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2 Ways to Color-code Tasks (and stay focused on the things that matter most)

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

2 Ways to Color-Code Tasks and Stay Focused

This little tidbit has helped me find balance among warring priorities and stay focused. Color-coding tasks lets you SEE the work you’re doing so that you can course correct as needed.

How can you use color-coding in task management?

Associate a group of related tasks to a single color in your planner. When you add a task related to this group, you highlight the checkbox next to the task or the task itself, depending on your preference. I have used this method to visually group tasks by weekly priority or work area.

Color-coding by Priority

If you use our Quarterly Planner and follow along with our ActionPlanner Club, then you regularly declare your three top priorities for the week. Those priorities will likely require that several tasks are complete in order to tackle the priority as a whole. Color-coding the priority and its tasks allow you to see those tasks quickly and ensure that you will definitely make progress on the priority.

For example, I wanted to make sure I published this post this week. So, I made it one of my priorities, highlighted in teal. Since this is a multi-step process, I added each step onto a specific day in my planner and highlighted the checkbox next to each in teal. I can tell that my priority has dedicated time and space in my week simply because I see teal.

If I highlight each of my three weekly priorities in a different color, I can tell that I won’t knock out a priority if its color is nowhere to be found on my planner.

Make sense?

Color-coding by Work Area

This concept can also help you create balance among different types of tasks.

For example, aside from Waymaker, I run a second company that manages rental properties for my family. Before I had an assistant helping me, I was responsible for everything. Balancing the workload and family life was a struggle. So, I color-coded by work area: Waymaker, Riverside, and Personal. Each area had to be represented on my calendar or I was out of balance.

If you are a solopreneur, you may need to balance the different departments of your business since there are always areas that we don’t have an affinity toward. If you’re not careful, you will find yourself backlogged on bookkeeping or marketing if those areas aren’t your jam. Color coding helps you see what you are avoiding and where your attention is leaning.

Decide Which Is Important & Stay Focused

Color-coding creates balance by helping you to SEE your blind spots. You can use it to watch your effort against particular priorities or work areas. How you use it depends on where you are as a business owner and what you need to move the needle for your business.

My Favorite Tools

I am in love with these erasable highlighters because I sometimes mark the wrong color. But if erasable isn’t important, then just use your favorite colors in markers. I only highlight the checkbox anyway, so it’s safe to go bold and take pleasure in using color.


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