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Time Management: Prioritisation

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Posted 19 September 2014 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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These can be tailored to your specific needs.
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You may find the following will help with the development of your time management skills training.

Time management: Prioritisation

The D list

Would you like a good way to prioritise your tasks?

If yes, you may be interested in the following method of prioritising tasks.
It is called the D list method of prioritising tasks.

All good time managers know that it is impossible to do everything at the same time. You need to concentrate on one thing at a time. To do that, you must prioritise tasks, and put them into order.

Just as professional poker players sort their playing cards into four suits, so they can more easily understand the hand that they have been dealt by fate, so too, do professional time managers sort their tasks into four suits, to more easily understand their priorities.

The D list is the list of four suits

The idea is to learn to sort your tasks onto four suits of the D list.

Look at the diagram below.

The D list categories are as follows

Suit one: D1 tasks: Do it today.

Suit two: D2 tasks: Diarise it for a specified future date.

Suit three: D3 tasks: Delegate the task to be done by a definite individual or team.

Suit four: D4 tasks: Ditch it. Ignore the task as it is of insufficient value to be bothered with.

The D list is a list of four categories of task

As they come up, you apply the D list categories to all tasks.

Let us look at each category.

D1 task: Do it today

You should do D1 tasks today as they are defined as high value and deadline driven tasks.

High value means that the implications for not doing the task would be severe. And deadline driven means that it's late!

High value, late work is D1 work:

Do it now.

Don't delay.

Do it today.

Time Management Questionnaire

Time Management Questionnaire

Many people are not very good at time management. As a result they are in a constant state of crisis, and they are not as effective as they would otherwise be. Take this questionnaire to find out your time management strengths and weaknesses - it is free, informative and fun.

D2 task: A D2 task is high value but is not so deadline driven

It must be done, but D1 tasks are taking priority over all. So D2 tasks must be set aside but NOT forgotten.

If you say, "I'll do it later", then that is an insufficient response to a D2 task, since you won't remember to do it, or other D1 tasks will force it out of your mind.

So instead of saying to yourself, "I'll do it later", you need to decide exactly when you will do it and put a note in your diary or mobile device to remind you to do it at a specified time.

Don't let D2 tasks drift off your radar.

Keep them in your sights.

Put them in your diary.

D3 task: Delegate the task to be done by a definite individual or team

D3 tasks are tasks that are, for you, lower value tasks.

D3 busy tasks are tasks that need to be done but not by you.

D3 means delegate the task.

D3 tasks are often vital tasks but routine and repetitive. These are often related to the recording of data or information; keeping records; paying bills; routine paperwork type tasks.

These tasks are to be delegated to people who are able to do it well, but since they are not as high value as other D1 or D2 tasks, they should NOT be done by you; so you need to learn to delegate.

D4 tasks; Ditch it!

These tasks are to be ditched, since they are low value and not deadline driven. Don't waste valuable time and effort on doing D4, Ditch it tasks.
If you waste time doing easy D4 and D3 tasks, then your ship will sink and lives will be lost.

Three Common time management errors of many people

Here is a list of 3 common errors, made by most people.

1. Many people don't prioritise at all

They just pick up whatever happens to be in front of them. They are completely reactive; out of control. Not ordered. No system. They operate like a pinball in a pinball machine: shooting off in all directions depending on what hits them next. They are at the mercy of others and the victim of circumstances.

Are you like that?
Don't be like that.

2. Many people do easy things first

They like to get the easy things done first. It gives them a sense that they are making progress. But they are busying themselves with easy, low value D3, and D4 tasks, and therefore procrastinating on the horrible, hard, scary D1 task.

Never put off the hard, horrible, difficult D1 task by means of distracting yourself with easy work.

3. Many people try to do everything themselves. They don't delegate

They don't delegate because they are afraid to. They are afraid to delegate because they say to themselves:

  • It's quicker to do it myself.
  • And what if I delegate it and they mess it up.
  • or what if I delegate it and they do it better than me!
  • And what if I delegate it and they hate me for it?

So many people don't delegate and they try to do everything themselves.

What are the painful consequences that befall anyone who does not delegate, and instead tries to do every task himself, herself?

Answer, they fail dismally.

And remember that these three mistakes are extremely common.

  • Do you fail to prioritise. Are you a pinball wizard?
  • Do you do easy tasks as a way of getting out of the more important difficult tasks?
  • Do you try to do it all yourself because you don't like to delegate?

If you are saying yes to any one of these questions, then you are not a good time manager, and you need to mend your ways!
If you want to mend your ways and join the "ranks of the righteous". Then please attend our time management course. Follow this link and book your date.

Coming on this time management course is itself a D2 task. Important and needs to be put in your diary.

Time Management Training

Time Management Training

Most people feel they need help with time management. How can you get more done in the same amount of time? How can you stop other people wasting your time? If you want to know how, then click here to find out more about our time management training course.

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