Your short term memory can only hold up to five to seven items but typically people operate better, remembering only three or four things at any given time, your short term memory also has a limitation of about 20 seconds, which means that if you remember you need to do something, and then don’t act on that memory within 20 seconds, chances are that memory will be gone.
Time is money and it is indeed stressful when you forget things that need to be done, all the more frustrating when your team does as this will waste not only your business’s time, but it will cost it as well. Working productively relies on getting all of the information out of people’s memories, stopping them from relying on just what they recall at any given moment and turning that information into valuable workflow systems that maintain efficiency and productivity.
Moving all of the details of managing tasks at work will save time, boost performance and prevent the burnout that comes when people run out of headspace. Here are the practical tips to get all that information out of your head and into some great workflow systems to support you and your team.
DOCUMENT RARE TASKS:
The first thing that I recommend for everyone is to document all of your tasks, but specifically focused on documenting tasks that you don’t need to do very often. There are some tasks that only come up every you know once or twice a year. In that case, it’s easy to forget how to do that task. When these rare tasks to come around, make sure you’re jotting down the steps and filing them away centrally in the cloud within your resource retrieval system to make sure that when they come up, you know how to do it. There’s nothing worse than time wasted on a task that only needs to be done a few times a year.
USE CHECKLISTS AS A GUIDE:
Make sure that you’ve got checklists guiding you and your team through all the tasks that you need to do. A checklist gives you a list of steps to complete. As you go you can be checking off these steps, make sure that not only the job is done completely but also that it’s done well. This is how you will maintain standards of excellence run across the board in your workplace, without creating the pressure on your memory to have to remember how to do a great job every single time.
SCHEDULE TASKS IN A PLANNER:
Develop planners to map out all of the tasks that need to be done in your business. There are some things that you and your team will do every single day and these are things you are likely to remember how to do. If a task comes up in your business on a regular basis, it really could be valuable to map out those tasks. Schedule out all of those tasks so that you know when to do those tasks. This is a great way to get those reminders out of your head and into a fully functioning workflow system that will allow you to work with efficiency and productivity. This applies not only to you but even more so for your team. It provides them with stability and structure, and that they’re not going to drop the ball because they simply forgot what needed to be done.
We have lots of tasks to do during the workday as small business owners. From answering phones, speaking with customers to designing new layouts, doing payroll and writing invoices, our days are full of mindless tasks and mentally challenging ones. With a bit of planning and task documentation, you will immensely help not only yourself but your team and your business as well!