Monday, March 25, 2013

organize your Monday: prioritization tool

I wanted to introduce some organization tips, starting with life organization. I like to think of my life as "organized chaos"- there is a lot going on, but somehow (for the most part), everything gets done.

This is a tool that has helped me in working full-time, going to school part-time, and living life the rest of the time. The importance/urgency matrix is helpful in prioritizing and learning helpful time-management skills. If you work in a corporate environment, this concept is not going to be new to you. But it's not only for the workplace- bringing it into your personal life can work wonders!

The upper left quadrant is for items of the highest importance and highest urgency. These are items that you must do today (or this week, or this month- whatever time frame you are looking at), such as "go to the grocery store to shop for tonight's dinner party" (because it's 3PM and you haven't done that yet). As you move to the right (upper right quadrant), these are items that are of high urgency but low importance. This might be responding to emails that are filling up your inbox.

The lower right quadrant contains items you should delegate to others because they are of the lowest importance and lowest urgency. They're those things you think you should do, but there is no time frame necessary- so often they don't get done. For me this is something like "clean the oven". And the quadrant on the lower left is items of high importance but low urgency. Often these are important tasks that somehow slip through the cracks and don't get done.

I start in the upper left quadrant, then prioritize between the upper right and lower left, and then delegate tasks on the lower right or cross them off the list altogether.

Hopefully, this will help you in creating a better sense of time management. And with this system, rather than thinking, "I have fifteen minutes, so I guess I'll go on Facebook," you'll be more likely to think, "I have fifteen minutes, so I'll tackle something important". Good luck!

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