Does Task Tracking Increase Productivity?
Ask a group of successful CEOs and entrepreneurs about how they work and you’ll notice a common theme - they’re meticulous about discipline, zealous about their daily routines and to-do lists.
These high-functioning executives are tapping into the power of task tracking. Monitoring what you’ve achieved, what’s still on your plate, and what’s in progress is a recognized productivity-booster that plays on our psychological need to set goals and achieve them.
In the context of a busy office, task tracking doesn’t just increase your chances of getting a project completed on time. It also motivates your employees, improves collaboration, and streamlines workflows.
5 ways task tracking boosts performance
1. More motivation, less stress
Having unfinished tasks nags at our brains, distracting us and adding to our stress. Known as the Zeigarnik Effect, this psychological quirk means those items that just won’t clear your desk are likely holding you back.
Sorting these lingering tasks and putting them into an external format such as a project management tool, or even just a simple list, takes some of that pressure off. And then there’s the satisfying feeling of ticking them off. In the office, that quick hit of self-reward is a powerful motivator to keep going and achieve more.
Task tracking also helps employees clarify their goals, showing what’s expected of them and giving them clear outcomes to work towards. Research shows that goal-setting is strongly related to both motivation and productivity. Why? Because employees who fall short of their goals typically increase their effort or behavior so they can catch up, while employees who hit their goals are so proud of the results that they go on to set even higher objectives.
2. Collaborative working
Task tracking can help individuals manage their workload, but it’s especially invaluable when used for team projects.
It doesn’t matter whether you have the best employees in the building. Throw them together to work on a project without some kind of organizational framework and things will quickly get chaotic.
With task tracking tools, employees get instant oversight of the project - seeing what their colleagues have done, what’s still to do, timelines, and any notes other employees have made. This eliminates a lot of time-consuming back and forth to check who’s doing what, and when.
3. Greater accountability
More oversight means more accountability. When projects get derailed or progress slows, a task tracking system helps managers quickly identify roadblocks.
Rather than painstakingly reverse-engineering the work done so far, managers can simply log on, take a glance at the task workflow, and deal with any stumbling blocks. Knowing this kind of oversight is in place keeps employees accountable as they can clearly see what’s expected of them and how shirking their responsibilities will hinder the whole team.
4. Streamlining workflows
Even small projects can have a lot of moving parts. Imagine laboriously combing through email chains to see which employee is handling task A, which needs to be assigned task B, and why task C isn’t even on the agenda.
This digital detective work sucks up valuable time and resources. Using a task tracker streamlines workflows so there are no delays, duplications, or disruptions.
5. Invaluable insights
Task trackers help in the moment, but they’re also extremely useful in hindsight.
Closely monitoring workflows in this way generates invaluable insights into how employees work. If you’ve logged every step of the project, you can run a quick but accurate audit of each worker’s contribution. This allows managers to reward those who performed well, and assist those who fell behind.
These analytics are also a great resource for employees themselves. Each team member can see where they breezed through a task and where they lagged, using that information to better plan future work processes and manage their priorities.
Task tracking in action
To fully realize the benefits of task tracking, organizations should be wary of some productivity pitfalls. As with any office tools, their success relies on how they’re implemented.
A sustainable tracking model is:
- Realistic - setting attainable goals, managing task attribution so workload is distributed evenly, and keeping deadlines manageable.
- Flexible - leaving room for last-minute adjustments and unexpected additions.
- Easy to use - overly-complex systems mean more time on training, and kill productivity rather than enhancing it
There are many options on the market if you’re looking to add a task tracker to your company’s tech stack. Asana and Trello are probably the best-known, but most CRMs also have task tracking built in - your people just need to be trained on how to use it. A robust project management solution and/or a CRM can get you started, but it’s also wise to consider an Employee Productivity Monitoring (EPM) solution like Prodoscore to ensure staff are actually using whatever solution you choose.
Prodoscore measures how your employees are interacting with company tools to monitor their progress and identify opportunities for improvement. It helps managers support their teams, maximize their resources, and improve performance. Contact us today to book a demonstration and see exactly how Prodoscore transforms workflows.