Prioritizing’s a Pain, Part 2: How to Prioritize

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Last updated on February 4th, 2024 at 10:31 pm

So after chatting with Sarah yesterday while preparing our ceremony schedule, it turns out that some of the tasks on yesterday’s wedding list aren’t so immediate—the appointment to look at rings can wait ’til March, and the designs for the programs and the cake boxes can wait until April. That’s a bit off of my shoulders. On top of that, I managed to get my sweeping done (with my handy-dandy Swiffer) while Sarah got herself ready so we could go out. So that leaves:

  • Invitations
  • Wedding Website
  • Following up with Vendors
  • Registry
  • Financial Website
  • Future Posts for the Blog
  • Blog re-design
  • Cleaning up the piles of my work

It also came to my attention that there’s a couple of other tasks I wasn’t taking into consideration:

  • Sorting out my pictures of the TOPS Symposium
  • Writing my Performance Plan

So my plate still has a ton on it. Joy. But it’s not going to go away by itself, so let’s take another look at the CARVER prioritization method that I mentioned yesterday.

The CARVER Prioritization Method

CARVER is a method based upon the idea that we all want to achieve our goals with the maximum progress and minimum effort possible. To have the best chance at attaining our goals, we must clearly identify:


We need to know WHAT our end goal looks like, otherwise we’ll never know when it is that we’ve achieved it.


We need to know what resources are available to us so that we know what we can realistically do toward our goals and how long it might take to achieve them.


And thus, we need to determine which of these goals are the most important to us in a way that is clear and quantifiable.

In reality, CARVER is an acronym.

What CARVER Stands For

  • CRITICALITY—How critical is it that we accomplish this goal?
  • ACCESSIBILITY—How realistic is it for us to actually achieve this goal?
  • RETURN—How great is the return that we expect to receive from accomplishing the goal?
  • VULNERABILITY—How vulnerable is the goal; i.e. how much of our resources will it require to accomplish the goal?
  • EFFECT—How widespread will the impact be of accomplishing the goal?
  • RECOGNIZABILITY—How clear is the goal? i.e. Will we know when we’ve achieved it?

How You Use CARVER

So in each of these categories, you give each goal a rank from 1-5, yielding each goal a total score of up to 30 points. The goal with the highest score wins! Or rather, the one with the highest score is the only you should strongly consider doing first!

Now that you know the steps, feel free to go try it out yourself! Tomorrow we’ll see what my CARVER matrix looks like and how I plan to go about getting things done!

But NOTHING’S getting done if I don’t get some sleep, so I’m off for now! Have a good one, everyone—Part 3 coming tomorrow!

Other Relevant Posts in the Series:

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad



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