There are several other options available to help you be more efficient in scheduling your activities.
ABC Analysis is one them, used for classifying the tasks into groups depending on their urgency and importance. The groups are marked with letters A, B and C. Consequently, the tasks are marked based on the criteria stated below with the letters and performed in a set order.
Even here you have to follow the rule that if there is an A-task not fulfilled, you should not start performing a B-task, and if there are some B-tasks left not fulfilled, do not move to any C-task.
This will ensure you follow your priorities and move from the highest priority to the lowest one. However, in practice you might sometimes have to break this sequence, for example when you have been waiting for information necessary to perform an A-task.
The “Starting with the most difficult or the easiest” Method recommends solving the most challenging tasks at first. The most challenging tasks will be performed as soon as possible (at the beginning of the week, after we have come to work); indeed the authors of this method believe that if there is nothing more complicated left for the rest of the week/day, we will be more motivated to perform the activities. Another option is to start from the easiest task, following J. A. Komenský’s principle “proceeding from the easier to the more complicated”. The order to fulfil our tasks can be set depending on our attitudes and preferences.
While setting priorities and scheduling, we should also consider so-called Pareto principle.
Using 80/20 figures, the Pareto principle states the fact of time management inequality and efficiency. It shows that 80% of effects is achieved through 20% of effort.
Therefore, should we not put our effort in a large number of useless activities but rather put it in few important actions, we would achieve much better results.
From time-management perspective, Pareto principle concerns identifying key tasks and activities with the highest effect and only then priorities can be fixed, if necessary.
In other words, the Pareto principle imposes that activities bringing no profit and not helping to achieve our goals shall be minimised.
In the previous chapters you noted down your goals and a list of tasks and activities to be performed to achieve the goals.
Try sorting the items from your list into the quadrants to get the order in which these should be fulfilled.