, and I can prioritize based on how long I think each task will take. These from KnockKnock are perfect for the job.
This is a great list type for those who like to keep track of their daily must-dos, weekly tasks, and their back-burner projects. I find it helpful for those days when you have knocked out all the pressing things, and need a reminder of those not-so-fun things that you have to do eventually.
There will always be a lot on our plates, however, finding the best way to organize that plate is going to make the whole thing a lot more palatable. Making lists and getting everything out of your brain is not only a great, instantly gratifying stress reliever, but it also frees up the ol’ noggin to focus on the tasks at hand.
Office Ninjas, how do you keep track of your ducks?