Streamline Your Task Management Workflow with Centralized and Flexible ToolsThe Flow TeamLast Updated: June 23, 2020
A quick online search yields a variety of tips for managing tasks. But before you dive too deeply into the choppy waters of online advice, let’s look at how productivity tools can solve the problems many teams face. These solutions likely offer more features to improve task management workflow than you’d expect. And when these tools are built right into your centralized workspace, they help your team feel more focused, engaged, and productive each day.
Tackle Common Pain Points with Task Management Tools
Let’s face it: one of the best things you can do for remote and distributed teams is to help them overcome the daily obstacles of staying in the loop with their team and keeping projects and tasks on track. Micromanaging team workloads and individual work styles is counterproductive and often wears away at both morale and confidence.
Clearing the way for team members to take charge of their schedules and tasks is the best way to inspire and empower them to achieve more. Here are the tools we recommend to help relieve specific pain points around task management and workflow.
- To improve focus, consider using tools and techniques designed to cut through the distractions. Maintaining constant concentration can be hard, especially for team members working from home. Car alarms, deliveries, and laundry can easily distract—but, so can regular phone meetings and email notifications. And it’s not always easy to just turn these things off. One way to work around—or through—distractions is by using a Pomodoro timer. This task-management tool permits five-minute breaks after every 25-minute cycle of work. With alarms pre-set for times of focus and relaxation, it’s actually easy to turn away from distractions because you have permission and time built in to deal with them later.
- To resolve bottlenecks, streamline as many processes as possible with tools that automate tasks and permit fluidity. For example, take advantage of draft templates that can be duplicated repeatedly to avoid recreating tasks from scratch. Make use of recurring tasks that automatically renew after completion or on a weekly, monthly, or annual schedule. When teams can assign and reassign work in a matter of seconds, they can keep up with shifting workloads and priorities. No matter which tools and features you may need, they should be easy to learn and use; a steep learning curve could be a bottleneck in and of itself.
- To promote communication, give your team a tool that broadens their options for where and how they have conversations. A chat tool, like Slack, is one example. With it, private messages, group chats, and project channels are all possible from a single workspace. This keeps topic discussions well organized. Even better is a tool with in-task chat functionality. It takes this organization even further for task management workflow, especially if it offers an advanced search feature. Imagine: no more scrolling through message histories to find a link or specific comment.
- To bring visibility to workloads, use tracking functions built into your team’s tools. Team members can add themselves as followers on projects and tasks to keep an eye on, and they can subscribe others who will benefit from workflow updates. If the platform allows, add teams or team members to your workspace sidebar so those priority updates are visible at a glance. Similarly, make use of the newsfeed to stay on top of the data that matters in real-time. Finally, use a calendar that tracks performance with easy-to-read timelines.
- To centralize operations, create activity dashboards for your projects—places where each project’s tasks can have a “home.” Some project management tools let you build Kanban boards to organize information, and others help you generate lists. Occasionally, you’ll find software that gives you both options plus the use of a calendar. Whatever your system offers, make the effort to store documents and other resources in a single location. Your team won’t ever have to wonder where to find the information they need, and that makes managing task workflow so much easier.
Simplify Task Management Workflow with One Flexible Platform
As you’re attempting to optimize task management workflow, be advised that gathering a range of separate solutions may not be the answer to these problems. Not all software systems, apps, and plug-ins work well together. When they don’t, you’re looking at even more team frustration—and less engagement.
Using a single platform that combines all the tools your team needs to soften the daily grind is a better way to go. When the system is also flexible enough for team members to customize their experience, they’ll feel that their unique talents and work styles are respected. And that’s always a strong motivator for getting more done together.
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