No, it's the GTD system that explicitly requires re-evaluating priorities multiple times throughout the day. In ABC prioritization as I understand it, you mark the priorities down once and normally don't change the written codes.
Originally Posted by vbampton
The purpose of the ABC prioritization system is not to have a list of to-do actions with priority marks which exactly match your actual priorities. Rather, the purose is to get things done, and especially to get higher-priority things done. It does work
In the newsletter, David Allen said, "The "ABC" priority codes don't work. Listing your top 10 things you think have to get done, in order, doesn't work." What does he mean by "doesn't work"?
He also says "Be open to your own spirit..." It's perfectly feasible to mark down ABC priorities and then be open to your spirit. Is he arguing against the idea of forcing yourself to always complete all the "A" tasks first? If so, why doesn't he say so? Does anyone actually promote an ABC system that requires this?
In a "Priority Management" course I was taught a system that involved marking down priorities as A, B or C. It worked! Not as well as GTD, maybe; but the disadvantage was not anything David Allen mentions in his newsletter, but rather the having to recopy items onto the next day's list, which as David Allen points out elsewhere is time-consuming and demoralizing. However, there's a big difference between having a disadvantage, and not working. The system did actually help me get things done, and also to have a feeling of confidence that nothing very important was being forgotten.
Re "Listing your top 10 things ..." This is very similar to my "list of priorities for the weekend" that I typically use. I list the things I want to get done that weekend, approximately in order of priority (with the order also somewhat influenced by expected chronological order). It works! It works very well for me: it helps me focus my time on productive things; it helps me get the most important things done; it helps me have a sense of confidence that I'm not forgetting important things; and it helps me have an energetic, motivated feeling. It also helps me find useful things to get done when I have a period of time with restrictions, such as while having to wait for something.
Is David Allen jumping to the conclusion that once someone writes down their list of 10 things, or their list of priorities for the weekend, that they will then necessarily do the things in the order written? Does anyone actually do that, or advocate doing that? Is David Allen criticizing a straw man?
Do you agree with David Allen's statements that "The "ABC" priority codes don't work. Listing your top 10 things you think have to get done, in order, doesn't work."? If so, what do you mean by "doesn't work"?
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