Defining Your Priorities With A Time Management Matrix

Defining Your Priorities With A Time Management Matrix

Time Management Matrix

As you know in the previous video Video #2, I discussed on how to break things down category wise and sub-category wise.
What I recommend that you do before you move to this video (Video #3) is try to accomplish some writing down those tasks and categorize those things.
Because it’s just going to make life a lot easier and they’d be able to implement what we are trying to teach you.

So, in Video #3, we are going to talk about defining your priorities, and I'm going to help you do that by showing you a time management matrix.
Time management is not the same thing as productivity however they do go hand in hand.
And by applying and combining the two, they can help you out.
So, what I want you to do is take a look at what we discussed in the previous video.
And as you can see here, we have different priorities, such as Urgent and Important, Not Urgent but Important, Urgent but Not Important, and Not Urgent and Not Important.
While that may seem a little bit confusing right now, that will make a lot more sense in just a minute.

And then on the vertical, we have Important and Not Important. And then the horizontal part of it, we have Urgent and Not Urgent.
I'm going to break these up into sections, so it’s going to be making a lot more sense in just a minute.

So, let's take a look at the Urgent and Important because that’s probably the most important thing out of all the lists in the To-Do list and the tasks and the projects and everything like that is the most important thing that we need to get down.
So, these are categorized as deadlines – basically, things that have a certain time that you have to get things done; emergencies – and these emergencies might come up unexpectedly so we have to be ready for them; and then of course, quick ‘wins’.
Quick wins may not be expected but they might be something that will help us push through further and further on but they're unexpected so we do need to be aware of them.

Time Management Matrix

Defining Your Priorities Using A Time Management Matrix

And then, of course, we have the Urgent but Not Important.
These things can be such as interruptions, distractions –they are urgent. You might get a phone call for example, but you realize the phone call might be from somebody who is not necessarily important.
So, they are interruptions, but you do need to categorize them and say, okay, I'm not going to take any phone calls from anybody unless it’s from my child or from my spouse or whoever that I might deem as important.
But up until this point, we might be taking every single phone call that we get.
So, assuming that it is Urgent but Not Important and not in the Urgent But Important category, that’s going to help us kind of categorize and prioritize in that sense.
And then of course, we have emails.
Emails, in fact, are one of the most distracting things that a lot of us encounter.
They did a study and the found that a lot of people tend to spend most of their time on emails, on Helpdesk tickets, on support, on the phone – any types of communication.
And because of that, and we deem it as Urgent and Important, we are not able to get things done as quick as possible.
But were we able to prioritize that and we put that into the Urgent but Not Important and we figured out, most emails are not important, I'm not going to take any of that until I get this task done that is Urgent and Important, then guess what – you're going to get things done quicker. And then, of course, unscheduled meetings so for example, people showing up at your house or people, solicitors or anyone showing up in your office that is unscheduled.
If it is unscheduled and you're just trying to be nice to be nice, then you need to take a look at why you're taking these meetings and why in your mind right now you feel like they are Urgent and Important, and how you can probably categorize them as Urgent but Not Important.
So, for example, if you have open office hours, that’s fine.
But if you realize that most of your time is being spent towards that, then you realize that you need to make adjustments for the sake of your productivity in other areas.
So, what you're trying to figure out is – are what you're doing right now impacting other areas of your productivity.
Because if they are, you will need to make those changes but you're not going to really know that unless you begin to prioritize.

So, that brings us to the Not Urgent but Important.
So, a lot of times, things that are important tend to not really show themselves like ‘in your face’.
They might not seem urgent but they're actually very important but they're kind of pushed on the side, pushed away because over time, we've tried to accomplish tasks that might seem a lot more urgent and might seem like they're all in your face.
So, such as major projects and success plans, relationship building, and health.
We don’t really think about our health. I've talked to many doctors before and they’ve said that a lot of times, that people tend to spend a lot of their time, a lot of their stress comes from work and maybe building a business, working on your career and so forth.
But then at the end of the day, when you're retired, you're spending all of that money towards health.
So, we don’t really think about that but health can impact a lot of these other areas.
If you're not healthy, you're not getting enough sleep or exercise; then you're not going to be able to perform as efficiently on getting major projects done.
So, for example, if you are getting three hours of sleep – sometimes, work that might take you 10 hours will actually take you 20 hours or 30 hours.
But if you're getting the proper amount of sleep and exercise, then that 30-hour project would actually turn into five hours or less.
So, that’s why health is so important.
But relationship building is because we are social beings as well.
So, they might not seem urgent because major projects and all these other phone calls and everything like that are in your face, but these are definitely important.
So, you really need to categorize – okay, figure out what kind of major projects; maybe not urgent and in your face but definitely important and are preventing you from actually reaching the end goal.
So, maybe that major project may not seem that urgent but it’s preventing you from going from Point A to Point C.
So, see what I mean here?
So, that’s why we need to be really, really be careful when we prioritize and categorize things in that sense.

And that brings us to the 4th category, which is Not Urgent and Not Important.
So, for example, time wasters, things that are trivial, arguments.
You might see something that’s in your face and sometimes as human beings, we feel like because it is in our face that we must solve it right away; or if somebody is screaming to get our attention, and it seems urgent and really important but it really isn’t.
So, that’s why you really need to sit down and write down – put it in a piece of paper, create a cross, and then show what we showed earlier, so, not important and urgent, and so forth and so on.
So, if you need to go back to the beginning of the video and write down that matrix and that cross with the four different quadrants in it, feel free to go and do that.

So, once you've gotten to this point, you will have realized, aha, so now, I know that even though Larry here has been screaming at my face and calling me constantly, I realize that he is not that important compared to my other To-Do list.
But you're not going to know that unless you begin to prioritize and write it down.
So, writing it down on a piece of paper will help you better than typing it into your iPhone.
But that option is there because it’s better than nothing.

So, in the next video, we are going to move onto Video #4 and I'm going to talk about how to schedule and create your To-Do list.

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