Luke Hansford

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How I prioritise work

🌱 Seedling2 min read

This is my framework for deciding how I prioritise "work" that comes my way in my day job. It's something of an extension of the do/defer/delegate process from the GTD method.

There's two parts of the process. First is a simple "do it now or put it on a list" triage that occurs throughout the day as new tasks pop up. Do it now only applies if the task takes less than 2 minutes. I intentionally skip the notes/delegation decision at this point as I find that can take some time to actually do as it requires communication and documentation to handover the task. Deferred tasks go into Todoist where I have a Kanban board containing all work-related tasks. The task goes into one of three columns: "backlog", "blocking someone", or "time-sensitive".

The second step of the process occurs when I'm deciding what to focus on next. My Kanban board has an "in progress" column with a limit of 3 tasks. I pull in new tasks from either the "time-sensitive" or "blocking someone" columns first, or if those are empty just from "backlog" (the choice here is mostly a gut feeling of what's "important"). Once that task is in the "in progress" column I go through the below decision tree:

  • Is it a coding task?
    • Is it something to be done in the near future? (e.g. next month or two)
      • If yes, add it to Jira.
        • Is it part of the "core" of our work?
          • Delegate it.
        • Does it align with someone's growth notes/goals?
          • Delegate it.
      • If no, document the concept/idea in Coda.
  • Is it a larger technical or process change?
    • Create an RFC.
  • Does it align with someone's growth notes/goals?
    • Delegate it.
  • Is it team/guild related?
    • Add it to Jira or the agenda for the next guild meeting.

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