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The Priority Matrix

Chart with four quadrants. Quadrants are: Top left – Urgent and important, bottom left – Important, top right – urgent but not important, bottom right – not urgent and not important.A Priority Matrix can show you how to prioritize activities to make the most of your time and energy. By organizing your tasks within this matrix, you can choose to focus your time intelligently, spending more of your time on the high-value activities.

The matrix is divided into four quadrants based on whether the task is important or not important, urgent or not urgent.

  1. The Quadrant of Necessity
    These are important to you and also urgent. Examples include: A work crisis; Other emergencies.
    You should handle these tasks immediately.
  2. The Quadrant of Leadership
    These are low urgency and high importance. Operating here will increase your capacity to deal with quadrants 1 and 3. Examples include: Preparation, Planning, Relationship, Renewal.
    You should handle these tasks.
  3. The Quadrant of Deception
    These are high urgency but low importance. We sometimes mistakenly assign high importance to these because they are urgent. Examples include: Someone else’s crisis, Calls and other interruptions.
    You should schedule these tasks and delegate them if possible.
  4. The Quadrant of Default / Waste
    These are low urgency and low importance. Examples include: Gossiping, Checking personal email, Facebook, etc. in excess. Trivial interruptions are also in this quadrant.
    You should discard these activities.