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ABCDE Technique to Prioritise Your Daily Goals

“To change your life, you need to change your priorities.” – Mark Twain

Mark Twain, who is called the father of American Literature, was an American writer. Eventually, he shifted his priority from Journalism to writing books and novels. This strategy turned out as a successful approach making him a famous novelist, humorist and travel writer.

“Priorities are not about including essential but removing inessential.” – Nitin Namdeo

Nitin Namdeo, founder of conforms to this thought which makes him stand out as a blogger following his passion for creative writing.

Having well-balanced priorities define our chances of getting success. It starts with acknowledging you have limited time daily and a chunk of tasks no matter your area of work or study. When you ensure that you will not forget anything that crossed your mind, you will become more confident that you can achieve your goals.

How to Retain Your Goals

The need of the hour is to not depend on retaining everything in your mind as your list of tasks needs to be on a piece of paper or a digital screen. You have to learn how you can retain maximum ideas that cross your mind, which is possible with writing them down. There is strong logic behind this fact because we are not like programmed machines that will keep everything at its place. We are humans with approximately 86 billion neurons in our brain, due to which we process information each second and acquire new thoughts, and that's why we eventually forget things as a natural process. Therefore, we do not have to be dependent on our mind only as there are tools and techniques that can be utilized to increase productivity despite the occurrence of new ideas and changes in the mood.

To cross all the items from your To-Do list, all you need is to figure out which one you should cross first. Trying to retain all the tasks in your mind is not the same as listing down them on a piece of paper to avoid forgetting them.

About Forgetting Curve to Enhance Your Memory

Hermann Ebbinghaus, a German Psychologist, proposed a forgetting curve that illustrates the relationship between loss of memory and time. Any person tends to forget the acquired information in a short span of time, due to which it is not possible to retain everything in mind. It is evident that after almost two days of collecting important information regarding any context, around 75% loss of memory occurs just because you have not discussed it or noted it down somewhere. Usually, this steady process starts during the first hour only. Although this is a natural process justifying there is nothing wrong with your memory, if you review the information as soon as you acquire it, that information will not be lost. Therefore, it is better if you keep noting things down, which will eventually make you retain maximum information which you can access anytime. You can make use of technology even if there is no copy pen nearby you, as now it is convenient to use Google Docs and other similar apps that allow you to jot down ideas.

Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve depicts the rate at which acquired information is forgotten as a natural process in which there is no review and discussion. Consequently, if you want to keep working on your goals, you will have to write them down as your goals are worthy of having important information. A study confirmed that after completing MBA, those pro-active individuals having clear written plans earned 10 times more than those who did not write their goals.

It might be the case that not all tasks are worth paying attention to. Until you don’t know which one is most important and which one is least important, you will keep wasting your time and not getting desired results. Therefore, if you want to feel you are on the right track, at least at the beginning and at the end of the day, you need to review how much you have done and how far or close you need to move further.

Certain ways lead to deciding priorities according to a scale of criteria in which importance, difficulty and inessential are some factors. I have come across the ABCDE technique that I followed for some years resulting in clarity, productivity and certainty.

ABCDE Technique for Task Prioritization

ABCDE technique is all about prioritizing your tasks according to their level of importance. The following scale denotes all the letters from A to E, which you mark just in front of any particular task.

Now, follow the steps to determine your most important tasks and the ones you can leave out and face no problem in doing so.

1. First of all, you should make a habit of writing down your tasks somewhere. You can easily get a paper, diary or any mobile application so that you list out all the tasks you know you need to do.

2. I consider difficult tasks as important ones because if they are left out, you may not have sufficient energy and time to do them later on. So, just think about which tasks need to be done first. Start writing A in front of that difficult or most important task you need to get done with as soon as possible.

3. All other letters can be marked depending on their level of importance. When you reach D and E, just be sure that if you do not do these tasks, there is no big loss.

For example, one of the E tasks could be to listen to a song just because you want to give yourself a break. You can find those 5 minutes anytime when you are done with most of the tasks. If the task is to prepare a dance because it is your hobby, you may assign it C because other tasks are already more important, but you may do it before your online shopping. If it was about going shopping, you could prefer the time of day or evening also rather than waiting till 10 pm. If it is online shopping, you may do it on your own time after being done with offline shopping and dance preparation, requiring more energy and effort. If it is about studying a difficult chapter and taking an online class, these tasks deserve A priority.

Note- You can assign multiple tasks the same letter if they are equally important and you have time for all of them. Also, if some of the tasks are not getting time, certainly you can repeat this list for the next day.

When you follow this strategy daily, you don’t waste your important time resulting in more productivity and higher chances of success. If you still don’t know, what you are supposed to do today, then probably something is wrong with the way you have set up your goals. You will need to be aware of how you can set up your goals so that you know what your priorities for today are. You will find how to set up your goals in the next post.

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