LearnPoints are better than priorities

writes on December 11, 2006

I recently ran across Dave Seah’s Printable CEO and I love it. It gave me a great idea for my to-do list.

Instead of prioritizing my to-dos for the day, I give them a point value of ten, five or two. I do this during my 20-minute daily to-do review (where I move items from my “Week” list to my “Today” list).

  • Ten points = Things that help me move towards my primary goals (for me and the company)
  • Five points = Things that are important, but not vital
  • Two points = Things that aren’t important, but need to be done

It’s strange, but I find myself getting excited about finishing an item and getting ten points for it. It’s like getting one of those “1-Up” mushrooms in Super Mario World.

If it was marked “High Priority”, instead of “10 Points”, there isn’t a reward for finishing it. It’s just another thing that needed to get done.

Try it and let me know if it works for you.

0 Responses to “Points are better than priorities”

  1. yeah!! I totally agree with you. This way of working is much better.

  2. I love it. Maybe I can implement this for some employees that seem to get distracted so I can see how many points they get each day/week.

    Very cool idea, hopefully it will be useful in practice.

  3. Ryan Carson on December 13, 2006 at 1:16 pm said:

    Whatâ€s the app youâ€re using for the task list Ryan? I think I read before that you use one of the Omni tools?

    It’s OmniOutliner – my new favorite app 🙂

  4. That’s perfect idea. It makes me thinking about RPG games I was playing and how I always fantasized of getting me skilled by taking some points and experiences in the real life too and transfer the whole life to one big game. People could get much more productive by taking their daily tasks and learning like a game and letting their imagination run to enjoy this process better. There’s so much possibilities in this great idea!

  5. Why not go the whole hog and assign each task a “skill” category, and translate the score to experience.

    You could be a level 10 Meeting Organiser, or level 3 Call Instigator, assign more experience to the more important tasks.

    Build a website around that and you have yourself quite an interesting little community, as you try and beat your colleagues up the skills tree 🙂

  6. We are launching a new Getting-Things-Done web application next month called Nozbe:


    You might want to have a look, it goes well with Ryan’s last post about his GTD setup (mine is similar) and with this post. We aim at preparing a most GTDish app there is 🙂

    Again Ryan, thanks for this blog – keep these GTD-related posts coming!

  7. Hey Ryan – green mushrooms are 1-ups, red just make mario grow 🙂 Boy I wish I could grow if I ate a red mushroom 🙂

    And maybe meet a princess….

  8. 1-up mushrooms in Super Mario Wolrd are green, not red 😉

  9. Nice idea! I normally scribble something on a pad in front of me, that is then lost/scribbled on top of in no time!! :o)

    What’s the app you’re using for the task list Ryan? I think I read before that you use one of the Omni tools?

  10. I guarantee I’m not the first geek to notice this… but Ryan, you posted the “super mushroom”… the 1-up mushroom is green: http://www.brandsoftheworld.com/brands/0011/4655/brand.gif

    Good article anyway.

  11. My first job was a telemarketer when I was 15 (note – it’s as bad and experience on the caller’s end as it is on the recipient’s.) The only thing that kept me going (other than $10 an hour – big money back then) was the white board that had everyone’s number of sales. I worked like a dog because I wanted my name on the top of that list.

    All of which is to say that a system like this would probably do wonders for me…

  12. Ryan Carson on December 11, 2006 at 11:11 pm said:

    Have you seen Geoffrey Grosenbachâ€s Rough Underbelly app?* Itâ€s a web app that does this.

    Yes, it’s fab 🙂

  13. Hey Ryan,

    Have you seen Geoffrey Grosenbach’s Rough Underbelly app?* It’s a web app that does this.


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