Time Management - ABC Analysis

Whilst this is similar to the Urgency/Importance Grid, it does not require as detailed an analysis of the individual tasks. For example, if two tasks are classified as important and urgent then they are both classified as Type 'A'; it is not however necessary to consider them in relation to each other.

Time management ABC Analysis

When it comes to scheduling tasks into your working day and deciding which type of task category they fall into, the following guidelines should be kept in mind.

Type A tasks - try to complete a few of these urgent and important tasks each day. Your questions and answers will look like this:

Time management type A tasks

Type B tasks - these are likely to represent the majority of your work and should take up most of your day. Your questions and answers will look like this:

Time management type B tasks

For some Type B tasks there may not be a deadline attached, so you will need to set a realistic timeframe in which to complete the task and then allocate your time appropriately to achieve it.

Type C tasks - these low-priority tasks should be fitted into your schedule, as time allows. Your questions and answers will look like this:

Time management type C tasks

Tasks to Discard - some of your tasks will not fall into any of these types and you will need to remove them from your workload. Your questions and answers will look like this:

Time management type D tasks

A typical working day will include a mixture of A, B, and C types of task. It is good practice to address different types of task at various times of the day rather than working through all the A-tasks, followed by the B-tasks, then the C-tasks. This will enable you to have periods of the day when you are concentrating intensely, followed by periods where you can address less-demanding tasks.

Nearly everybody is subject to performance fluctuations throughout the working day. At certain times you will feel particularly energetic and alert, whilst at others you feel tired. If you can tune in to your own daily cycles then you will be able to plan the optimum times at which to tackle the different types of task.

Whilst there are some quite dramatic individual variations, the majority of people feel most energetic and alert during the middle to late morning period and again in the middle to late afternoon. Conversely, most people suffer troughs soon after lunch, and again towards the end of the day.

You may also be interested in:
Time Management Productivity Tools | Urgency/Importance Grid | Pareto Analysis | Reverse Schedule | Closed To Do List | Calendar Tools | To Do List Tools | Launcher and HotKey Tools | Monitoring Tools | Productivity Tools.

Key Points

  • ABC categorization is another quick way of helping to prioritize tasks.
  • Try it in addition to the Urgency/Importance Grid and see which one you prefer.
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