The Omni Group
These forums are now read-only. Please visit our new forums to participate in discussion. A new account will be required to post in the new forums. For more info on the switch, see this post. Thank you!

Go Back   The Omni Group Forums > OmniFocus > OmniFocus 1 for Mac
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

 
How to prioritize tasks efficiently Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
As I use OmniFocus more and more, I'm finding it more challenging to prioritize my hundreds of tasks. I do a weekly review and update start dates, and I use due dates sparingly. However, when I do have a few spare moments, I like to knock out a couple of tasks. But with hundreds of tasks that are past the start date, I have to spend time thinking about which tasks will have the greatest impact and should get first attention. I don't want to use flags for this purpose (I am using them to label a few critical client requests). For example, I may have active ten projects, but three have fallen behind, so I want to bump them up to a higher priority for attention when I have some open time. I want the tasks associated with those projects to be front and center. How are others prioritizing tasks? I kinda miss the FranklinCovey ABC prioritization concept. Any way to implement that with the fields available in OmniFocus?
 
There are a number of approaches that can be used.

If you really want to have a priority field, and don't use the duration field, repurpose it as a priority value, with the smallest values being the highest priority. Now you can use the sorting and grouping operations on the "priority" field.

Another approach is to use the implicit prioritization that OmniFocus provides. After all other sorting is done, OmniFocus shows items in the order they have in the sidebar. If you move the more important projects to the top of the sidebar, their tasks appear earlier in your lists.

Be ruthless about putting projects on hold, or setting future start dates. If there isn't any realistic chance you'll get to something this week, don't have it cluttering up your lists. You can always take something off hold if you get everything on the top priority list done! Use the Review feature to keep tabs on all of your projects to shuffle them on and off the active lists. If you have projects or single action lists stuffed with independent actions, select a group of those actions that you won't get to right away, bring up the inspector, and set a new future start date. As long as they aren't repeating actions (where preserving the original start date might matter) it doesn't matter if they could have been started yesterday or three months ago if you won't be able to tackle them before next week due to your current workload.

You can use all of these tactics simultaneously.
 
Here's a post from Asian Efficiency about OmniFocus and priorities:

http://www.asianefficiency.com/omnifocus/
http://www.asianefficiency.com/task-...bc-priorities/

Maybe this will help you?

I've struggled with leaving the ABC priority method but I'm glad that I've finally gotten over that hump.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeos786 View Post
As I use OmniFocus more and more, I'm finding it more challenging to prioritize my hundreds of tasks. I do a weekly review and update start dates, and I use due dates sparingly. However, when I do have a few spare moments, I like to knock out a couple of tasks. But with hundreds of tasks that are past the start date, I have to spend time thinking about which tasks will have the greatest impact and should get first attention. I don't want to use flags for this purpose (I am using them to label a few critical client requests). For example, I may have active ten projects, but three have fallen behind, so I want to bump them up to a higher priority for attention when I have some open time. I want the tasks associated with those projects to be front and center. How are others prioritizing tasks? I kinda miss the FranklinCovey ABC prioritization concept. Any way to implement that with the fields available in OmniFocus?
I have the same question. I find it very frustrating that one cannot prioritize tasks more efficiently. There are some things where it makes sense to insert a start date, but then as you mentioned, if you keep ignoring those tasks (because life sometimes gets very busy all at once, and those tasks, whilst important are less important than the new priorities), they clutter your review process. Making a decision about the priority status of a task means that you are not handling that task over and over.

I think that I am going to try changing my context labels to:
Now;
Now: phone;
now: email;
Now: desk;
soon;
sometime;
errands;
errands: groceries;
waiting for

But really, what I wish is that OF would introduce a way to prioritize tasks, without me having to give up my contexts!!!

On another note, I do not understand why one cannot change the order of tasks within a perspective. I have created a "today" perspective with flagged items - but I would like to stack the tasks in the order of priority (that I determine at that moment - not be dependant on sometimes arbitrary start dates) - but OF wont let me do this!!! As a result, I look at my list of "Today's" tasks and spend time inefficiently weighing up what I should do next all through the day. I would like to get the step of prioritization out of the way at the beginning of the day whilst I am in scheduling mode - make a decision once, not multiple times through the day.
 
