When we are firefighting, everything seems critical to do. We tend to respond to whoever shouts the loudest, and spend our time on what will get people off our backs. And while we’re in this responsive mode, it’s easy to forget to prioritize our work effectively.
A useful categorization to keep in mind and apply to our list of tasks is the important versus urgent matrix. This is sometimes called the “Eisenhower Method” and assigns activities into a 4-quadrant matrix along 2 axes: urgent versus important.
You might very well have come across this matrix before! But like with everything, when it is buried under the clutter, we lose sight of it and bringing it back to the light reminds us that it exists.
Pay attention to what clutters up your diary and the types of activities you are spending your time on, and consider if you need to allocate a time slot to prioritizing your tasks rather than jumping straight in.
- Go through your task list and assign each task to one of the quadrants.
- See how you can re-organize your time based on this classification.
- DROP everything in quadrant 4!
Give it a go and see how viewing your activities and tasks through this lens shifts how you approach things.
Happy de-cluttering of your to-do list!