The ABC’s of Getting Things Done

masteryourtimemasteryourlifeThis time of year is stressful. There is more to do than it seems can ever actually be done.

The other day I was reading Brian Tracy’s new book, Master Your Time, Master Your Life, and I came across a simple principle for getting things done. Specifically for getting the most important things in your life done.

Here is what I learned:

Write down everything you have to do. Empty your brain of everything you need to do, even the stuff you figure you will just “remember to do”.

Take a look at this “to do” list and put 1 of 3 letters beside every task. Label each task with an A, B, or C.

Put an “A” beside the tasks that would carry the most severe consequences if left undone. There will only be a few of these. Your “A” tasks are the ones that, above all the others, are the very most important items you must complete.

Next, put a “B” beside less important tasks that don’t fall into the “A” category. These tasks will be the ones that might still have consequences, but they will be far less severe than the consequences for not completing an “A” task.

Label the rest of your tasks “C”. These items are the ones that, left undone, will not have any significant effect on your life. These tasks will be the ones that would “be nice to complete” if you had the time.

Every task should now have an A, B, or C. beside them.

Here’s the magic step.

Focus ONLY on the “A” tasks. Don’t even look at the B’s or C’s. Focus, one at a time, on the items you labeled as critical to your success.

By completing the tasks of highest value to you first, you accomplish what is most important in your life, and only let the stuff of less importance fall by the wayside.

Too often we look at our to do list and pick a task we like, or something we can do quickly. The problem is, doing this means we spend our limited time doing things that are not critical to our success.

Instead of “jumping in head first” to your day, prioritize your tasks by importance. Be strategic about what you work on during the day instead of just “winging it”.

This doesn’t mean you get everything you’ve ever dreamed of done…besides, that’s impossible. But what this “ABC” method does do is help you see your responsibilities in their proper priority.

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