Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the work on your plate? Download our free task management template. You will always be able to stay on top of your most urgent tasks.
As a craft brewery owner or someone on the marketing team, it’s easy to try and do everything yourself. You want to take on new projects and tackle different marketing strategies. You’re eager to take things off your plate to focus on building your business.
As your business grows, you realize you can’t do everything yourself. Unfortunately, just like everyone else, we’re not superhuman. We have limitations in time, energy, and expertise. These limitations can lead to unnecessary stress and frustration. Delegating tasks to others or outsourcing them to experts can help take your business to the next level.
But before you can effectively delegate tasks, you need to understand what should be done by you, delegated to someone else, or left for another time. When you do this, you’re practicing task management.
What is Task Management?
According to Techopedia, “Task management is an activity in which an individual or team leader tracks a task throughout its life cycle and makes decisions based on the progress. Task management is done using software tools that help effectively organize and manage tasks by using functions such as task creation, planning, assignment, tracking, and reporting.”
Task management is a way of ensuring that work gets done. It is a systematic approach to planning and tracking progress toward project or task completion. It is a way of breaking down a project into its component parts, usually called activities.
The Eisenhower Matrix
One tool we use for task management is the Eisenhower Matrix.
Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower created the Eisenhower Matrix as a tool for organizing his day. The chart shows four quadrants: A, B, C, and D. Each quadrant represents a different priority level of tasks based on urgency and importance.
This tool was popularized by the book “First Things First” by Stephen Covey. The idea is to separate your tasks into the following categories:
- Important and urgent
- Important, but not urgent
- Not important, urgent
- Not important and not urgent
Here’s a great explanation of determining which tasks fall into each category, starting with the second quadrant:
Quadrant 1: Important and Urgent
Quadrant 1 is the quadrant of doing, where you’ll place tasks with high importance and urgency, which you must complete yourself. This quadrant represents the core of your job.
For example, you should add tasks such as “Review next year’s budget” or “Meeting with a potential client.” Although both of these tasks are important and urgent, you must complete them yourself. Tasks you can delegate to someone else should go into the third quadrant: Not Important, but Urgent.
Note: As for the tasks that are neither important nor urgent, you can either delegate them or forget them for now. You will never be able to get everything done, so don’t beat yourself up trying.
Quadrant 2: Important, but Not Urgent
Every business owner will have tasks that need to be completed at some point, but they’re not urgent enough to add to your to-do list. Rather than let these items fall through the cracks, it’s smart to schedule them. You should schedule these tasks. Set a date for them to start and complete; include notes for context. Doing so will provide an “at a glance” view of what’s coming soon.
Quadrant 3: Urgent, but Not Important
Delegate, delegate, delegate. Tasks that should be done in the next day or two but are not of utmost importance can be assigned to others. An executive might have their assistant manage their calendar, whereas a marketing coordinator might contract a freelancer to write blog articles.
Quadrant 4: Not Urgent and Not Important
These tasks might be things like the random ideas you think of daily or intriguing projects that don’t necessarily align with overall business objectives. Leave these tasks alone and save them for a rainy day when you don’t have much else to do.