Updated: September 8, 2020
Every day, we are faced with a list of things we need to do.
They can be as simple as walking our pet dog, or as complex as balancing our checkbook.
It can be as easy as greeting a friend on his birthday, or as challenging as finishing that report for work.
When it comes to getting things done, there’s a famous matrix that you can use to make sure that you create the most value from your time.
It’s called the Urgent-Important Matrix as shown below:
The first time I mentioned this matrix here was in the article, “How To Effectively Accomplish Your Tasks and Manage Your Time” – and I believe it’s a topic worth revisiting today.
Everyone will agree that creating a To-Do List is a great way to ensure that you don’t forget anything that you need to do. It helps you get organized and productive.
But when you apply the matrix above to your To-Do List, then you now allow yourself to sort your tasks and discover the things which truly matter.
LONG-TERM GOALS – Important but Not Urgent
Write a business plan, shop for life insurance, create a meal plan, etc.
EMERGENCIES – Important and Urgent
Pay utility bills, finish work presentations, fix the leaking roof, etc.
INTERRUPTIONS – Not Important but Urgent
Read work email, return a call to a friend, go to the mall sale, etc.
DISTRACTIONS – Not Important and Not Urgent
Get updated on office gossip, check Facebook, watch television, etc.
Do Not Let The Urgent Get In The Way of The Important
Too often, we allow ourselves to be consumed by urgent tasks, regardless if it’s important or not.
We procrastinate until things become urgent, especially the important tasks. And once those are done, we move to the interruptions and the distractions, and put off working on our long-term goals.
Time is something you can’t get back once spent. That’s why I’ve decided that I’d rather spend it on tasks that take me closer to my long-term goals – because after all, they are what’s important to my life.
When I began doing this, I noticed that emergencies happen less frequently, because I am able to accomplish the important stuff before they become urgent.
And when I began to manage the interruptions and avoid the distractions, my every day became more meaningful.
So what’s on your To-Do list today? What are your tasks for the week? What are your goals for this month? What’s on your calendar for the rest of the year?
How many are urgent? How many are important? It’s time to redo your list.