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Special User Sections > The Getting Organized Experiment of 2009

Request: Please share your prioritization methods here

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tomos:
Thanks for the reply Iain,
apologies about getting the 'Agenda' name wrong  :-[
And I see now that focusing on the software was probably veering off-topic - I may bring it up in another thread. I found your proposal btw IDEA: Create a modern version of Lotus Agenda


Armando - nice to get an idea of your system, thanks. Some good ground rules there too... will have to have another look at it tomorrow (tired here too - Germany just after winning first World Cup game 4:0 - Yeaaay . . . now I'm definitely off-topic :p )

Paul Keith:
In any case, the thing to remember is that any of these methods, if not incorporated into a very concrete and integrated system, won't work. Whatever makes sense to someone must be integrated into concrete steps to follow (in lists, computer software...) each day/week. -Armando (June 13, 2010, 12:47 PM)
--- End quote ---

Could you provide a visual or specific task vs. task example?

The way you combined all systems you encountered got me curious as to how long it takes for you to put it all together as well as how much your prioritization improved before and after the whole process took place.

I know you mentioned the systems you used and I apologize if I'm being vague. It's not that I didn't understand your post as much as I didn't catch the part where the concreteness and integration locked in.

One of the most useful things that Agenda could do was to dynamically auto-set a logical attribute called "category" for a task/item, depending on a rule - for example, whether a certain character string was present in the item data. In the Gmail context, this would be like Gmail dynamically setting a label for an email discussion, if (say) the word "frog" was found in that email discussion. I think this sort of capability might be built into mouser's Clipboard Help & Spell - which employs virtual folders and SQL filters - but I haven't had time to play with that to find out for sure.

Hopes this makes sense. I tend to make mistakes when tired, and I am tired now.
-IainB (June 13, 2010, 02:33 PM)
--- End quote ---

Could you provide some examples as to what specific labels and character string you had that gave the feature a much needed place in your priority system?

Descriptions like these often make sense until I try imagining what specific string I would use.

Paul Keith:
Content, Relationship, Information, Process

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CRIP_Methodology

Armando:

Could you provide a visual or specific task vs. task example?

The way you combined all systems you encountered got me curious as to how long it takes for you to put it all together as well as how much your prioritization improved before and after the whole process took place.

I know you mentioned the systems you used and I apologize if I'm being vague. It's not that I didn't understand your post as much as I didn't catch the part where the concreteness and integration locked in.
-Paul Keith (June 13, 2010, 06:57 PM)
--- End quote ---


Hi Keith,

Like I said, I was mainly influenced by Covey (7 habits) and Allen (GTD), but also Effexis software and a lot of other stuff that I just integrate in my system as reminders, processes in task list, and other various lists (Weekly Review, etc.).

In IQ I was able to set my priority system exactly how I wanted it. It's pretty straight forward, but with a few twists and complexities most people wouldn't care about. Note that I was able to set a similar system in Outlook, minus the urgency calculations and tasks hierarchies, and a few other twists.

It took me a while to set it up exactly how I wanted it, and It's hard for me to say how much my life has improved since then... :) I personally feel more "in control" (in a good way), and I always know what I need to do.


===========


All the "prioritizing" parameters  I exposed previously appear as fields/columns in various grids (tasks grid, project, etc.) and so I just need to use specific filters to see the items I need to see depending on my needs.

Tasks :

Currently, when I enter a new task, I just go from column to column in the grid and ask myself a few questions for each column/parameter I encounter. For ABCD priorities, 1-9 numeric priorities : questions are of course linked to my values, projects and goals (i.e. : I'll favor the tasks linked to my most important values, projects and goals : these are important, they are As if they're "time bound" or Bs if they are important, but not so "time bound"). I'll also ask myself the questions I outlined in my last post -- but it depends on the task, and it's mostly for projects.

The due date (+ start and end date if necessary), time necessary to complete the task etc., don't need any special existential questioning, they're usually straight forward. They do affect the urgency though. A task taking 10 h to complete, due in 2 days, but that I haven't started, and which priority is an A 9, is automatically ranked very high on my priority list...
 


Projects :

This follow pretty much the same process. But I do take more time to evaluate projects since they take longer to complete and mean a bigger energy investment. I ask myself a few questions and I then decide if it's an A or B, or even a C or a D, how much time I want to invest in them depending on how much time I have left, etc. and then I give it an extra push towards the top or the bottom with numeric priorities (1-9), etc..


For both tasks and projets, all the relevant data (due date, priority, etc.) I described in my previous post is used  in a special urgency formula that ties the parameters together and gives me a result (numeric) and colors items depending on the urgency. Red is what needs to be done ASAP (now)... :)

Various filters allow me to see what's coming if I need to.

The weekly review is important (it's a group of tasks that's part of my task list, but I actually usually do it once every 2 weeks, and it's pretty long). This is where I integrate most organizational strategies/processes I come across, and this is where I re-evaluate my tasks and projects ABCD and numeric priorities. I'll also defer some to a later date (without actually touching the original due date...), and delete or file away stuff that I decided not to do, etc. So yes, I mainly use GTD system and philosophy (I read the 2 main books) to a- Record /collect stuff(inbox), b- triage it (next action, projects, defer, delegate, archive, calendar, trash...), and c- Weekly Review.



I think this is a pretty good summary of how I prioritize stuff. I've skipped some details, of  course.

(I intend to now integrate the military strategy outlined in the article from you first post -- using a template of items and a column equation in IQ. It seems to be simple yet effective -- as a second strategy, of course, as this doesn't tell you anything about what you value, what's important to you, etc.)


[Edited as I forgot to answer a couple questions]

Paul Keith:
Hi Armando,

In IQ I was able to set my priority system exactly how I wanted it. It's pretty straight forward, but with a few twists and complexities most people wouldn't care about.
--- End quote ---

I'm only one person but I can guarantee you, I do care to know about these "twists and complexities".

Could you be bothered to make a screen recorded video? Man, the more I hear about your process, the more I think it would help substantially if it can be viewed in action.

I could even try to provide you with a messy list to churn out if you're concerned about the privacy of your tasks list.

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