When it comes to managing the responsibilities of daily work life, too often, the things that repeat are the ones we tend to forget about. For example, a task you need to do every Thursday can fade away in the face of more urgent things that pop up unexpectedly.
But when you don’t have to manually remind yourself each time a task is due, it’s easier for those repeating to-dos to become part of your routine. Evernote is all about providing the tools to become your “second brain,” and now with recurring tasks, your to-dos can become second nature.
How to build a habit and get things done
A seemingly endless to-do list can be daunting. What do you tackle first? Where do you begin? Recurring tasks help you get a jump-start on your agenda by allowing you to be proactive rather than reactive. That way, you can be more present and approach your to-dos methodically and calmly. Whatever you have on your plate on a regular basis, recurring tasks help you plan for it, prepare for it, and stay ahead of the game.
For example, you know you need to build smart habits to get ahead in your career—like taking online courses or reading books to enhance your skills—but it can be hard to find time between your more immediate priorities. With recurring tasks, you can tap yourself on the shoulder to carve out a few minutes to do the little things that’ll pay off big time once they become a sustained part of your routine.
Plus, since you can add tasks to relevant notes in Evernote, you can see everything you need to get (and keep) the ball rolling. Let’s say you want to build your professional network by making at least one business call a day. Apply Evernote’s Habit Tracker template to a new note, add “Make phone call” as a recurring task, and you’ll get a reminder each day to follow through with it. Check the box for each day you maintain your habit and it’ll be second nature in no time!
Or, maybe your monthly sales meeting always seems to sneak up on you. With recurring tasks, you don’t have to stress out, worrying that you might forget to prepare. You can go about the rest of your life knowing that you’ll get a gentle nudge when it’s almost time to compile your report. And there’s no need to manually reset it each month—as long as it’s set to recur, the due date automatically resets every time you mark it as complete, allowing you to relax and move onto the next thing.
The more tasks you can set for yourself and subsequently accomplish, the better you’ll feel and the greater momentum you’ll build in your life. That’s how you go from ‘procrastinator’ to ‘doer.’
How to be a better manager
Whether you are your own boss or manage a large team, recurring tasks take the pressure off everyone. Tasks can also be assigned to others, making it easier for you to help your team keep up their productivity.
For example, if you’re a manager, you could use recurring tasks to keep track of your employees’ birthdays, work anniversaries, and other milestones so you never miss an opportunity to boost morale and celebrate accomplishments. You can also use them to keep quarterly reviews on the horizon and ensure you’re prepared for those regularly recurring sit-downs. For bonus points, try making a notebook for each individual employee on your team, and put recurring tasks in each of their notes.
Whatever your career or personal life demands of you, recurring tasks help heighten your productivity, and make it easier for you to devote your brain space to what matters most. Your tasks may live in your notes, but that doesn’t mean they have to live in your head, rent-free.
How to be more present and increase your focus
When you feel overwhelmed, it can be difficult to stay productive. That distracts from not only your effectiveness at work, but your ability to decompress outside of work.
As much as creating recurring tasks for your career can boost your productivity and effectiveness, the same is true for your personal to-dos as well. That way, you can focus on your professional duties while you’re on the job, and take care of the rest after you clock out, giving you the freedom to forget about whatever life stuff is on your mind when you have other tasks to complete.
For example, let’s say you file your taxes quarterly. That’s no fun, but it’s easier to handle when you create recurring tasks for all the necessary steps. Not only does that keep you on track with your taxes, but knowing that those reminders—and the information associated with them—will be there when you need them means you don’t have to worry while you’re supposed to be earning your paychecks.
We’ll go into more detail on how recurring tasks can improve your work-life balance in a future blog post, but for now, download the latest version of Evernote today to get started.