This idea has been around for while, but i think it’s first big coverage was in Effective Time Management, by Brian Tracy. There are some pretty good explanations online but I’ll try to summarise it quickly.

The basic premise is, you write-up a to-do list, and then rate your items in terms of their importance. An item you rate as ‘A’ has dire consequences for not completing it. A ‘B’ has consequences but is not as urgent as ‘A’, and so on. Anything  rated ‘D’ or ‘E’ should be passed off to someone else, or eliminated entirely. Some people claim this method changed their life.

I tried it out for a week, in terms of organising myself and my goals.

The first thing I found was that this method definitely does not work with a huge to-do list. As advised by Tim Ferriss in 4HWW, eliminate first. This can be tough to get the hang of, but you have to be ruthless. I started out with to-do lists 15 items long, with several A’s, and it got me no-where.

Eventually I became better at organising my list ( It doesn’t take long btw, and should ideally save you time in the long run). However I still feel this method wasn’t very effective for me. It was just to easy for my natural laziness to take over, and for me to ignore the list and its prioritisation. Also, sometimes the importance of items changed in ‘real time’, and i didn’t want to be going back to the list all the time, changing and updating.

In the end this experiment was a failure. The ABCDE Method can probably be incredibly effective for someone with motivation, but it just didn’t work for me.

Next week I’ll update on my adventures with what I’ve dubbed ‘The ‘Ten Minute Miracle’ Method.