Prioritizing Your Tasks and To-Do Lists is as Easy as 1-2-3-D

Use the 1-2-3-D system for organizing, managing and prioritizing your to-do list.

When I work with clients to help them prioritize their tasks and to-dos, I like to use a system called 1-2-3 D. The number 1 represents the things that you must do – and soon. Number 2 represents the things that need to be done, but not right away. And Number 3 represents things that you’d like to do someday but if they never get done, it won’t be the end of the world. Finally,  D represents the items that you know could be delegated to someone else – whether it is someone on your team, a virtual assistant, or someone that you are planning on hiring at some point in the future.

Prioritizing your tasks in this way makes it much easier to schedule them. As you look down your list and you are writing in the 1s, 2s, 3s and Ds for each to-do item, try to be pretty ruthless about what things might not be that important after all.  We often tend to associate equal level of importance for all of our to-do’s, when in reality things just don’t work that way.

As you go down the list a second or third time, really look at each item and ask yourself, “do I need to do this task myself? Or could someone else even potentially do it for me?” If someone else could handle the task, write a D next to it, and then you can look at ways that you can delegate that task to someone else. Maybe not today, maybe not even in the near future, but maybe at some point down the line that type of task could be given to someone else for them to do. Remember your time is extremely valuable, and the areas that you want to focus are generally the 1s and the 2s. You may be able to delegate the 3s to someone else, and maybe even the 2s. But you really want to focus your time on the 1s.

Interested in learning more about how you can manage your seemingly endless to-do-list? Learn how at

Leave a Reply