What to do?

What to do?

We live in a society that imposes too many daily challenges, commitments and tasks. Undoubtedly, the most transcendental in life is to decide, in each moment, what to do and what not to do. But, what decision to make?

When things being done, do not forget that everything takes time and you can not run more than one thing at a time. In this light, we have to focus on a limited time (the available today), and how to use it efficiently. For this, we must to decide what things we have to do according to their level of importance, and when to do them, according to their level of urgency.

The importance refers to the real need for something is done to achieve your goals. A task is more important than another if you feel that its scale of values is greater. How necessary is its realization? Are there other important tasks that depend on the realization of this task? If not carried out, what would happen?

Urgency refers to the haste with which a task has to be performed. If its completion is required more soon, more urgent is, and more urgent is if the time required for its implementation is greater than the time available to do it.

These two parameters can be represented in a matrix of two axes. The horizontal axis represents the level of urgency (from left (low) to right (high)). The vertical axis represents the level of importance (from bottom (low) to above (high)). You can assess the level of importance and urgency of things, on a scale from 0 to 9. This evaluation can be simplified into three levels (low, medium or high) or two levels (low or high).

Importance-Urgency Matrix (basic)

Importance-Urgency Matrix (basic)

If the two axes are divided in half, you get a quadrant that make simple the decision making. In this quadrant you place all tasks collected on the To Do list, according to their importance and urgency.

Importance-Urgency Matrix (tasks in matrix)

Importance-Urgency Matrix (tasks in matrix)

The order of criteria to make decisions would be, first the importance and the urgency after. Thus, perform the most important tasks first, and, if you find two tasks of equal importance, perform the most urgent before. Therefore, the actions to take depend on these criteria, which are graphically displayed on the quadrant.

The actions to be taken are as follows:

  1. Little important and little urgent (bottom left quadrant): Reject.
  2. Little important and very urgent (bottom right quadrant): Delegate.
  3. Very important and little urgent (top left quadrant): Delay.
  4. Very important and very urgent (top right quadrant): Perform.
Importance-Urgency Matrix (actions)

Importance-Urgency Matrix (actions)

The effectiveness of the decisions we make about of what tasks to do and when, is given from the correct evaluation of the importance and the urgency, and also from the prioritization of their implementation, taking the tasks of the quadrant from above downwards and, at the same height (importance), from right to left.

In the example used, the order of the tasks is as follows: T1, T4, T2, T7, T3, T5 y T2.

What is your criteria to address tasks? How do you manage the priorities?

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