Prioritize Your SUG to-Do List

If you’re looking for a way to update your standard to-do list to make it more efficient, David Noor, founder of The Nour Group, Inc. writes about a useful alternative to Fast Company : Turn it into an SUG list.

SUG stands for seriousness, urgency and growth. When you make your daily, weekly, or monthly lists, you want to take these three things into account in order to better understand how to structure your time. Consider:

  • Seriousness : How important is this task or problem?
  • Urgency: How long will it take to complete?
  • Growth: Will this problem get worse if I wait for a solution?

You can use a four-column spreadsheet or create your own chart on a piece of paper with importance, urgency, and growth in each of the top columns. “Then rate each item using high, medium, or low for seriousness and urgency, and yes or no for growth.”

This will help you determine which tasks need to be completed first: prioritize those that follow a high-high-yes pattern. “If two items in the first column are ranked the same, the next column will be used to resolve conflicts, and so on,” Noor suggests. “For those who are equally ranked in the severity column, use the next column as a conflict resolution, and so on.”

Here’s a simplified example:

If you have multiple tasks with a High-High-Yes rating, take into account the time taken to complete them, or another metric that you consider important. In the example above, paying a credit card bill online will take much less time than sending a newsletter, so it makes sense to get rid of that first. You will free up mental space for other tasks and enjoy crossing something off your list – a win-win.


Leave a Reply