Time management is all about ROI (return on investment). We all have 24 hours in a day but our effectiveness is dependent on how well we can maximize this time. Being busy and being productive are totally different. Most articles on time management tips mention key points to keep in mind regarding time management but they don’t offer you a plan of action to implement these steps.
I’m going to show you how to use the ABCDE prioritizing method that I learnt from Brian Tracy a few years ago.
This method incorporates many time management principles mentioned by others and is easy to implement in your daily routine.
The benefits of using this method are as follows:
Helps you focus – By writing down your tasks for the day, you’re essentially dumping the information from your brain onto paper which clears your mind and improves focus.
Prioritization – Once on paper, your tasks can be sorted and prioritized accordingly. You set your important tasks first.
Improves single tasking – Helps you to work on one task at a time.
Delegation – it’s simply impossible to do everything yourself and delegation is a key component of time management.
Elimination – just as some tasks need to be delegated, some need to be eliminated because it’s not important.
Let’s get started
Set aside time either in the afternoon or the morning to write out a to do list. This should take approximately 15 minutes. Write out your things to do in a diary, spreadsheet, Google keep or any other task system. I prefer to use a diary as I can check when certain tasks were done. It’s also a great motivation to look back at what you’ve accomplished.
Once you’ve dumped all of the tasks from your brain onto paper. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes. Your mind gets bogged down when you’re constantly trying to remember what to do next. Now mark each item as follows:
A – I ABSOLUTELY have to do it today.
B – It would be BETTER if I do it today.
C – I CAN do it today but it’s not that important.
D – I can DELEGATE this to someone else.
E – This is not important and can be ELIMINATED from my list.
You’ve now grouped your tasks according to their importance. Then start with all the tasks marked with an A and decide what is most important to least important in that group and number each item from 1 to the last A. We’re assigning further importance within each group so that we know what tasks in that group need to be completed first.
Do the same for each group i.e. Group B then C etc. Once all are grouped and prioritized, you might want to consider going through the D list and delegate the tasks early so that it can be accomplished. Now start with A1 and work on it until completion, tick it off in your list and move to A2. Continue this process and work your way through group A, then group B & C.
I ‘ve tried many time management tips in the past and the ABCDE prioritization method has been the most practical tool that I’ve come across. I’m sure that you will find it useful and I look forward to your feedback and even your own tips that have worked for you.