How to prioritize your GTD wall?

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In the event your GTD ®  wall is well in use, you may be wondering how to prioritise all the projects and tasks on your wall.
If that is the case, then this blog post is just in time.


What GTD says about prioritisation?

Many say that GTD does not have prioritisation.
While it is true that there is no A-B-C, or High-Medium-Low, or similarly traditional form of prioritisation, there is a way to handle priorities.
Infact, David Allen, the author of GTD, explains reality when he says that priority is not a static thing. The priority of your top 10 tasks before an important phone call can completely change right after the phone call.
Our worlds are now so rapidly changing that our prioritisation can become inaccurate in the same of a minute or an interruption.
So what GTD says is determine what is priority in the moment you have to decide what next to work on. And to determine what to work on, consider 4 things.

a. where are you? that is, what context are you in? this will limit what you can even work on. for example: if you @office, you cannot work on tasks that can only be done @home so there is no point in even considering them.


b. how much time do you have available? if the task takes 45 mins and you have 15 mins, you clearly won’t be able to get it done.


c. what is your energy level? if the task requires your full attention and it’s 6pm and you have low energy, it’s not the best time to tackle it. You are better off planning to tackle it first thing in the morning when your energy is high.



d. now determine out of all the tasks you can do, which one is the most important and/or urgent to do.

The Exception

Now all of this works well when planning out your own work.
But for the case where the wall owner and the task recipient needed to agree on priorities, we found that marking priorities on projects and single tasks (i.e. tasks not associated to any projects), was a helpful communication tool.
We did this by using small circular stickies. Each sticky color had a priority both people understood. For example,


This way, when the wall owner is prioritising what’s next, there is an additional consideration in step d. which is:

d. <add in> of all these possible tasks, which are the ones most important and/or urgent for my supervisor?


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