Prioritizing tasks by urgency and importance results in 4 quadrants with different work strategies:
|First focus on
that need to be done
the same day.
not so urgent stuff
should be scheduled.
but less important,
delegate to others.
|What’s neither urgent
don't do at all.
We call the first quadrant Do first as its tasks are important for your life and career and need to be done today or tomorrow the latest. You could use a timer to help you concentrate while trying to get as much of them done as possible.
An example of a number 1 task could be a review of an important document for your manager.
The second quadrant we call Schedule. As its task are important, but less urgent, you should list those you need to put in your calendar here.
An example of that could be a long-planned restart of your gym activity.
Professional time managers leave less things unplanned and therefore try to manage most of their work in the second quadrant, reducing stress by terminating even urgent and important to-dos to a reasonable date in the near future whenever a new task comes in.
The third quadrant takes up things you could delegate as they are less important to you than others but still pretty urgent. You should keep track of delegated tasks by e-mail, telephone or within a meeting to check back on their progress later.
An example situation could be somebody calling you and asking for an urgent favor or requesting you to step into a meeting. Maybe you could delegate this responsibility by suggesting a better person for the job or give the necessary information back to the caller and have him deal with the matter himself.
The fourth and last quadrant is there to help you sort out things you should rather don't do at all.
Discover and stop bad habits like surfing the internet without a reason or other forms of procrastination like gaming too long just to find an excuse for not being able to deal with important tasks in the 1st and 2nd quadrant.
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