The Must Do, Should Do, Could Do Prioritizing with a Purpose

Our last newsletter, “Prioritizing with a Purpose,” focused on making effective ‘To Do’ lists.

Even if we identify the essential elements or roles we play in life, and schedule those tasks in our calendar, the most committed of us still end up with several items on our daily task list (The Daily Task tab in Opus One). There are many tasks related to our work, business, personal life.

Going through the weekly planning process outlined in the last newsletter is an excellent strategy for organizing your week ahead. However, it is just as important to spend 10 minutes daily to reflect on your tasks and priorities.

There are three kinds of tasks on your list: A, B, and C. “A tasks,” are assignments that absolutely MUST be done today before going to bed. These are crucial in achieving your goals today. Not getting these done will have serious consequences. Urgencies sometimes drive these tasks. However, essential tasks make their way to this list.

Daily tasks that align with your mission, vision, and values are generally A tasks. But be cautious; you commit to complete that task amidst the whirlwind that every day inevitably brings. Too many A’s will either leave you without much sleep or having to re-prioritize them for another day, suggesting they may not have been an A priority in the first place. Once all the A tasks are done, and you still have time in your day, you can start working on your “B tasks.” These are the ones that ‘SHOULD’ be done.

You will endeavor to get these done to the best of your ability. Not getting these done may leave you a bit frustrated, and these will need to be re-prioritized tomorrow.

Ensuring you get most of your B tasks done avoids them ending up on the urgency A list later in the week. If you have completed all your A’s and have also completed everything on your list with a B priority, the remaining tasks constitute C priorities.

“C task” priorities are tasks that you ‘COULD’ do given you have enough discretionary time. These are tasks that are generally not all that important or urgent and perhaps could be delegated to someone else.

At the beginning of each day, go through your tasks, prioritizing them according to the above criteria. If more than one task is in each category, assign a numerical number to help organize the sequence. E.g., A1, A2, A3. The next step is to set a time in your calendar to complete that task. Drag and drop these tasks into your schedule.

Take time to identify the critical roles we play in our lives, find time this Christmas season to spend time in some form or another with these people, prioritize our ‘To Do’ lists, and have a very Merry and well organized Christmas.

You won’t be disappointed. Glenn Executive Success Coach

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