When you’ve established the critical few things you need to complete in order to achieve your top targets, split them down a little deeper into the everyday to-do items. Prioritize them, then, and make sure you perform the most important things first, to classify which ones you have to do on a given day.
In this way, you are gradually working through all the minor tasks that lead to the major steps that will lead you to achieve your goals in time. Here’s how to:
Stаrt wіth a mаѕtеr lіѕt
Write down all you need to do today without ranking the items at this point. You may end up with 20, 30, and even 50 items on your list: tasks as mundane as e-mail checks and as critical as presenting a new product marketing plan to the Executive Board. Or if you want to fill in your personal to-do list, it may range from buying cat food to filing taxes before midnight.
Note to pay for repetitive operations that have no clear impact on the company’s goal or bottom line: turn in corporate cost accounts, type and send meeting minutes, take sales calls from prospective vendors.
Neglecting to plan humdrum to-do things generates a disruptive domino dynamic that can overpower your well-intentioned time-block schedule.
Determine thе A-lіѕt
Focusing on consequences creates an urgency factor so that you can make better use of your time. Ask yourself, “What, if not done today, will lead to significant consequences? “Designate these activities as “A” activity. If you have a scheduled presentation today, that task will definitely hit the A-list. The same applies to the filing of your tax return if the date is approaching. Buying cat food probably doesn’t make this list—unless you’re totally out of it.
Cаtеgоrіzе thе rest of tasks
Now move on to B-level activities, tasks that could have a minor negative effect if not done today. “C” tasks have no penalty unless done today, followed by “D” tasks: “D” is for the delegate.
What are the actions that someone else will do. Finally, “E” objects are things that should be eliminated, so don’t bother adding an “E” next to them—just mark them out completely.
Rаnk wіthіn еасh саtеgоrу
Say you divided the collection into six “A” items, four “B” items, three “C” items, and two “D” items. Your six “A” tasks simply move to the top of the list, but now you have to rank these six elements in order: A-1, A-2, A-3, and so on.
If you’re having trouble ordering a variety of top goals, start with only two: balance them against each other—if you can complete just one mission today, which of the two is the most important one? Which of the two is better tailored to your 80/20 rule? Then take the winner of the contest and compare it to the next “A” item, and so on. Do the same for the “B” and “C” items.
As for the conduct of D? Delegate it to someone else! Everyone loves to believe that they are indispensable, but for most people, the rest of their tasks could be done by someone else.
That’s when the 85/10/5 rule—the first cousin of the 80/20 rule comes into play: you prefer to spend 85 per cent of your time on things that anyone else can perform, and 10 per cent of your time is spent on acts that some people can do. Just 5 percent of the focus goes to jobs that only you can do.
But if you’re at home or at work, it doesn’t mean you should sit back and leave 95 percent of your obligations to someone else. It actually lets you home in on the crucial 5%, devote the remaining time to those things that offer you the greatest pleasure, and identify certain duties that are the simplest to assign.