I've recently finessed my personal productivity system after providing a series of trainings for Gmail, Google Calendar and Drive - as part of which I re-read David Allen's pretty amazing GTD system.
In terms of Allen's steps, using Todoist, I have captured all of my stuff, processed what it means, organised it all, I have weekly reflections and I'm seriously getting things done. However, I realised that I'm still not so good at prioritising my daily list or my next actions list, so I had a look round and rediscovered priority grids that I'd tried before, but which, to me, felt a bit clunky. And, then I discovered this post from jollyguru.com - part of which I've reposted wholesale. I hope it's okay to do this, but I didn't think I could add anything and I thought it was worth sharing.
The difficulty of putting one task in front of another in order of importance is the question of what criteria you use to decide, what is the context, what are the deadlines, is health more important than work, for instance? It's a permanent dilemma, of course, life is process. However, bubble prioritising is essentially a method of prioritising that works not on 'rational thinking' but rather on intuition - which is anyway how we all operate! So, we just make a quick judgement on the order of our favourite task to do. 'Nuff said, over to the jollyguru...
- When you have a list of things (goals, for example) and want the important to arise to the top like bubbles.
- Compare the two first items on your list. Decide which one is more important and label this your “favorite”.
- Now continue and compare the third item on your list with your current favorite and decide which is more important. The one you decide is more important will become (or remain) your current favorite.
- Now keep doing the same thing with every item on your list comparing each one with whatever your current favorite happens to be at this point. Whenever you prefer a new item over your current favorite then that item becomes your current favorite.
- When you reach the end of the list, the current favorite that remains is the single most important item on the list. Thus, this becomes your “First favorite”. You have compared it directly or indirectly with every other item and preferred it every time. Mark it by writing a “1″ beside it.
- Now repeat the process (This time ignore the ‘First Favorite” because you have already ranked it) to find out your second most important item and mark it with writing a “2″ next to it. Continue repeating this process comparing two items at a time, until you have sorted the whole list or as many as you see necessary (For example, sometimes you may just want to find out the top three).
- This method is a handy tool which can be applied to other things too. For example, when you have several similar photo-shots and want to sort out the very best picture out of the similar ones, so that you can delete the others and be sure to save the very best shot.