Your time is your life.
No one knows how long our clock will tick, so make good use of your time every day. Decide what is important to you and use the ABC technique to make it happen.
My number one goal is to is to develop a passive, recurring income. I call it working my Money Line. This is my “A” Goal. “A” is reserved for goals that create income. Developing and promoting client websites is an “A” goal if I am getting paid to do it. If not, it slips into a “B” category. “B” is reserved for community service projects and other pro bono work I believe is important. “C” is reserved for family projects and other unplanned projects that are imposed on me.
“A” is high value because it is my money line. “B” is medium value because these are volunteer projects I believe are important, and “C” is for projects I have to do but do not lead to accomplishing my goals. They are low value in terms of accomplishing my goals, but they may be urgent and can take priority over A and B goals.
The next step in the ABC time management technique is to break down the ABC categories further into A-1, A-2, A-3, B-1, B-2, B-3 priorities. This is when the ABC system becomes an effective tool in planning how you spend your time. Remember, priorities can change during the day and that will determine what you actually do. A plan that doesn’t change with circumstances is an obsolete plan. Your lists must be flexible.
Using ABC Priorities With Goal Setting
To identify your lifetime goals, your 3-year goals, and your six-month goals, label the three most important goals in each category (high, medium, and urgent.) Urgent goals should be projects that cannot be completed in an hour. If you can get an urgent task done quickly, do it now and don’t bother listing it. If you have too many urgent tasks you have to learn to say NO! If an urgent task will take more than an hour list it. Then, prioritize the three most import urgent tasks you need to complete.
Now, pick out the most important 3 goals from your list. Define the objectives you need to accomplish to achieve your goal. Objectives must have a deadline and be defined in a way that clearly states what must be done to accomplish the objective. Now get out your calendar and block out the time when you will work on each objective. This is time for deep work with no interruptions except to take a break every half hour to get up and walk around.
You now have a Lifetime Goals Statement, and you know what you must do to make your life productive. The ABC system helps you define exactly what you must do at any point in your life to accomplish what you believe is important. Your time is targeted and not wasted.
In other words, the ABC time management technique gets you targeted on exactly what you want to do with your life at this particular time.
Your Lifetime Goals Statement changes with time. Review your lifetime goals and your 3-year plan at least annually. Your daily plan will change as circumstances change. Just don’t let your deep time work get swamped by urgent stuff like email. Break your objectives down into short tasks so you can check off your accomplishments. Nothing is more motivational than seeing things get done on your calendar.
Prioritize your goals. Prioritize the Objectives that will accomplish those goals. Identify the tasks that must be completed to achieve your objectives. Work on your highest priority tasks each day. Accomplishing a tough task does wonders for your self-esteem.
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