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ABCD Prioritisation System

Completion requirements

The ABCD prioritisation system is a simple tool that helps you prioritise tasks based on their importance.

With this method, you go through each item on your list and assign one of four labels to it:

1. Get things off your mind. Write them down, without worrying about order, priority, etc. - you can categorise things later.

Use a weekly master list. This will allow you to record projects or tasks as you think of them. Estimate the time you will require to complete each activity and indicate the due date.

Master list for the week: ____________________________________________

 Activity description

Starting date

Due date

Estimated time to complete

































2. Break up larger tasks into smaller bites.

From the master "to do" list, organise a daily "to do" list.

"TO DO LIST"                                                     DATE: __________________



Necessary Resources

When to begin?

When to end?

A tasks




















B tasks




















C tasks




















D tasks




















Prioritise the list - Then, deal with tasks A, then B, and so on. Within this, you can decide your own priorities. If there are three "A" tasks to be done, for example, some people like to do the shortest first, so they feel they are making progress. Others do the longest first so things get easier as the day goes on. The choice is yours, but as a rule of thumb, do the tasks in the broad order: A, B, C and D.

3. Remember to re-prioritise the list regularly, as priorities change over time.

What wasn't urgent yesterday may well have become urgent today! Rewrite the list at the end of the day by carrying forward those tasks that were not complete to the next day's "to do" list.

4. Keep the list visible and cross out tasks that are completed.
5. Use a calendar to record monthly and yearly events. These reminders can then be worked into the master and "to do" lists.

Good time management is about spending the maximum amount of time doing the right things well.

Do the right things (effectiveness) in the right way (efficiency) to get the most of your available time.

Be Aware of Perfectionism and Gold-Plating

Just as a C task can become a B or even an A over time, a task that was once your top priority can quickly become a C or a D.

The key is to realise that in every project, there is a point where the work is more than good enough to meet your objectives and that this point varies from project to project.

Beyond this point, you enter an area of diminishing returns, where it takes a lot of extra work and effort just to get a small improvement in value.

Click here to view a video on ABCD Prioritising.