To prioritize, I use a mixture of :1-
the Covey ABCD system,
The ABCD system is basically the same as the ABC code described above, but with the "D" being Not important and not urgent... Thoses tasks and projects that can basically tossed away or archived for future reference.
To implement that system properly it's "compulsory" to understand what urgent and important truly mean...2-
together with Franklin number priorities (1,2,3...).
These were first used in the paper based Franklin planner created by Hyrum W. Smith
Then, I use a special formula to calculate the urgency of tasks (processed in IQ
) depending on their :
- Planned Start and End date
- % Done
- time needed to complete them
- numeric priority (1-9)
Of course the formula takes into account whether the task-project is late or not, etc.4.
I use a followup field so that I can defer tasks without touching their real start or due date.
I use other fields (like context, etc.) but these have nothing to do with priorities.
In general, I use the rather standard way of dividing my life activities in a few categories : values, needs, goals, projects, dreams, tasks. I used to have 2 more categories : whishes and dreams, but I don't use them as much now... Maybe I should as my life is not so exciting these days!
Activities in these can be grouped in different (I forgot the English name...) "Life domains" (family, job, health, personal care, finance, etc.) to help see where there are some lacks, etc.
I also try to use the :
- 80/20 principle.
- The Smart Method (to set my goals and projects):
S Specific & Significant
M Measurable, motivational, methodical & meaningful
A Action-oriented & achievable
R Realistic & relevant
T Time-bound & tangible
I use other things (like the GTD principles : inbox + todo lists...) but I'm running out of time now...
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. I'm using IQ for that, but I'm not completely satisfied yet -- it's hard to build you own system. That said, I know there's no perfect way and, in the end, what matters most is to do
something that makes you feel satisfied or proud. That's why I use 3 simple criterias (my own) to select every project I decide to work on : 1- Richness and quality of experience
(bringing good memories, happiness, pride, etc.) 2- Advantages
(returns, positive impact on my future) (convergence)
(En accord avec certaines valeurs -- voir ci-dessous) 3- Relaxation
(divergence from day to day routine, just... plain replenishment)
They have to fulfill at least one of these 3 characteristic to an acceptable degree (subjective) otherwise I (try to) dump them.
I had a look at Paul Keith's link in the first post and found it very interesting. THere are some similarities with the 3 points I just mentionned, so I'll try to implement some it too as it makes perfect sense in general (maybe not for artistic creation though -- but...). Sometimes it's hard to decide which project to tackle first, and this could help -- setting that up in IQ will be a breeze...
[Edit : I also liked what I read about the PDCA system. I'm going to integrate that in my Weekly Review of projects. Handy. I also forgot to comment on Mouser's remark about being able to isolate a few tasks to focus on during the day or week -- this is vital for me and I absolutely need to do that so that I don't get distracted by a long (too long) list of possible stuff to do. Any system must allow this.]