Easy as ABC

February 9, 2011

I am a notorious planner, and, at the moment, I have well over 1,000 to-do’s on my expanding-like-the-universe to-do list.

And, in part because my list of things to do is so large, I struggle with prioritization.

In fact, my biggest challenge, day-in and day-out, is determining what I really SHOULD be doing (vs what I WANT to do, which is often an entirely different list).

Easy as ABC

So, I use what I call the “ABC” method to keep me focused on consistently doing what I should be doing.

It’s as easy as the name itself. I break every task down into one of three categories: A, B or C. Here’s the definition of each:

A = Urgent AND important
B = Important but not urgent
C = Urgent but not important

And here is how I handle each of these lists:

The A List

Complete every single A item ASAP to the extent that I can.

For larger projects, I break them into smaller chunks and put them in probable chronological order, and do everything I can until I cannot go any farther in a given day for some reason.

The B List

I generally postpone these items until they transition onto the A list with the passage of time. I do this to leverage the Pareto and Parkinson principles I discussed in one of my earlier blog posts.

The C List

My goal with “C List” items is to never do them myself if at all possible. I try my best to delegate them to someone else to free up more of my time to handle the A priorities.

In conclusion, the “ABC” method is super easy and very common sense. Start using it and see if you don’t end up doing more of the things you should be doing, and, in the process, further enhance your productivity…

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