An article I read this week about a “what NOT to do list” raised an interesting question. Do we hold onto tasks that we don’t in fact need to do anymore? Sometimes we can develop such a routine about our tasks that we could in fact be doing some tasks out of habit rather than necessity. We all want to be as effective as we can with our time. So how do we create a NOT to-do list? Firstly let’s look at our to-do list and determine our priorities. Brian Tracy in his book “Focal Point” looks at the quite common method of ABCDE to determine priorities in your tasks.
A is an important task.
B is something you should do.
C is something that would be nice to do.
D is anything you can delegate to someone else
E is something you can eliminate altogether.
So, from this we can determine that D and E tasks would fall on the NOT to do list, either delegated or deleted. But how do we determine the D and E tasks? I like to apply the urgent versus important equation.
If a task is urgent and important it’s an A task for example, client work. If it’s something that is not urgent but important then it’s a B task, for example, your business development. If they are urgent but not important they would be a D task, for example, telephone interruptions or posting of mail. And finally if they are not urgent and not important then why bother, eliminate.
So where does that leave a C task, the nice to do task? Frankly I think that leaves us squarely at our passion. We love our passions and often they become our business, so if we can be extremely effective at A and B tasks we will have more time for our passion – the C’s. Now, I think that could be a start on work/life balance. What do you think?