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Prioritisation – ABCDE Method

Do you find that with all the tasks we have to get done each day, looking at your task list can become quite overwhelming?

We’ve all heard of prioritising, but it is easy to get confused when we have numerous competing demands. How often have you had your day all planned out, only to have it thrown out of whack with an urgent request from your boss, or someone calls in sick and you need pick up their tasks?

This was something that was regularly causing me problems. I had crossed off one client task and suddenly I had five more to add to my list, all of which I had reassured clients I would have no time completing today.

It wasn’t until I discovered Brian Tracy’s ABCDE Method from his fabulous time management book Eat That Frog, that I started to get my task list under control.

Brian Tracy – ABCDE Method

When first starting out, Tracy says it is important to start your thinking on paper – in other words – write down your to do list and work from your notepad – don’t try to remember or to get too technical before you have mastered the process.

A = something very important, something you must do
If you have more than one A task, then you can number them A1, A2, A3 etc.

B = a task that you “should do” but only has mild consequences

C = a task that would be “nice” to do but has no consequences

D = a task that you can delegate (see our new post ‘Complete Delegation’)

E = a task that you can eliminate all together

The key is to start immediately on your A1 task and continue until it is complete. You then move onto your A2 task, then A3 task, and so on.

Your A Tasks Are Your ‘Frogs’


According to Tracy, your ‘frog’ is your biggest, most important task – the one you are most likely to procrastinate on – and your A1 task is the biggest, ugliest ‘frog’.

Just imagine how you will feel when this task is done! Tracy’s concept is that you need to complete your A1 task, your big, ugly frog first and ensure it is complete.

Get it over and done as your first priority, and this can set you up for the rest of the day!


Buy ‘Eat That Frog’ by Brian Tracy

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