Prioritization: Understand Urgent and Important
Some things are important. And there are things that are merely urgent. To properly prioritize your work and be fully productive, you need to be able to understand the distinction between urgent and important.
Watching this video is worth 2 Management Courses CPD Points*.
(See below for details)
This video is part of course module number 1.6.2
Program 1: Managing Yourself
Course 6: Personal Productivity
Section 2: Time Management
Relevant videos in the same section as this video include:
– The Power of Habits: Productivity through Effective Working
– Planning, Preparation, and Follow-up: Effective Working for Better Productivity
– Three Types of Procrastination… and Why 2 are Good
– Conquer Procrastination: How to Avoid Putting Things Off
– Goal Setting: The Start of Your Time Management
– Time Management with The OATS Principle
– To Do List and 7 Other Lists You Should Use Instead
– Prioritization with the Pareto Principle – the 80-20 Rule
President Eisenhower – distinction between urgent and important. Most things are either one or another.
Stephen Covey put this at the core of the third of his ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People (https://geni.us/Zulp): ‘Put first things first’.
Effective people prioritize things that are important, but not urgent.
Urgent and Important Tasks
Grab attention and take priority. Make us feel out of control. Many people focus here. Don’t. Leads to stress and burnout.
Urgent but Not Important Tasks
Interruptions, distractions, and other people’s priorities. Lead to busyness without achievement, Say ‘no’ more often or you’ll feel out of control.
Not Urgent and Not Important Tasks
Trivial activities that waste your time.
Not Urgent but Important Tasks
Most value for your effort. Investments in your future. Prioritize important tasks before they become urgent. You have control, and can focus your quality time.
Planning, preparing, and setting up systems or processes are not urgent. But invest your time in them to set yourself up for your future success. Building a strong working relationship will also help you in the future. Reading and thinking are in this category. As are resting, relaxing, and doing what you enjoy. Recharging your batteries is an investment in yourself.
What you want to achieve in each role you adopt; your goals.
Requiring immediate attention.
The four combinations of urgency and importance each have their own characteristics. Important but not urgent tasks give you control over your time. This model is sometimes called the Eisenhower Matrix.
1. Draw the urgent vs important matrix on a large chart or whiteboard. Put your ‘to-dos’ on sticky notes and place them where they belong. This will help you to assess your urgent and important tasks, and leave time to prioritize the not urgent but important tasks in future. (2 MC CPD Points)
I’ll be as modest as I can. I’m something of an expert on effective working, personal productivity, & time management, with 4 best-selling books by 3 international publishers:
– The Time Management Pocketbook
– How to Manage Your Time
– Powerhouse: Turbo Boost Your Effectiveness and Start Making a Serious Impact
– The Yes/No Book: How to do less… and achieve more
And here are my picks from the thousands of other books on personal productivity, effective working, & time management:
– The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
– The Power of Habit: Why we Do what we Do, and How to Change
– Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
– Eat that Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating
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