A Quick Review of the MYN System “Rules”

September 5, 2011

Sometimes in all the details and minutia of work we drift away from the core lessons of the Master Your Now task system. So let’s quickly review how to use MYN and get you back to the key principles.

Success with MYN is based on segmenting all your tasks into three main “Urgency Zones”: Critical Now, Opportunity Now, and Over-the-Horizon. The way you control them is this:

Urgent tasks that must be completed today are put in the Critical Now section; that’s the High priority section in ToodleDo and Outlook. Tasks that you would like to do today or this week but that can wait up to ten days are placed in the Opportunity Now section; that’s the Medium priority section in ToodleDo and the Normal priority section in Outlook. And tasks that can wait ten days or longer, perhaps much longer, are placed in the Over-the-Horizon section; this is the Low priority section in ToodleDo and Outlook.

To keep the size of this list well controlled, you should have no more than five items in the Critical Now list, and likely much fewer. You should have no more than 20 items in the Opportunity Now list. And you’ll place all other items in the Over-the-Horizon section.

You will review the Critical Now section approximately once per hour. You review the Opportunity Now section at least once per day. And you review the Over-the-Horizon section once per week. And to keep the size of the Over-the-Horizon section under control, you’ll use the Defer-to-Review process for setting future start dates at reasonable review cycles for each task; for a reminder of how Defer to Review works, see Lesson 9 in the Outlook book or page 73 in the book Master Your Workday Now!

That’s it, that’s a quick overview of the MYN task system “rules.” For a slightly longer review, reread Lesson 4 in the Outlook book. It’s the best single chapter to use as a refresher.

Good luck!


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2 Responses to A Quick Review of the MYN System “Rules”

  1. Charles Hathaway says:

    Hi Michael – I sat in on your webinar series this summer, and am working to implement the TWC system. I’m doing pretty well at keeping my inbox cleared out, converting emails to tasks, etc. And the prioritization of tasks also seems to work nicely to bring urgent tasks to the top of the list. I’m having trouble, however, getting to the part about reviewing the longer lists daily and weekly. That always seems daunting and depressing – too much to do! But I think I’ll get there eventually.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the webinar, and think that you have created something really useful. So thanks!


    P.S. I sent you a “testimonial” some time ago, and I thought you had said to the webinar class that you would send out a copy of your newest (Master Your Workday Now) book in return. If I was wrong about that, that’s OK, but do keep me on the mailing list if that was in fact the plan. Thanks!

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