How to efficiently plan tasks for your team?

Planning is the key word in modern management. You can see different approaches to this subject. Some plan more than they actually do, while others can be totally spontaneous. Of course, we don't recommend any of these extremes. The best solution is to look for a happy medium, but how should this be achieved?

Intelligent management aims to increase efficiency through the most productive use of work hours. Time management is not easy, especially when accompanied by a busy atmosphere every day. A storm of telephone calls, emails and other routine activities effectively pulls you away from what really matters. Without proper planning of the work day or week, chaos will quickly creep into our schedule. Consequently, we are not only threatened by unnecessary stress, but also a fast path to burnout.

Distractions from reality

Proper task planning should start with yourself. In the end, as a leader you have to set a specific direction for the whole team. However, it is difficult to expect solid results from someone when we are not able to take care of order in our own schedule. The role of the manager is a very important task. Appropriate planning of our own work day obviously requires us to think a few steps ahead. Of course, too meticulous planning is another extreme that we want to avoid.

At the same time, do not try to depart from reality. When we plan something, we often want to stick to the designated path with manic stubbornness. We follow it as if we’re guaranteed to be led into a bright future. A solid faith in the infallibility of our plans is a serious problem. We will encounter many situations that will force us to change the current course of action and adapt to the new reality. It is much worse if we try to bend reality to our plans.

In essence, each plan is a representation of a certain scenario. We arrange it based on our team's experience or by intuition. The given solution only helps in solving specific problems, through proper recognition and asking ourselves the question: how can we get out of the current situation? You will probably throw the ready plan into the trash. However, the final questions and methodology for solving problems remain with you, becoming profitable for the team.

Daily schedule

Every day, sometimes even every week, individual employees and entire teams of people complete various tasks. At this stage, we focus on their most effective implementation, thus the problem of the so-called "goals and projects". We focus to a large extent on what we need to solve current problems. We are constantly calculating costs and profits to clearly specify the expected results, then the following question arises: is the action profitable? The second legitimate question will be : What do I have to sacrifice or invest to achieve a specific goal?

In the fit of euphoria arising from the new idea, we probably wanted to throw ourselves into the work more than once. It happens not only in professional life, but also in private life, when we are looking for a new hobby. Immediately afterwards, however, should come a moment of sobriety. Even before you spend your first penny and take the first steps, ask yourself, what exactly do you want to achieve, how much time and effort will it cost you? If you find the answers to the above questions, you will quickly come down, because it turns out that the amount of time devoted will be disproportionate to the potential results. Of course, you should not end your struggle with this problem. The second stage must be to find an alternative. Maybe similar or better effects are within your reach with less effort?

Sense the strategist

But how do you know what to get involved in and what you should avoid? Almost every modern industry creates many opportunities for development paths. Customer acquisition, new business contacts and knowledge accumulation can be implemented in various ways. However, you can't put every idea into practice. Physically, it is not possible to be in several places at once, and your time is not infinite. It is the quality of the strategy that helps formulate specific ideas so that in the long run they create a uniform plan.

No doubt a strategic mind will come in handy. If you do not show such abilities, then use your imagination. At this stage, do not think too far ahead. It is worth considering where you see yourself and your team in a year’s time. Thus, it is appropriate to recalculate profits and losses, because on the way to your goal you may have to give up potentially lucrative orders.

A few rules worth remembering

Small steps lead to each goal. One should not underestimate even seemingly trivial activities, such as the usual appreciation of subordinates in achieving the team's goals. In this way, employees are accounted for and know what others are doing. Programs for assigning and enforcing individual steps will also be a good solution. In this way you introduce some order and predictability. However, avoid routine at all costs, set yourself and others new goals that you can achieve. Indicate clearly when extra work is needed and when not. Ultimately, a well-informed team will work much more efficiently thanks to a better atmosphere.

Avoid working too much. Zeal and taking too many responsibilities on your shoulders leads to inevitable burnout. If you can't distribute your strength sensibly alone, it's hard to expect it from your colleagues. In large companies, a manager must protect the team from the abstract expectations of the rest of the organization. Especially people in senior positions who often have no idea what you are doing and what the benefits are. Again, don't plan everything down to the smallest detail yourself. Ask subordinates about the challenges they face. What causes the biggest challenges? Consider how you can help them manage their time more efficiently.


When determining what your employees should spend time on, you should think about what exactly the whole team should do. Then questions about the mission and potential vision and what you are doing, may arise. These are quite abstract values, difficult to grasp, because you refer to emotions, values, and sometimes individual passions. Professional passion may seem like a cheap slogan, but everyone engaging in something 100% would provide the feeling that they have properly used their abilities. That is why a wider vision is needed to motivate further action.

If you have the ability to plan at different levels, then the team you work with will work like a properly oiled machine. Tasks that previously seemed unimaginable suddenly cease to be so absorbing, making decisions and tracking individual effects will be much easier. Just realize that your time is not unlimited.

Łukasz Fiszer
July 10, 2019

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