Taskenstein.com blog-Tame your to do list Simple web based task management

21Jan/110

Focusing on Easy Victories

Easy Victories Can Help You with Successful Task Completion
Have you ever had several tasks to complete, but looked at them all as a group? You don’t really appreciate the completion of just one task because you are bunching all your tasks together, decreasing the value of just one victory. You don’t want to lose your aspect of value in the completion of one task as it can demotivate you greatly as you seek out completion of all tasks you may have.
Motivation is a key element of successful task completion, and motivating yourself is highly essential to your success. Easy victories can be a prime method of ensuring that you remain on track and motivated to keep going. Although tasks may be your responsibility, it is easy to let them slide back due to demotivating factors. Focusing on Easy Tasks First

What are Easy Victories?
An easy victory is the completion of a simple or smaller task. As you complete the task, you know it was easy, but the victory is going to motivate you to do more. Just like anything else you may do in life, if you get an easy win, you are going to want to go for the gold much more than without these easy victories. An easy victory could be even just the preparation to complete tasks by creating a schedule or some sort, which can be so simple, but so motivating.
Easy victories are just your way of setting milestones that are easy to pass and can keep you going. Treating the completion of one task as just a part of your overall total tasks can greatly overwhelm you as you think of all that you have left to do. However, if you do have a very large task that requires various steps, small victories could be the completion of various elements of your overall task.

Small victories are great victories and worth a great deal in terms of motivation. There aren’t many people that are going to take on a great deal without setting small victories for themselves to stay on track and motivated to do it all.

We've designed Taskenstein.com to show you when you've completed something to assist with these "Easy Victories". Check us out and let us know what you think!

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6Sep/100

Updated Features for September-Change Log

Taskenstein.comWe're pleased to announce several new features to make your to do's easier to manage. Here's the Change log for September:
Change Log
  • Add new task now has simpler tab order to make creating tasks faster
  • New Shortcuts for task due dates
    • use “d” to indicates days ex:
      • 1d would be due 1 day from the current date
    • use ‘w” to indicate weeks for example:
      • 3w would be due 3 weeks from the current date
  • Deleting tasks now easier
  • User Guide has been created and published at www.taskenstein.com/guide.php
  • Quick overview video of site has been created and is viewable on the homepage or upon logging in for the first time
  • Blog has been created at www.taskenstein.com/blog
  • Interface options for recurring tasks have been made easier
  • Deleting multiple tasks now easier
  • Tasks not marked as important are now by default marked as “Not Important”

Miscellaneous

  • Fixed Several Javascript related bugs for Chrome
  • Updated several formatting and layout settings
  • Simplified username and password length requirements

We have more features coming, but if you'd like to see something specific please email support[at]taskenstein.com

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28Aug/100

Success by Focusing on High Value Tasks (Pareto Principle)

One of the hardest things to come to terms with is that there is not enough time to do everything. With a million things that need to get done, it's hard some times to determine what needs to be done and what's garbage. Success lies in focusing on the High Value Tasks. By focusing on quadrants you can help weed out some of the distractions of urgent but not important tasks, but sometimes even your "important" list will be long.  This is where using the Pareto Principle, or "the law of the vital few" can come in handy . Also known as the "80/20 Rule" the Pareto principle focuses on those few things that give you the most value. The principle, which was developed by an Italian economist,  was orignally observed to be true in relation to income, but has also been found to be true in things as disparate as software bugs and computer graphics.

High Value Tasks

To apply the 80/20 rule when managing tasks take the following steps:

  1. Review your important items on your to do list
  2. Determine which give you the greatest value from their completion (HVT)
  3. Do those tasks first

As Tim Ferris points out inThe 4-Hour Workweek using the Pareto Principle is about effectiveness, not efficiency. That is, you eliminate tasks that don't give you the most value. If a non-HVT must absolutely, positively, cannot be eliminated, at least slow down how often you have to do them, and increase your efficiency in doing them, so that you can spend the largest amount of time focusing on the HVT's.

How do you use High Value Tasks?  What's your metric for determining if something is a HVT?

24Aug/100

Success by Eating the Frog (Least favorite task first)

Today we'll talk about another strategy on how to get things done.  The previous two posts have focused on how to use procrastination to your advantage, or how to build up to difficult tasks. Productivity techniques- Eating that frog!

The "Eat that frog" technique instead focuses on increasing your productivity by doing the hardest task. I first heard about this tactic while listening to Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy.  The basic premise is that as long as you have that difficult task that you really really don't want to do (eating a frog) you'll end up dragging your feet throughout the rest of the day. If instead of hiding from that horrible thing all day, instead you eat that frog first thing, you'll zoom through the rest of your day because you've gotten the absolute worst part of your day out of the way. It's essentially productivity by climbing Mt. Everest and then sledding down the foothills.

The steps are pretty simple:

  1. Review your task list and identify your least favorite task
  2. Do that task
  3. Do the rest of your tasks in whichever order you decide

The thing to note is that it doesn't necessarily have to be the hardest task, it just needs to be  your least favorite. Whether it's contacting that difficult client, have the crucial conversation with a boss or coworker, whatever it is that you don't like to do get it out of the way so you can get it out of your mind and jump into things that you like.

How has this post helped? How have you used this technique for success?