Concentrate on the vital few
“The first law of success is concentration – to bend all the energies to one point, and to go directly to that point, looking neither to the right nor to the left.” - William Mathews
The more thought you invest in planning and setting priorities before you begin will ensure you get more done once you get started. The more important and valuable the task is, the more you will be motivated to overcome procrastination and launch yourself into the job.
The ABC Method is a powerful priority setting technique you can use to make your moments matter. This technique is so simple and effective that it can make you one of the most efficient and effective in your field.
The power of this technique lies in its simplicity. Here’s how it works: You start with a list of everything you have to do for the coming day. Think on paper. You then place an A, B, or C before each item on your list.
An “A” item is defined as something that is very important. This is something that you must do. This is a task for which there can be serious consequences if you fail to do it, like visiting a key customer, finishing your invoices, or preparing a proposal.
If you have more than one “A” task, you prioritize these tasks by writing A-1, A-2, A-3, and so on in front of each item.
A “B” item is defined as a task that you should do. This means someone may be unhappy or inconvenienced if you don’t do it, but it is nowhere as important as an “A” task. Returning an unimportant telephone message or reviewing your email would be a “B” task. The rule - never do a “B” task when there is an “A” task left undone.
A “C” task is defined as something that would be nice to do, but for which there are no consequences. “C” tasks include phoning a friend, having coffee or lunch with a coworker, or completing some personal business during work hours.
After you have applied the ABC method to your list, you will be completely organized and ready to get more important things done faster.
The key to making this ABC Method work is for you to discipline yourself to start immediately on your “A-1” task and stay at it until it is complete.
Review your work list right now and put an A, B, or C next to each task or activity. Select your A-1 project and begin on it immediately; do nothing else until this one job is complete.
When you develop the habit of concentrating on your “A-1” most important activity, you will get more done than any two or three people around you.
For more insights on how to utilize your most important, scarce resource, time, see Making Moments Matter – 89 Tools For Taking Charge of Your Time.
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