Three top tips on the most effective task planning techniques - Unlock Your Team's Genius

Three top tips on the most effective task planning techniques

By Georg Fasching | agile practice

Aug 15

Planning and executing your daily tasks is a key part of agile scrum.

Tip 1: Start your tomorrow, today

Spend a good amount of time toward the end of your day planning your three top tasks for next day. While you’ll have a lot of things to do each day, the key is to deliver the ones that have real impact on the team’s performance first. This can be anything from preparing the product backlog for the next sprint, tackling that tricky creative challenge (design or engineering), to getting ready for the next refinement session.

You may be nervous about a particular task and subconsciously avoiding it for this reason. This is completely normal. That said, there’s a strong correlation between those tasks that maybe take you out of your comfort zone a little and those that have great impact. It could be that your excitement or anticipation of such a high impact task is manifesting as nerves.

To combat this, here is a bonus tip, the experience of excitement (e.g. raised heart rate) is very very similar to the experience of nervousness (e.g. raised heart rate). So you can always change the narrative in your head from “i’m nervous about this” to “i’m excited by this”. With these tricks, do these tasks first thing in the morning, as we’re all too good at becoming busy later in the day.

By the way, doing this preparation will also help you to offer a super slick contribution to your Daily Scrum meeting!

Tip 2: Psych yourself up

Before you do start crossing things off your list, it might help to imagine yourself actually doing these tasks. This comes from an old body of knowledge called ‘psycho cybernetics’ in which you either imagine yourself completing a task in first person or watch yourself doing it from outside of your body cinema-style. Whatever you do, picture yourself doing it well. This can help to make you more comfortable with the task ahead and make you more eager to complete it.

“Reward yourself with acknowledgement and appreciation for everything you have accomplished.” Click To Tweet

Tip 3: Celebrate little victories

After you’ve completed the tasks you set out from the day before, try the following:

  1. Acknowledge that you’ve set yourself objectives and you’ve met each of them.
  2. Celebrate this in your own way. It’s important to reward yourself for victories, no matter how small.
  3. Review the completed actions and consider how you can improve next time.

I hope the video and tips above help you to plan and execute your daily tasks more effectively. Once you get into a rhythm of daily planning and delivering you will find meetings, additional tasks, teams, product owners and stakeholders easier to work with.

If you have any questions or topics you’d like me to cover, leave a comment below or send me a message through my website. Thanks for reading. See you next time!

 

Here’s the full transcript:

-Hi, Georg Fasching here.
Welcome back to another episode of The Power of Three series where I’m spending just three minutes sharing my top three tips and encouragements on a particular subject.
In this video I’m going to focus on task planning and that is task planning for yourself.
Okay, so let’s put three minutes on the clock starting now.
The first thing is to actually spend a bit of time ideally towards the end of a day to plan your three most important things that you need to accomplish
the following day.
And when it comes to those three things, pick the ones that actually will make the most impact.
And there’s usually a strong correlation between those that stretch your comfort zone a little bit and those that actually have the most impact.
So those elements where we’re a little bit nervous about it we can re frame that and just say well, nervousness could just be excitement misunderstood, but it is those three things where you might feel a little bit uncomfortable but they will actually have the most impact so pick those three things to start with and do them as the first thing in the morning so that they are done.
‘Cause we are very good at filling our time with all the things that make us feel busy.
But they aren’t actually the ones, or the tasks, the activities that really help us make the boat go faster, the ones that help us reach our goals.
So pick those three things.
Plan them at the end of the day before, start with them in the morning and get them done.
The second thing I would like to encourage you to do, is before you do those three things, especially the ones that really help you advance things much more fundamentally and those that will make you a little bit more uncomfortable, imagine yourself doing them well before you do them.
So it’s a really helpful task.
You can imagine yourself either in the first person version as you’re doing the task well, imagine yourself doing that and you can also imagine yourself being an observer of yourself doing it really well beforehand.
So this way you already make it happen in your mind before you then do it in reality.
That usually makes it a little easier to then get the task done in reality.
Those two techniques come from a very old body of knowledge called psycho-cybernetics but the concepts have been proven ever since and lots of personal development people have taken it out, given it a different names and responded different ways but imagine yourself, visualizing yourself, doing certain tasks and doing tasks before you’re gonna actually doing it in real life really helps you, as a whole, prepare very well for then getting the task done.
The final encouragement I would like to share with you is to actually then after you have accomplished your three important things, to acknowledge yourself for doing so in order to actually celebrate a little bit with yourself that you have perhaps leaned into your comfort zone a little bit, that you have accomplished something, that you have done what you have planned to do so this way you’re also training the brain that it is a good thing for you to not only plan but also do and then you reward yourself with acknowledgement of yourself in order to reward yourself and appreciate yourself for everything that you have accomplished.
And with that, your three minutes are up.
If you find these tips useful, please like, share and subscribe.
If you have any thoughts on this video or any ideas for future videos, please kindly leave them in the comments and until next time, thank you very much for your time and thank you much for watching me.
All the best to you, bye, bye.

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About the Author

An agilist since 2010 and in product management since the 90s, Georg Fasching helps digital creative agencies delight their clients, fulfil their people, and improve their prosperity.

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