Do You Make Lists?

Do you have too many tasks to keep them all in your head?

Do you make lists?

For lots of people, the problem with lists is that is difficult to prioritise them. We tend to start at the top and work our way down, and any new tasks either get added to the bottom or we do them as they come in rather than continuing our systematic approach.

At the end of the day we turn the page and start the process again the next morning.

This is ineffective, unproductive and demotivating.

Dwight D Eisenhower said in a speech in 1954 “I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent”

Urgent means that a task requires immediate attention. These are the to-do’s that shout “Now!” Urgent tasks make us reactive.

Important tasks are things that contribute to our long-term objectives. Sometimes important tasks are also urgent, but typically they’re not. When we focus on important activities we are much more proactive and motivated.

Steven Covey popularised this approach to prioritising with an urgent/important matrix split into four quadrants. This helps you to decide whether a task should be done, dumped, delegated or delayed.

I have adapted this approach to make it more dynamic so you can continually review and revise tasks throughout the day or week and accurately change priorities when new tasks arrive. It also allows you to feel a sense of achievement when you have completed tasks – always a good motivator.

Contact me if you’d like to find out more about how to use it in projects, or teams.

I made a video to explain the two approaches (it’s currently had 8,399 views and I’d love to see it achieve 10,000 so please share it with as many people as possible)

watch the video here:

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