In my last blog, I mentioned the ABCDE method and how it can help us finish strong in the 4th quarter. I thought maybe it would be helpful to go into a little more detail about the ABCDE method and how to utilize it.
In his book Eat That Frog, Brian Tracy talks about the ABCDE Method of prioritizing tasks. When you utilize this method, you will be more efficient and effective than ever before.
Brian explains the ABCDE Method like this:
Start with a written list of everything that you have to do for the coming day. Label each task with an A,B,C,D, or E.
A= Absolutely must do! These tasks are very important and there are serious consequences for not doing them. If you find that you have more than one A task, label them A-1, A-2, A-3, etc.
B= Tasks that you should do, but they are nowhere as important as A tasks. For example, returning unimportant phone messages or checking email.
Never do a B task when there is an A task left undone.
C= Would be nice to do, but there are no consequences whether or not you do it. Examples are, doing personal business during work hours, having coffee or lunch with a coworker. These don’t affect your work in any way.
D= Delegate. Delegate any task that others can do. This frees up more time for you to do A tasks that only you can do.
E= Eliminate. These are tasks that might have once been important, but now you continue to do them out of habit. Evaluate each task to decide if it’s really even necessary for anyone to be doing anymore.
The key to making this work is to discipline yourself to immediately start on your A-1 task and continue until it is complete. Work on that task, single-mindedly until you are finished… then move on to the next most important task. I know this can be hard as there are interruptions and distractions coming at us all day. That is why discipline is so important.
Practice this ABCDE Method every day and on every project list.
Now, I can hear some of you saying, “No, that’s not going to work for me”. For those who are saying that, I guarantee you’ve never tried this with any consistency. This WILL work for you, but only if you commit to doing it and vow to yourself to be disciplined about it. Remember last time when we talked about the hard work that it’s going to take to finish the year strong? This is the kind of thing I’m talking about. It’s very simple, but EXTREMELY effective when you DO THE WORK!