Like everyone, I struggle with staying on top of tasks and projects. I recently attended a seminar on managing multiple projects. The most useful concept I garnered from the workshop was the concept of "A,B,C" tasks. It goes like this:
"A" tasks are due today
"B" tasks are due in 30 days
"C" tasks are due in 90 days
If you are doing an "A" level activity when you should be doing a "B" level activity, you are doing the wrong thing.
After the workshop, I asked myself how can I use technology to help with this? I have been using Remember the milk for years to manage my "to do" lists. This is a great free tool that works on PCs as well as mobile devices. I looked a little closer and discovered that you can assign one of 3 color-code priorities.
I don't follow the "A,B,C" system exactly. I use Priority 1 (red) to flag projects or tasks on their due date. This is nice, because each week I can scan for those items to see what major deadlines I have coming up (like write my Tech Bits post). I use 2 (dark blue) for things I should get done that day--these are my true priority 1 tasks (like creating agendas). I use 3 (light blue) to flag more routine tasks that effect mostly me (checking my "waiting" email). So, on a given day I had better not be working on priority "light blue" items if I have "dark blue" items to do. If I miss a "red" item, I am really in trouble.
What task management systems and techniques do you use?
By the way, the minute I started writing this blog, the song "Teach me tonight" was playing on AccuRadio. It includes in the lyrics the phrase "the A,B,C of it."