POSEC stands for "Prioritizing by Organizing, Streamlining, Economizing and Contributing."
The POSEC method is a practical tool loosely based on Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs where you can set your priorities based on your unique needs and goals.
The POSEC method is possibly one of the most popular time management strategies because of its emphasis on achieving work/life balance.
While most productivity systems focus on how to get more done, this method focuses on how to get the most out of life.
Why does it work?
- Compartmentalizes functions based on a hierarchy.
- Emphasizes work-life balance.
- Allows opportunity to strategize time allocation.
- Explores beyond willpower to achieve better results.
How does it work?
- The first step in the POSEC process is prioritizing the tasks you have at hand. If your personal life is a priority, add tasks that pertain to it to the front of the queue.
- Once you have a prioritized list, the next step would be to organize these tasks to achieve your daily goals to feel accomplished and secure.
- Post organization, you'll need to streamline tasks that might not necessarily be engaging, dirty little jobs, or just those that are plain mundane into your workflow. While these tasks might seem mundane, they are essential for your livelihood.
- Once you have added a prioritized list of tasks and streamlined them with necessary but mundane tasks, you need to allocate time for these tasks or put it in POSEC terminology - economize.
- The final part of the POSEC method is contributing. Contributions are your social obligations, and this could mean spending time volunteering at the local shelter, etc. Contribution is one of the reasons the POSEC method is so successful.
POSEC method in action
Tristan works a hectic job at a consulting firm and can afford little to no time for his immediate and extended family. He constantly excuses himself out of social commitments due to work and general stress.
He decides to do something about it and be more mindful of his time and energy. He learns that his vision for life goes beyond succeeding in his career. So he tries the POSEC method.
He starts by creating a list of tasks and puts his important social commitments ahead of his professional ones.
With the list, he organizes his schedule so that one part doesn't take a heavy brunt of his newly set priorities; hence, he creates enough white space to pursue his professional commitments and keep making a living.
Once he has organized his list and charted the path forward, he then streamlines prioritized tasks with mundane ones that are not fun to do but necessary for a healthy lifestyle. These mundane tasks include filing receipts, bill payments, applying to local schools, etc.
Once he has listed out these tasks, he starts allocating specific time blocks to pursue these tasks. He allocates more time for essential tasks that will need more time and effort while allocating less time for repetitive and less cognitively draining tasks.
Finally, he adds a specific block for contributing to his extended social circle, including his neighbors, friends, and extended family. So he manages to find a spot every Thursday night to volunteer at the local shelter.
With this new holistic approach, Tristan feels more secure, happy, and contented with his life and family while pursuing a highly sought-after career path.