Productivity

How To Manage Tasks Like A Pro

 April 12, 2021

By  Uriah Guilford, MFT

minute read

Hello and welcome to the Productive Therapist Podcast!

My name is Uriah, I’m a licensed marriage- and family-therapist and the Head Nerd in charge here.

My goal is really to give you some quick tips and tricks that are going to save you some time so you can be a more productive therapist. I really do want you to get more done so you can have more fun.

Today, I’m going to talk about task management, something that gets me unusually excited.

And I know not everyone lives and dies by their task list or their to-do manager, but I’m one of those people and of course, I recommend it.

It’s really easy for me to forget things. So I like the idea of getting ideas and tasks quickly out of my head and onto a list where I know where to find them and I’m not going to lose track of anything.

Here are a couple of my habits and best practices.

So I love and use daily an app called ToDoist, and it syncs to all my devices.

Now, that’s true of most of these task managers. Whether you want to use Things or ToDoist or Remember The Milk – there’s a bunch of them out there – but I like that, so no matter what device I pick up, I can find my task list. Most often it’s on my phone and my computer.

Number two: one of the things I love about ToDoist that’s kind of unique is that there are task shortcuts that I use constantly throughout the day. So command-shift-A – no matter where I am on my computer, it pops up a little window that overlays and I can type in my task, set the priority, set the date, click Enter, it’s gone.

I don’t know about you, but I’m regularly…things are coming into my brain as I’m working on other things. And then I want to capture that information, but I don’t want to necessarily task switch. So that is incredibly useful for me.

The next one is I have a simple priority system and all task managers have something like this. I use red for Must Get Done Today / top priority.

And then I set orange for items, tasks that would be great to complete but not super urgent / medium priority.

And then blue is Not Important For Today at all, but if I get through everything else then I can tackle those.

And in ToDoist, I can quickly click one button and just see my top priority tasks; I like that a lot.

Next up, when creating a task, I always start with a verb.

So it always starts with either Write, Email, Send, Message, Process – something that I can take action on.

And then I add the next step or whatever the task is, plus a due date and a priority. I can do that in probably five to ten seconds, which is really nice.

I also use ToDoist to assign tasks to my team members and then track the completion of those tasks.

So I can do the same process that I just told you about, and then I can – I think it’s the @ symbol – and then I can type in one of my assistants or one of my team members, and then that immediately gets added to their task list. And then when they complete that task, it sends me an email to notify me. That’s really nice.

One thing I like about ToDoist is that it’s very simple to use, but it’s actually very robust in how much it can do. So you can, of course, do things like add subtasks, you can add comments to a task, you can attach files or images, just like any other application, even Trello, and those are really helpful, especially when I’m delegating things to my team members. We can actually send and receive comments back and forth to clarify aspects of a task.

And lastly, I have a separate projects set up for different things.

So I have my basic running task list. And then I also have projects which are kind of like folders for things like my content calendar, general idea dump and any ongoing projects that I’m either working on by myself or with my team.

So those are a couple of the things that I do on a daily basis that help me stay on top of two businesses and 27/28 employees!

At the end of the day, my task list really keeps me organized and on track and makes sure that I’m unlikely to drop any balls or forget important things.

The truth is that the app or system that you use doesn’t matter that much; you certainly don’t have to use the one I recommend. It’s more key that you have something in place that works for you and frees you up to focus on the right things at the right time.

So if you want more helpful tips and tricks like this, make sure to subscribe to this podcast and listen to the past and future episodes.

You can also check out our Productive Therapist Insider program, where we provide snackable support and curated content that’s going to save you time. Go check it out at ProductiveTherapist.com/Insider and get more information.

Thanks for listening!

Uriah Guilford, MFT


Uriah is a group practice owner and the creator of Productive Therapist. He is a technology nerd, a minimalist travel packer, a rock drummer and business development enthusiast.

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