If you have hundreds of tasks, I think there might be a different problem here. You have too many tasks or projects that are active.

I've found that using start dates on everything is a high maintenance routine that becomes time consuming very quickly.

You can use the inspector or control-click on a project to set the status between Active, On Hold, and Dropped.

Take a look at all the projects that you have. Then start setting all the projects that you won't be getting to in the next 7-10 days to "On Hold" status. I leave a small amount of projects to active.

The common ones I leave active are typically routine projects such as:

Home Daily_Weekly Chores
Office Routine Chores
Monthly bills


These are all tasks related to a routine such as bill payments, janitorial stuff (house cleaning). I usually leave them set to active.

Then I review my projects that can be started at any time. That tree house project isn't going to be ready any time soon because it's a little too snowy to be building it in the backyard. I'll just set it to "On Hold."

The "re-organize my bookshelf" project can also be started at any time. But I just don't feel like resetting the start date every two weeks. I'll set that project to "On Hold."

During my weekly review, I go to the review perspective and each project will get its review based on its review interval. Some projects are set to review weekly. Others are set to review on a monthly basis. I know that I will eventually encounter it and determine whether to switch the status back to "Active" or keep it "On Hold."

In my Next Actions available context perspective, I will only see the next actions that are available from my "Active" projects. I won't be looking at all the inactive projects or juggling start dates because those inactive projects are set to "On Hold."
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeos786 View Post
As I use OmniFocus more and more, I'm finding it more challenging to prioritize my hundreds of tasks. I do a weekly review and update start dates, and I use due dates sparingly. However, when I do have a few spare moments, I like to knock out a couple of tasks. But with hundreds of tasks that are past the start date, I have to spend time thinking about which tasks will have the greatest impact and should get first attention. I don't want to use flags for this purpose (I am using them to label a few critical client requests). For example, I may have active ten projects, but three have fallen behind, so I want to bump them up to a higher priority for attention when I have some open time. I want the tasks associated with those projects to be front and center. How are others prioritizing tasks? I kinda miss the FranklinCovey ABC prioritization concept. Any way to implement that with the fields available in OmniFocus?
I have the same question. I find it very frustrating that one cannot prioritize tasks more efficiently. There are some things where it makes sense to insert a start date, but then as you mentioned, if you keep ignoring those tasks (because life sometimes gets very busy all at once, and those tasks, whilst important are less important than the new priorities), they clutter your review process. Making a decision about the priority status of a task means that you are not handling that task over and over.

I think that I am going to try changing my context labels to:
Now;
Now: phone;
now: email;
Now: desk;
soon;
sometime;
errands;
errands: groceries;
waiting for

But really, what I wish is that OF would introduce a way to prioritize tasks, without me having to give up my contexts!!!

On another note, I do not understand why one cannot change the order of tasks within a perspective. I have created a "today" perspective with flagged items - but I would like to stack the tasks in the order of priority (that I determine at that moment - not be dependant on sometimes arbitrary start dates) - but OF wont let me do this!!! As a result, I look at my list of "Today's" tasks and spend time inefficiently weighing up what I should do next all through the day. I would like to get the step of prioritization out of the way at the beginning of the day whilst I am in scheduling mode - make a decision once, not multiple times through the day.
 
 


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to prioritize today's tasks? keynotes OmniFocus 1 for Mac 21 2014-02-17 02:31 PM
How to use "Due" efficiently, not as a reminder? BrainInside OmniFocus 1 for Mac 15 2012-10-25 01:24 PM
How do I prioritize next actions?!?!?!? OmniFocused OmniFocus 1 for Mac 7 2012-06-17 02:21 PM
repeating projects/tasks when all tasks/subtasks are complete? djc225 OmniFocus 1 for Mac 1 2012-03-20 06:55 PM
Mirroring tasks/Changing color of flagged tasks OmniFocused OmniFocus 1 for Mac 3 2011-09-21 04:20 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.