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Using Smart Task Management Software to Reduce Distractions and Keep You Focused

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Using Smart Task Management Software to Reduce Distractions and Keep You Focused.

The pace of today’s business environment is relentless and unforgiving - we seem to have more and more to do today, and tomorrow will be even worse.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of tasks facing us, and our approach to the day becomes unfocused and unproductive.

To overcome the avalanche of demands and distractions that threatens to engulf us, we need an effective means of bringing structure to the things we have to achieve each day.

The 'Old Guard' - Written Lists.

A traditional written To Do list can work up to a point, but simply doesn’t have the flexibility or ‘muscle’ to handle a large number of varied and overlapping tasks. And, with managers now having to deal with multiple live projects at any one time, working with a paper-based system is not just time consuming, but simply inappropriate.

If you then decide to move on to software that mimics the To Do list model, you will probably find that it isn’t the interactive and responsive tool we’ve come to expect now that we’re used to the exciting interfaces and opportunities offered by iPads, iMacs, tablets and smartphones.

Working with list-based software means we still have to type in tasks, then  copy or transfer them from day to day and from project to project - a dull and repetitive process that gradually leads to ‘list fatigue’. 

Pretty soon, we stop using the system altogether.

Download Arrow IconDownload Free Version of ShoutDone To Do List Software

More Problems with 'List-Driven' Solutions.

Another problem with traditional To Do list software is that it can be used as a dumping ground for all the new tasks, ideas and thoughts that strike us through the day.

As a result, the morning’s carefully constructed To Do list can, by the evening, be so overfilled with inappropriate ‘task debris’ that the important stuff is lost beneath.

Ending up with long lists of 'undone' tasks is not only unproductive, it's psychologically overwhelming.

It can lead us to lose sight of the ‘bigger picture’ - what we need to achieve and why - and to ‘task pick’ instead, tackling just the easy small things on our list so that we have something to show for our efforts at the end of the day.

If you recognize these ‘symptoms’, it’s time to ditch the traditional To Do list and opt for a smarter approach to task management that will help you take control and organize your life more effectively and productively.

The New Generation of Task Management Software.

While traditional To Do list software sees tasks as ‘things that need doing’, the new generation of project-based task management applications offers a more flexible path to productivity by allowing you to give multiple ‘contexts’ to each of your tasks.

Such smart task management solutions recognize that while some things can be done pretty much anywhere, like reading a report, others can only be undertaken in the right ‘context’, so they let you ‘tag’ or attach different ‘contexts’ to each of your tasks.

For example, if you are creating a new brochure, one of the actions could be:

‘Phone Steve about copywriting’.

Using smart task management software you could tag this seemingly simple action in a number of ways, so it appears not just under the project heading – Create Brochure – but also under @phone (so you can group it with other calls when you are in telephone mode), or @Steve (so it appears alongside every other job being done by Steve).

And, because you can add as many contexts as you like to every task, there’s no requirement to write it out anew or copy it to different lists - it’s already there.

By filtering your tasks by context, you will have immediate focus not only on what needs to be done, but also on what you can actually do at that precise moment, a ‘living list’ that is always appropriate for a particular location or circumstance.

Download Arrow IconDownload Free Version of ShoutDone To Do List Software

The Benefit of 'Task Grouping'.

This way of working also has another advantage. A To Do list usually involves a range of very varied activities, such as writing, talking, researching, analyzing and organizing. But repeatedly swapping between thinking patterns and behaviors is anything but productive, as we have to refocus each time we tackle a different type of job.

Grouping tasks by context is a far more efficient way of using our time and getting things done.

Chunking Down Bigger Tasks.

Splitting tasks by context also encourages us to think in terms of smaller, more easily achievable actions. With traditional To Do lists, it’s very easy to add items that are simply too large. So, ‘Create new brochure’ finds its way onto our list, when really it consists of 20, 30 or even 50 much smaller tasks.

‘Unpacking’ a single large and unwieldy task into lots of smaller, achievable tasks, also prompts us to think in terms of the ‘next action’ needed to move a project forward.

Taking Your To Do List With You.

Another benefit of the new generation task management software is its ‘portability’. We can be working on the road one day, working from a remote office the next, and from home at the weekend. If you work in different places, cloud-based task management software could be the answer.

With cloud-based applications, your software and information live on a remote server, not your computer. As long as you have Internet access, all you have to do is log on to your task management account and you can call up your task lists wherever you are, and whatever platform you’re using.

And if you are working as part of a team on a project, you can all see what tasks need to be done and update task status – if it has been completed, by whom and when – in real time, so that everyone can be working to the latest information and on the most up to date documents.

Keeping You Focused.

Of course, even when you know exactly what you have to do, you can still be distracted by the many other tasks that catch your eye as you gaze at the screen. To combat such ‘visual interference’, some task management systems, like ShoutDone, linked to below, even offer a ‘spotlight view’ that lets you focus only on the most important tasks that you should be doing right now.

And checking out task management software should be at the top of your list.

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User Comments:

quotation1Excellent software. Really helped me to establish and maintain my goals and task priorities. Highly recommended.Quotation 2

Richard Paris

quotation1 Congrats on a just about perfect user interface and great concept, particularly the highlighting and prioritizing via so many user-created options. Thanks!Quotation 2

Dev

quotation1This looks like one AWESOME, ELEGANTLY designed piece of software and an excellent first release from a clearly classy company.Quotation 2

Andrew Griffiths - California

quotation1Just a final word from me. I cannot praise Rich enough for the level of support he provided... Great work.Quotation 2

Adrian Williams, UK

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About ShoutDone To Do List Software.

To do list software is an essential tool in our daily battle for increased productivity, reduced stress and a better work-life balance.

ShoutDone is a powerful task management system that presents your projects and tasks in a new light thanks to its unique, high quality interface.

With simple-to-use yet powerful features, ShoutDone will have you working more productively than ever before in only a matter of minutes. Your life, more organized.

Download Arrow IconDownload Free Version of ShoutDone To Do List Software