My last blog encouraged you to do away with your To Do lists and, instead, schedule tasks into a diary.
Here is another helpful time management technique that I have used for so many years, it is now my default decision making process.
It is the Eisenhower Matrix, developed by former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower.
The tendency is to do things that are quick and/or easy. However, your time is finite and to be as productive as you desire, you must work to ensure that you are spending it on what really matters.
There is another key idea to consider: you only have three sources of ‘power’, which is defined as your ability to get anything done. These three are:
- Energy, and
Of these three, only time is irreplaceable! Your focus on protecting this irreplaceable resource will reward you.
When deciding what to do next, consider and assess relevant degrees of
- importance and
then put the task or project into the above four quadrants.
Tasks that fall in to Quadrant 1 are both important and urgent. These should be tackled immediately.
Quadrant 2 tasks are not urgent, but are important. Schedule a time to manage these tasks, giving them appropriate attention.
All tasks that are not important, but are urgent, should be put into Quadrant 3 and delegated away. Once delegated, follow up to ensure they have been handled.
Quadrant 4 items – those that are neither important or urgent – can be deleted.
So, let me give you an example in each quadrant that is relevant to my life in running Julie Parker Practice Success.
Quadrant 1: My number one client has just had an accident on the way to her dental practice
Quadrant 2: A prospect is waiting for a consulting proposal
Quadrant 3: The milk has run out
Quadrant 4: There is an episode of Masterchef about to start
The Eisenhower Matrix assists in eliminating the things that distract you away from performing at your best. It reduces your busy-ness, because you remove unnecessary work and you will be calmer and feel more in control.