Task management is the process of managing a task through its life cycle. It involves planning, testing, tracking, and reporting. Task management can help either individual achieve goals, or groups of individuals collaborate and share knowledge for the accomplishment of collective goals.
You can address task management at different levels. High level management ensures that you choose your tasks in order to accomplish a goal, low level management helps you get things done.
When you do task management well, you benefit from:
- Reducing your mental load, so you can use those resources doing productive work.
- Improving your efficiency.
- Making more realistic estimations, thus meeting the commited deadlines.
- Finishing what you start.
- Knowing you're working towards your ultimate goals
- Stop feeling lost or overburdened.
- Make context switches cheaper.
On the other side, task management done wrong can consume your willpower in the exchange of lost time and a confused mind.
The tricky reality is that the factors that decide if you do it right or wrong are different for every person, and even for a person it may change over the time or mood states. That's why I follow the thought that task management is a tool that is meant to help you. If it's not, you need to change your system until it does.
A side effect is that you have to tailor your task management system yourself. It doesn't matter how good the systems you find in the internet are, until you start getting your hands dirty, you won't know if they works for you. So instead of trying to discover the perfect solution, start with one that introduces the least friction in your current workflow, and evolve from that point guided by the faults you find. Forget about instant solutions, this is a never ending marathon. Make sure that each step is small and easy, otherwise you will get tired too soon.
I haven't written a guide yet on how to give your first steps, but you could start by following a simple workflow with simple tools.