Eat That Frog! Part 6 of 9: Priorities and Procrastination
October 22, 2009 by Dr. Lam
As the previous blogs have set forth, we only have a limited amount of time in our day and in our lives to do the things that really matter. Per force, we will have to procrastinate on some matters, but that involves procrastinating on the things that are unimportant compared with procrastinating as we typically do on the things that truly matter. Tracy calls this creative procrastination in which we eliminate, postpone, delegate, or simply say no to the things that we should not engage in.
He outlines a method that we can use as we “think on paper” called the ABCDE method of power priority. It is as follows:
A- The most important things that you must do belong in this category. After putting these items in this box, subdivide them into A-1, A-2, A-3, etc. based on the most to the least important of the very important things you need to do.
B- Things that you should do but are not as important as A tasks. These B tasks are still important but they do not hold a candle to the A tasks. Your job is to figure out what is an A and what is a B and ensure that you complete the A task before starting the B task.
C- Things that are nice to do like have coffee with your friend, etc., that would not have serious future consequences but that you enjoy doing. C tasks naturally should follow the completion of A and B tasks.
D- The mnemonic is Delegate. These are things that you do every day but if you are in a position of authority can in turn delegate to someone else so that you can focus in your strength zone on the A tasks.
E- Again, a good mnemonic is Eliminate. These are things that you are doing that you really should remove from your life because they are non-productive and interfere with your life’s goals. An example given was a person was playing 3 to 4 rounds of golf every week to the point that his family and work life were entirely suffering. He did not have to eliminate golf but he had to seriously control the amount of time he was spending that led to a disastrous personal and professional life.