Task Management Canvas example

Task Management Canvas

Posted On June 1, 2023

According to reliable sources, there are currently 8,045,311,447 people in the world.

35% of them are either under 15 or over 65, so they have nothing to do all day. However, this leaves 5,229,452,460 busy individuals managing a wide variety of tasks.

Based on my knowledge of many of them (though not  the majority), this means that there are over 5 billion task management systems out there!

Because every individual seems to manage their tasks differently.

Furthermore, these task management systems are no more perfect than their owners, although they tend to improve over time (the systems, I mean).

With this in mind, I’d like to share a Task Management Canvas that could help you to improve your particular system.

To get the Task Management Canvas and guidance for its use, please click here.

In a nutshell, the canvas has you identify your sources of Things to Do (to the left) and your tools and methods for dealing with Manageable Tasks (on the right). In the middle, a small miracle happens: Things to Do are converted into Manageable Tasks by a conscientious, energetic worker – that’s you.

The process of brainstorming sources of Things to Do and ways of dealing with Manageable Tasks helps us to see flaws in our current system. Sometimes, systems that made sense in the past have got past their sell-by dates, and we need to update them. Occasionally, we see the need for more discipline with regards to certain tasks, and the potential benefits of making this effort can motivate us to find it. Frequently, we notice one or two things that should simply be eliminated.

Just like your personal task management system, how you fill in the canvas is up to you. However, if you take your brainstorming seriously – perhaps going back to it now and again, over a few days – it can work wonders!

Thanks to Suraj Ethirajan and Zaha Hyatt for their collaboration on a recent Task Management podcast. Recognition for David Allen’s huge contribution to the task management literature – he inspired several of the points which are captured in the Task Management Canvas.

The Task Management Canvas is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Written by Andrew Betts

Consultant, trainer and coach specialising in client communication practices (inter- and intra-company). As a facilitator, I use training, coaching and mentoring in due measure. I enjoy developing original programs and creating new tools, and begin with the assumption that the people I meet are doing their best in complex circumstances. The rest depends on where they’re starting from and where they want to go. As a sales consultant, I strive to walk the talk, applying the values and beliefs that underpin my facilitation work to the techno-commercial domain. I agree with Frankl about the importance of meaning, and believe that this generally comes from work with and/or for others – human animals are wired that way! For myself, I’ve noticed that when I’m working towards the transmission of knowledge and skills, then I feel the greatest sense of fulfilment/flow. I am also rather attached to the Schutzian notion of truth as a fundamental enabler, and to Isaiah Berlin’s idea of plurality – the complex and unfortunately rather dull opposite of extremism – as a sensible approach to the problems of the world.

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