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09/09/2010

Improved Effectiveness Through Simplified Task Prioritization

I used to divide tasks into high, medium, and low urgency. High meaning I'd take care of it within the week, low meaning sometime in the future, and medium meaning sometime in-between. I've since simplified my prioritization to only high and low urgency, and ditched medium.

Why? Every time I have to decide how to label a task it costs money both in time and opportunity costs (other work I could be doing). With the addition of a medium label, my time to prioritize took too long because I didn't have a clearly defined set of rules as to what constituted a medium level task. Where as high and low were clearly defined.

With only high and low prioritization levels, my organization time has significantly dropped and I'm much more effective at responding to the most important tasks first.

Try it out yourself by ditching medium level prioritization and clearly defining what it means to prioritize something as high or low.

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