Monday, 2 September 2013

Task Prioritisation System 1.0

Hi guys!

A quick post this evening to share something I came up with in my Filofax over the weekend. I've not 100% finished setting it up, but I wanted to show you it in its infancy!

Task Prioritisation System 1.0 
(It's only a coincidence that it matches my internet handle's initials 'TPS'!!)

Basically it's a system to prioritise tasks and keep them in perspective, for time management and organisation.
It's comprised of 8 sections (although you may need fewer), characterised by a) degree of importance and b) when it needs to be done, in which you 'file' your tasks:

  • Now, Important/Urgent
  • Now, Unimportant
  • Ongoing, Important
  • Ongoing, Unimportant
  • Not now/Later, Important
  • Not now/Later, Unimportant
  • Other, Important
  • Other, Unimportant
*The above order arranges the sections more by Time; you can also arrange the sections by Importance= 1) Important, Now; Important, Ongoing; Important, Later; Important, Other; Unimportant, Now; Unimportant, Ongoing; Unimportant, Later; Unimportant, Other.

Step 1-
Basically, you file all of your tasks under one of these sections, by deciding how important it is and when it needs to be started/be done!
    So for me, I take my several, scattered to-do lists, and re-organise my tasks in this way. I have a paper divider (no tab) for each section, then at the start of that section I have a to-do sheet with my lists of tasks under that section, and I cross off those taks when completed; some tasks have accompanying pages with notes/lists to break down/give more info, behind the to-do list inside that section.
    Here are some examples:
Find a job- Now, Important!!
Organise my bedroom- Ongoing (because it won't be done in one day), Important (because it needs doing!)
Decorate my Filofax- Later and Unimportant (although I WANT to do it, I don't NEED to, and I should do it when I have the time, not now. However, I can schedule it in my diary for when I have time soon, e.g. this evening/this weekend)
Things on my Someday/Maybe list- go into the Not now/Later, Unimportant section

Step 2-
Schedule these tasks into your diary/calendar/planner.
    For me, this means I can flick through the to-do lists in the sections described above, and schedule them into my weekly diary, according to how they are prioritised -->
    Because the point of these sections is prioritisation, this system helps you schedule your tasks more sensibly (I would schedule all of the 'fun' tasks first if I could!). By breaking tasks down by both importance and when they need to be done, you can see easily which tasks to schedule above others. Prioritise the Important ones and the Now ones, and try to do something towards the Ongoing tasks every week.
    So first I look at the Now, Important list, and try to schedule as many of those into my weekly pages as possible. However, some I know I don't have to do immediately, so I can look at those again when I know how much free time I have later in the week. Then I look at the Now, Unimportant list- even though the things on here aren't important, many them have deadlines, and I should try to do them this week anyway. Then I look at the Ongoing, Important tasks, and try to make progress with these ongoing projects, which may have many steps, and possibly a deadline which is further away. Then I look at the Not now/Later, Important list- although it isn't the time to do these tasks yet, it is important to keep them in perspective and in my mind. Then, if I have some spare time, I can try to schedule the Unimportant tasks.
    You can also break these lists down into your filo in other ways, e.g. this month's to-dos, this week's to-dos; even tasks to finish by the end of this year (e.g. for scheduling the not now/later tasks).

Pheww!! I hope you guys followed that!

I think this is a good system, and I'm proud of it, but personally I think it's a bit dry and boring. It's not fun like how I want my Filofax to be! So I'm going to try to make it a bit more fun! I think I might develop a colour-coding system with highlighters, and instead of having tasks on separate to-do lists, in separate sections, I will have them on one to-do list, prioritised using the highlighters, so all of my tasks are viewable in one glance, and are prettier because of the colours! 

Anyway, let me know what you think of the system :)