What if I have more than 5 Critical Now items?


I get this question sometimes: “The MYN and 1MTD systems insist on no more than 5 Critical Now items. But what if I have more than five?”

Well, the reason for the limit is that the list will become a blur if it gets too big, and then you will overlook something. So if you truly have more than 5, here are some strategies to cull it down:

  • When you first notice there are more than five, pick off a few of the very quick ones and do them now. No time like the present to make progress.
  • Combine related ones together. For instance if you have 4 calls to make today, make one task called “Today’s Calls” and put the details in the body of that task. The idea is to do all the calls in one sitting. But also recall my discussion of not using the MYN/1MTD list for operation duties that are better served by a dedicated software system. For example, use a CRM or sales management system that lists calls if your job is to make 25 sales calls per day; don’t rely on MYN/1MTD for those kinds of high-volume operational tasks.
  • And of course, make sure the items on the list are truly Critical Now items. Recall, they need to pass the going home test to stay on the list. That test is: “Would you stay at work well past your normal departure time to complete these items if they were not done?” If the answer is no, then move them down to the Opportunity Now list.


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3 Responses to What if I have more than 5 Critical Now items?

  1. Daniel says:

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  2. Raymond says:

    Michael – I am really struggling to decide which task to do next on my Opportunity Now section and waste time dithering on which one I should simply get on and do. Any tips to quickly decide? And I still get that haunting feeling that maybe something is left out of the list i should be attending to, or maybe set a start date wrong on. Would be glad of your comments!

    • Michael Linenberger says:

      Raymond, I use my intuition to decide, and if I keep the Op-Now list to 20 or fewer, a quick scan of the whole list is easy, and during that scan one task will usually pop out at me as the right next one to do. Also, due to MYN FRESH Prioritization (Lesson 4 in the Outlook book), the most relevant tasks tend to be at the top of that list, so I usually find next one to do near the top. And finally, if you use the MYN Target Now process (optional, Lesson 9 in the Outlook book), the very top of your list IS your list of your next things to do.
      Regarding killing that haunting feeling, the key is to put *everything* immediately in your list, the moment you see it or think of it. And then use the review cycles: review Crit-Now hourly or so, Op-Now daily, Over the Horizon weekly. I really think if you do all that, you’ll never drop anything. And over a bit of time of no longer dropping anything, the haunting feeling will finally go away.

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