What’s Your Priority?

ABC blocksSome people work well with priority codes (1,2,3 or A,B,C) while others don’t. Author David Allen published an article entitled Why ABC Priority Codes Don’t Work, where he offers up an alternate formula of context, time, energy and priority for determining what to work on, on a day-to-day, in the heat of the moment, basis. Rather than continuing to generate lists, and rewriting anything, consider using an electronic project management (task) system, that allows you to add/delete, filter/sort as well as re-categorize what you have – the less rewriting the better. The system you choose has to fit your personal work style; right brain (more free-flowing) people will want something less rigid, left brain (more analytical) people more structured.

The most straight forward task management system available is the 3 x 5 index card, however they are really only valid for a single (day) use. Beyond that,  you’ll need to look at the various task management software and apps available and determine what works for you. Focus on the dashboard of each tool you evaluate to see if it communicates the type of “big picture” you’re after – not all dashboards are created equal; some are more rigid than others, some allow customization while other do not.  Personally, I like a task management system with a dashboard that allows the user to see:

1. the project name

2. the category

3. priority

4. status

5. the last time (date) the project was touched

6. the next due date

7. a summary set of notes/next steps

Being able to see these 7 critical project parameters allows the user to quickly determine what should be worked on and in what order. Picking the right task / project management system can be as easy as A,B, C if you know what your project management priorities are ~ do you?  Let me know what project task management system you’re using and why?

Dave Oshlag has been helping companies large and small stay organized and focus on the right projects for more than 25 years.  His specialty is saving hours of time wasted on disorganized systems without spending thousands of dollars. He’s best known for enabling massive changes in productivity with tools like W5 Templates that are simple, streamlined and get people organized quickly.

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