Week 2 – Prioritising

It has been a funny week this week.  It has all been about prioritising work due to my littlest suffering from tonsillitis and being off school all week.  I have a responsibility to my clients but obviously nursing a sick child is my top priority.  As I mainly work from home it didn’t cause too much disruption but I had to plan my time carefully using the ‘MoSCoW’ system.

I have two notepads where I jot down my tasks.  The ‘Master’ one is with me all the time and in this I write everything that crops up. The other is my ‘Daily’ task list which contains all that I will complete that day – or hope to! Each task is prioritised using the ‘MoSCoW’ System in the ‘Master’ notepad and every evening I transfer various ‘to do’s’ to my daily list.

So what is ‘MosCoW’ you ask?

‘M’ is for ‘Must do now’ tasks.  There is often a tight deadline or without completion of this item other things can not be done.

‘S’ is for ‘Should do now’ tasks. Completing these tasks will help/make things easier if completed now but not top priority.

‘C’ is for ‘Could be done later’ if there is time but not such an issue if not completed yet.

‘W’ is for ‘Will Wait’.  These tasks will eventually get completed but are not so time sensitive.  These usually include my filing or tasks around the house such as dusting!

The ‘o’s do not stand for anything but help you to remember.

I find that by having the two lists I do not have a huge amount of tasks staring at me daily and therefore do not feel a huge weight on my shoulders.  Crossing items off, completing or nearly completing everything on the ‘Daily’ list is a great sense of achievement.  If you get to the end then you can go back to the ‘Master’ list and find some more – maybe cross off a few C’s and W’s.

So this week, with my time restricted, I only transferred the M’s, tasks that were top priority and if not completed would result in problems. I am afraid that all other tasks have been left for me to look at this coming week or maybe left for the following week if their priority is not raised to ‘M’.

I wouldn’t know what I’d do without this system.  Give it a try and let me know how you get on.


About Emma Windsor

I am a Freelance Executive Assistant based in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire near Bath. I love organisation and helping businesses keep on top of their workload. I work either onsite or remotely. Services include - Call Answering, Digital Transcription, Email Campaigns, Event Management, Holiday Cover, Office Management, Order Processing, Travel Arrangements and more. Contact me on emma@emmawindsor.co.uk to find out how I can ease your workload.
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2 Responses to Week 2 – Prioritising

  1. Catherine says:

    Hi Emma

    I think I have been following a version of this system. Although I don’t always write things down I do agree with you that lists are the thing. On the train, if I’m going to the office, or in bed early in the morning if I’m working from home, I make mental lists. The trouble is I never get to the end of these lists and aways have one of the days tasks undone!

    Ho Hum


    • Emma Windsor says:

      Hi Catherine
      Lists are great aren’t they, help to clear the mind. I rarely get all my tasks done but the important thing is that you are keeping on top of them and clearing the priority ones. There will always be things to do!

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