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Thinking About Projects Instead of Tasks as a Deathcare Professional

How many items are on your to-do list for today? If it’s more than a dozen or you don’t even know, it may be time to switch from task-based time management to project-based tasking. Deathcare professionals already deal with a lot of emotional and work stress without their to-do list doing them in, so find out more about project-based tasking below.

Organizing Tasks by Projects

Listing out all the tasks you must accomplish can be daunting. Most deathcare professionals could fill an entire page with tick marks and tasks if they list each item, which might range from calling a family to sending an email to refilling the coffee basket in the hospitality kitchen.

Instead of looking at your day as a series of detailed tasks, break things up into projects (or categories). Each funeral you’re helping to plan might be a project. Each section of the funeral home you’re responsible for could also be a project. Instead of a task list of 25, you might have a project list of three:

  • Smith family funeral plans
  • Attend to kitchen
  • Complete payroll

List tasks under each category or project. If possible, use a digital project management option such as Trello or Todoist to manage this process. These tools let you see the overall project list or delve into each to see more detailed tasks.

It seems simple, but organizing your tasks so you can see big pictures or scale down to details of a single category is a mental game changer for improved time management.

Setting Better Priorities

Starting with a project mentality also helps you set better priorities. If employees are expecting to be paid today and you don’t have a funeral planned until next week, you know that the tasks under “complete payroll” are more important than the tasks under “Attend to kitchen.”

You can also more easily prioritize within each project.

Delegating, Deleting, and Delaying

Understanding what project or category each task belongs to also helps you better delegate, delete or delay as needed.

  • Offload tasks when others can do them. As owner or manager of a funeral home, you may not be able to delegate payroll. But anyone on your team can ensure the hospitality areas are well stocked.
  • When you’re forced to categorize tasks by project, you’re also forced to determine if the task is necessary. If you can’t fit the task under any projects or categories, ask yourself if it really serves a purpose or if you can delete it and move on.
  • Everyone works with the same 24 hours a day, and work-life balance and general wellness dictates you aren’t spending even half of those at work. Some items on your list may have to be moved to tomorrow or next week. Organizing them by projects with known due dates helps you decide what gets shuffled.

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