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Boost Your Task Management System by Mastering Tasks, Speedies, and Reminders

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To truly master task management, there are three key concepts you need to perfectly understand:

  1. Task

  2. Speedy

  3. Reminder

Often, these terms become muddled in everyday language, leading to confusion.

That’s why, at the Paperless Movement®, we continually stress the importance of understanding each concept.

This comprehension is critical for ensuring that we always assign the same name to the same object, given the crucial role each concept plays in various workflows.

Naming these concepts correctly allows us to properly identify items and understand what needs to be done with them.

What Is a Task?

According to ICOR®’s terminology, the only actionable item in your productivity system is a task.

To highlight this, we always recommend starting the name of a task with an action verb.

For example: “Write Report”, “Design Logo”, or “Prepare Meeting Agenda”.

This “verb rule” helps in identifying tasks in your productivity system and encourages you to take action, fostering motivation to complete the job.

When a task gets complicated, you can break it down into smaller tasks, called sub-tasks.

If this happens, we suggest renaming the main task without a verb, as the smaller sub-tasks will be now the actionable items you’ll act on. These sub-tasks will be the ones that now start with a verb.

To make tasks with sub-tasks stand out in your system as containers of actionable items, consider naming them in all CAPS.

What Is a Speedy?

It’s also essential to distinguish between two other concepts that can cause confusion: speedy and reminder.

In ICOR® terms, as a rule of thumb, a task typically takes 15 minutes to 3 hours to complete.

If it requires more time, you should split it into multiple tasks. This strategy is key for planning your day and week effectively.

A speedy, on the other hand, is a shorter task. It’s an action you can execute and complete in less than 15 minutes.

Tasks need planning, and you should schedule them based on criteria such as due date, estimated completion time, or energy level required.

Typically, they require a deep level of focus and concentration.

Speedies are quite the opposite: There’s no need for extensive planning. All you need to do is quickly decide the date they should be done. They are, literally, shallow work.

What Is a Reminder?

Finally, we come to the last concept you must understand fully: reminders.

A reminder is created when a task or speedy not only needs to be executed on a certain date, but also at a specific time. It’s an alarm to let you know that item needs attention.

Therefore, it’s crucial not to confuse speedies and tasks with reminders because they are not the same.

Speedies and tasks are the “actions” you need to execute, while reminders are the “alarms” you set to jog your memory.

In fact, if needed, a reminder could also be used for other types of items in your productivity system, such as events.

In our course, “Task Management like a Pro!”, we dive into practical concepts like these ones, plus workflows, and pragmatic implementations for effective task management.

We want to help you take control of your workday, gain clarity and focus to prioritize tasks that align with your strategic goals, and skillfully manage unexpected events.

Join us to achieve daily accomplishment and fulfillment in your professional life.

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