At Coachvox AI, our tech team uses a system to plan development sprints. It’s based on units of effort per task.

There’s a scale from 1-10, where 1 means super quick and easy and 10 means highly complex, potentially challenging and will take a long time. An 8, for example, will take one skilled developer a specific amount of time to complete.

Everything on the roadmap is assigned a unit of effort so that, as a team, we can weigh these up against the potential benefit and decide what to do this cycle.

Assigning units of effort creates a useful system.

If you’re like me, you’ll overpack your to-do list. Optimistically, you’ll add project after project and task after task without a thought as to how worthwhile they might be or how much you can feasibly do in one day.

What if everything on your list received a score, from 1-10?

Once you had that score, you figured out how much difference that task would make.

High effort low impact: not worth your energy
High effort high impact: tackle these things first
Low effort high impact: rattle through these in the afternoon
Low effort low impact: automate, delegate or eliminate

The system itself brings self-awareness. Over the long term, you pay more attention to your time and effort. You might spot a tendency to over or underestimate the energy you expend. Very quickly you’ll realise how many units of energy a good week can hold, so you know how much you can actually get done.

Geeking out on this means your output can be huge.

Start by assigning a score to every item in your to-do list and count them up at the end of each day.

Your time, attention and energy are your most prized resources, not to be given away lightly. Scrutinize each unit of effort before you spend it. Reach new levels of work capacity without burning out.