Getting Stuff Done Holistically – What Task Managers Won’t Tell You

I’m totally addicted to my task manager. The piece of software that I can fill with certain things, that are floating around and occupying my brain. I can get them out of my head, and tackle them whenever I need to.

By the way, with “task manager” I’m referring to tools like Asana and Trello – sophisticated to-do lists.

However, while those tools are good in achieving one specific thing, they don’t really create an holistic overview about what to do.

They lack certain meta data that you need for making good decisions.

Task managers are exceptionally good nowadays, for achieving things like:

  • Sorting your tasks by due date – and seeing which fire to extinguish next
  • Sorting your tasks by projects – giving you an overview what needs to be done to move a project forward
  • Sorting your tasks by assignee – providing you an overview about who should be working on what

Those are essential, but not the really important criteria, that we require for making exceptional decisions.

I’d like to motivate you to look at at least three more factors, when mentally sorting your tasks:

Task Value

Everything you do professionally has a financial value attached to it.

Some things are on the lower end. You might only get a couple of dollars out of certain tasks. E.g. tagging your photo library is a task, that for most of us, will not be rewarded much.

On the other hand there are highly rewarded tasks. Certain emails or phone calls can make you a couple of thousand dollars, and much more. Meeting the right person to collaborate can change your entire professional life!

So looking at your day according to the criteria of task value can be a great addition in helping you make decisions.

Task Impact

But we are not only interested in capitalist values. We are also thriving for spreading our message, having a beneficial impact on this planet.

So another angle to look at your tasks, and to mentally tag them with, is the impact attached to them. (You might or might not see a high correlation between impact and value.)

Creating content can be very impactful. A viral video for example… It doesn’t have to make you money (it certainly can), while still supporting your mission.

Task Desire

Last but not least, look at your tasks from the standpoint of “is this what I desire doing?”.

If you discover that you do not enjoy doing the things you’re doing, at least very regularly so, there’s something out of alignment. The Soulful Hustle looks at things holistically, and if the pillar of joy and desire is lacking, all that you’re doing is not sustainable anyhow.

So it’s totally worthwhile looking at your task list, and picking something that you enjoy. Something that fulfills you. If that’s tagging your photos, so be it. Just don’t constantly leave out other criteria.

About the author

Philipp Steinweber

Philipp is the founder of Metamonks and Omooni, and passionate about personal growth. On Soulful Hustle he open-sources the strategies and insights learned from his projects.