4D: An Interesting and Effective Way to Process Tasks

I have not been keen on task prioritization, taking inspiration from Mark Forster. But after reading Kevin Kruse, I started like how to process a task before even going on forward to do it.

Though Kruse recommends it for e-mail processing, it could well be applied for task processing as well.

Delete it

If you have the option, and most of the time we do, delete the task itself. Many of the tasks on our to-do list are nice to-do tasks, rather than must do tasks. As Tony Schwartz writes a to-do list is not only a place for incubation of one’s tasks, but also to know what NOT to-do. Most of the time, our anxiety of productivity, makes us blind to this insight. Acknowledging this idea and to delete a task, if you no longer think need to be done, or could not be done.

Delegate it

The next best choice is to find another person – a subordinate, a peer, a colleague, a friend or to spouse or even outsource. This clearly needs to good relationship, but also identifies the strength of the other person in order to make the delegation. Delegation doesn’t mean dumping of tasks to another person, but allocating tasks to achieve efficiency and effectiveness – both for yourself and the larger project goal in mind.

Defer it

Most of the item on our list, may take more than 5 minutes to complete or anything you cannot do now. Preferably schedule the task on to a calendar to a particularly date or time. Events, appointments, running errands, shopping, etc would usually fall under this category as well.

Do it

Now you will be left the tasks only you can do and should do. Kevin calls it as one’s MIT – Most Important Tasks. I guess 90% of this processing exercise to arrive at this high leverage tasks.

Once identified, taking the first 2-3 hours of the work day to engage with it is the key to one’s success and achievement.


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