A, B and C TASKS
Time is a valuable resource and one of our management tasks is to get the best value from what is available. However, time cannot be stored, lent or borrowed, the supply is finite. We cannot create more but we can learn how to make better use of that which we have.
There is no formula for managing time: each individual manages in their own way.
To improve time management skills we need to become aware of how we structure our time presently, where the problems are, and then to identify new strategies that are more effective.
A Tasks – Building the Future
These are tasks which are positive and directed towards achieving long term goals. They are the building blocks for the future, are often long-term and are nearly always planned. They tend to have a higher value and so are important – but rarely urgent.
B Tasks – Working in the Present
These are reactive tasks that keep things going from day to day. They are problem-solving tasks through which we deal with people and events as they occur i.e. fire-fighting. B tasks are short-term and unplanned. The long-term value of them may not be so high – but are usually urgent.
C Tasks –Ongoing
These are on-going tasks that we do each day, week, and month. Rather than being planned or unplanned, they tend to be scheduled, done to a regular series of deadlines often set by the system itself. These tasks often represent a large percentage of your total time.
The aim is to balance the A, B and C tasks to provide the best balance between the need to maintain today and build for tomorrow: being flexible and responsive in the short-term while monitoring progress towards what we are trying to achieve in the long-term. To organise this balance there is a need to be aware of the benefits and disadvantages associated with tackling each kind of task.