If you read our posts, chances are you feel very accountable for the things you have to accomplish. You’re an achiever, somebody others can rely upon. If only there were more hours in the day to get everything done… Unfortunately, there are no ‘more hours’… So what we recommend is to say no to C-tasks.  A controversial idea for many, but so effective …

Say no


At some point during a seminar last week with an executive committee, we mentioned the ABC principle: split your to do list in 3 categories: A-tasks, B-tasks and C-tasks. Focus massively on A-tasks, do your B tasks if you have time left, and never act on C-tasks.

The reaction we received from the executives was typical: “Never act on C-tasks? You cannot be serious!”…

Yet we were – because for us, it’s the only good way to make the best of your day. If anyway you don’t have sufficient time to act on all your to do’s, which ones should you drop: the A’s or the C’s? Seems obvious, doesn’t it?

Sure, not acting on C-tasks feels uncomfortable. And yes, it’s often rewarding to complete a C-task and be able to ‘tick the box’ (+ it feels good, because, waw, we’re so good at completing C-tasks). But think about where your life and your business would be if you consistently focused on A-tasks. And think about how satisfied you  feel when making progress on something really important (with an A-task…)

So – make sure you say yes to the right tasks (i.e. the A-tasks). And dare to say no not to the C-tasks. Forget about them. Scrap them from your to-do-list. If they are important, be sure they will emerge as B-tasks or A-tasks later on…   

(by the way – spending time with friends and family, taking care of your health etc. usually are A-tasks).  

As we said to the executive committee: try it out for a couple of days! You’ll notice the difference!

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