On an average workday, you have a lot on your plate.
You could even dissect each task of your day into every minute detail and you’d find you have even more to do than you thought.
For example, let’s say you have to call a new lead back. What you might consider as a task to be a routine telephone call can be dissected even further to steps of reading the task/reminder, picking up the phone, dialing the number, waiting for an answer… and then there’s the actual phone call where you’re not sure what could happen.
Yet, if we get into minutiae of everything we do, it becomes unproductive. Some tasks can be automated, others can’t.
And there’s actually a science behind creating the perfect task, and it’s what we’ve tried to capture in JobNimbus.
Creating the Perfect Task
The perfect task requires a combination of several important pieces of data in order to give you the best possible picture of what is needed.
Once you’ve defined that, you’ll have a much easier time completing that task because you’ll know what’s needed and will have all the tools necessary for completion.
The first thing to do is give the task a good name. Just calling it “Task” won’t do anybody no good. It has to be descriptive enough for the assignee to understand from a list.
Don’t be afraid to add more detail on the task title. This will be a quick reference for the assignee to know how to plan around it before jumping in.
If you routinely execute the same tasks, you can make this easier by creating Task Types that can auto-populate the name field. Pretty handy.
If the task requires more explanation, adding a description is key. This is how you’ll cut down on wasted time and unnecessary communication because everything is self-contained.
The most important part of a task isn’t the title. It’s the due date.
If you don’t have a due date on a task, it will never get done. Trust me.
Be sure to add both a date and a time to your tasks in order to assure that there is proper notification and email reminders.
While adding an end date isn’t so necessary for the assignee, it might be a really nice metric for you to have at the office in order to manage your work and employees’ days more effectively.
Depending on the promptness and effectiveness of your team, you might decide you don’t need this, and that’s ok. If there’s no reason to be bossy, don’t be it.
This item is a debated one. Some companies feel that it’s a nuisance, while others swear it’s absolutely necessary.
But for all, it’s at the very least informative. And that’s how you should see it if you want to learn more about where your time is going and if your estimates are correct.
This helps define the urgency of the task to your assignee. Depending on your line of work, this might already be obvious, but it never hurts to add a red tag for a little more spring in their step.
We’ve arrived at your assignee. The humble worker who will carry out this important duty.
Indeed, this is the person who will be in charge of making sure this gets done, so choose wisely and use this field to make sure that person knows exactly what they need to get done with a simple glance at their task list.
Almost everything we do in work is interrelated with the contacts/leads that we come in contact with and jobs that we perform for them.
Relating a task to a contact and/or a job provides background and relevance far beyond a simple line of text in the description. It helps your assignee know exactly what this is for, who this is for, why, what’s been done, and what’s left afterwards.
It also helps if your assignee needs to contact your customer quickly for any reason. Relating the task to a contact will give them quick contact access to make that call.
The final ingredient to creating the perfect task is a system of tags to help categorize the tasks
Notes, Activity, Attachments
Of course, after creating a task you also have the option to add additional notes and attachments, and everything that goes on with the task is recorded in the Activity section.
This helps you build out an even more perfect task that will give your assignee all the information they need to get to work, finish on time, and perform with flying colors.
The Goldilocks Effect
Now, I did say that having a lot of information for the task will make things smoother, but too much information can also be a killer as it will keep the assignee from moving on the task within the allotted time.
Make sure you are straight-forward and concise. Again, if these are routine items, maybe you could establish best practices for those task types in training in order to reduce the load on each task’s details.
Not too much, not too little. Just right.