This is a post for those of us who have a full “To-Do List” but don’t know where to start. If you are unsure what tasks to work on first, or whether they are even things that you should be doing, read on.
If you are reading this, you are likely to be invested in your own development. You are looking for ways to help you level up. By learning where to direct your energy and time, you can become more effective and achieve more.
We have limited time, energy and willpower to get things done. The resources at our disposal are finite. I’d be the first person to say that we should push ourselves to achieve more, and that we are always growing our capacity. Yet, there is still an upper limit.
If you struggle with what you should be working on or where you should be applying your energy, you should use this tool.
It will allow you to focus on what is important. It will allow you to put your energy into the tasks that most deserve your attention.
It’s simply a matter of prioritisation.
- On an A4 sheet of paper, draw out the quadrant.
- Label each square as Important/Not Important and Urgent/ Not Urgent (as above).
- From your list of tasks to complete, place each of them somewhere in the quadrant.
- If something is…
- Urgent + Important = Do it.
- Not Urgent + Important = Plan it.
- Urgent + Not Important = Delegate it.
- Not Urgent + Not Important = Eliminate it (or put it on the back-burner).
This exercise will only take a few minutes but it will have a big impact on your productivity and the way that you direct your focus. It can also help you decide what to do with tasks that aren’t deserving of your effort or time.
However, it will only work if you take action. If something is important and needs to be done urgently, do it. If there is nothing urgent, put a time frame on another task.
Unfortunately (or not), to make an impact on our individual world and that of others, we don’t have the luxury of inaction or inefficiency. We cannot afford to spend our time on things that are ineffective.