As I stated at another page, using a suitable task management tool in reality is managing time.
What, why, when, how, where
This is the simplest time management rule-set and task management tool you can find.
Standard time management often focuses on how to accomplish the
single tasks and schedules only. The meta-level “interrogative
pronouns” as a task management approach, however, is a complete
The first phase
As soon as a task “arrives” – this can be a written note, a telephone call, an email or whatever is approaching your attention, that has to be dealt with – you check, if there is something to do: to re/act or to neglect.
This first decision covers the What – you recognize, what it is and the Why – the check, if you should consider it further. This is normally quite quickly, and you do not really follow a conscious rule set, provided you know your goal. It is the automatic intro phase of the task management tool “by interrogative pronouns”.
The center phase
is equally fast and automatic. Does this task require a certain point in time? If yes, it turns into a schedule, and you put it into a calendar. If not, you should capture it by a suitable and reliable means to place a reminder for further processing. This is the phase denoted by When.
Here comes easy tasking into account.
The heart of this task management tool
Capturing only without a time information normally gives both: some freedom in processing such a task and the force to accomplish it at the right timeframe. You have time to do it, whenever it has to be done. However, a single task normally has to share the available time with many other tasks, and you need a method to put the processing of all the tasks into a suitable order (More on a method for capturing and prioritizing you will find in the TAO Timing ebook).
"The essence of time management can be captured in one phrase: Organize and execute around priorities", Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Capturing is done by a simple task list or to do list. Such a tool, however, must be the most effective and easy means to get a huge number of tasks under control.
The more significant tasks you are able to process professionally, the higher is your work performance.
The third and last phase
of this task management tool is the How and Where. The How is supported by time management tips. This is a quite individual and unique matter according to your kind of job.
(The management of the captured tasks itself, if clever and simple enough, should be able to serve a lot of even highly unique working environments by one standardized procedure only)
The Where covers the location and organization of associated information you should provide, which you need to process the task. This is done by a clever filing. Find more information at Classei.